Jun. 24th, 2010 05:17 pm
spiderpig: (!!!!!! :: persona 3)
And in the end you learn that you must defend that solitude: talking about literature is a waste of time, and if you're alone it's much better, because that's how you should work. and because the time left for working gets less and less, and if you waste it you feel that you've committed a sin for which there is no forgiveness.

Fuentes, Adios Hemingway
spiderpig: (i have no idea :: house)

It is infinitely better not to know anything about art than to have the kind of half-knowledge which makes for snobbishness. The danger is very real. There are people, for instance, who have picked up the simple points I have tried to make in this chapter, and who understand that there are great works of art which have none of the obvious qualities of beauty of expression or correct draughtsmanship, but who become so proud of their knowledge that they pretend to like only those works which are neither beautiful nor correctly drawn. They are always haunted y the fear that they might be considered uneducated if they confessed to liking a work which seems too obviously pleasant or moving. They end by being snobs who lose their true enjoyment of art and who call everything 'very interesting' which they really find somewhat repulsive.

Gombrich, The Story of Art


Jul. 15th, 2009 01:22 pm
spiderpig: (literary criticism)
From a friend's Facebook Profile:

Favourite Quotes:
I understand how scissors can beat paper, and I get how a rock can beat scissors, but there's no fucking way paper can beat rock. Is paper supposed to magically wrap around the rock and leave it immobile? Why the hell can't paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can't paper do this to people? Why aren't sheets of college ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they take notes in class? I’ll tell you why, because paper can't beat anybody. A rock would tear that shit up in 2 seconds. When I play rock paper scissors, I always choose rock. then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say, oh shit I’m sorry, I thought paper would protect you, you asshole.

About me:
14 things I REALLY hate about people..

* People who point at their wrist while asking for the time....I know where my watch is pal, where the f*ck is yours? Do I point at my crotch when I ask where the toilet is?

* People who are willing to get off their arse to search the entire room for the TV remote because they refuse to walk to the TV and change the channel manually.

* When people say "Oh you just want to have your cake and eat it too". F*cking right! What good is a cake if you can't eat it?

* When people say "it's always the last place you look". Of course it is. Why the f*ck would you keep looking after you've found it? Do People do this? Who and where are they?

* When people say while watching a film "did you see that?". No tosser, I paid 10 quid to come to the cinema and stare at the f*cking floor.

* People who ask "Can I ask you a question?". Didn't really give me a choice there, did you sunshine?

* When something is 'new and improved!'. Which is it? If it's new, then there has never been anything before it. If it's an improvement, then there must have been something before it.

* When people say "life is short". What the f*ck?? Life is the longest damn thing anyone ever f*cking does!! What can you do that's longer?

* When you are waiting for the bus and someone asks, "Has the bus come yet?". If the bus came would I be standing here,Kn*bhead?

* People who say things like 'My eyes aren't what they used to be'. So what did they used to be? ears, Wellington boots?

* When you're eating something and someone asks 'Is that nice?' No it's really revolting - I always eat stuff I hate.

* People who announce they are going to the toilet. Thanks that's an image I really didn't need.

* McDonalds staff who pretend they don't understand you unless you insert the 'Mc' before the item you are ordering.....It's has to be a McChicken Burger, just a Chicken Burger get blank looks. Well I'll have a McStraw and jam it in your McEyes you f*cking McTosser.

I really find this funny!

Anyway, today Cake was a nice cat and decided to, after hiding under the couch as Ninja Cake, patter off to his enclosure (I shouldn't call it an 'enclosure' but it really is!) peacefully. It definitely beat yesterday Monday, where I tried to entice him with an umbrella handle -- cat-handling him halfway -- and everything possible. Only the Waste Management Truck managed to scare him off into the bowels of the Toilet.

Yesterday, Cake decided that my hand smelt good and proceeded to NOM NOM NOM on it. D: Silly Cake! I batted his hand away and he was shocked and surprised because well frankly, no one has batted his hand away before? And then he wanted more. OH CAKE.

I'm currently reading Gombrich's The Story of Art in an attempt to give myself a crash course on Art History. It's about 500 pages long and I might finish it before I head off to Tokyo but I'll still ship it along its merry way? It's proving to be a good read. There's no pretense about it, Gombrich lays it down clear and simple. This is Art and this is art. There is almost no wrong reason to like a piece of art, but there are wrong ways to dislike something. It's so refreshing, from the past three semesters of academic jargon, to read something -- written by an academic no less -- that's easy to understand. Nevermind that the book is hugely and grossly thick, nevermind that it is 500 pages of tissue-paper thin sheets long; it is something like a haiku. Infinitely simple. The rolls of meaning are curled up in every sentence.

I've been busy the past few weeks, which accounts for my non-accounts of my life. And writing. I haven't been writing, save for a long paragraph. An opening for my short-story. But there has been nothing left. Writing the Buddhism essay has left me high and dry. I'm slowly repairing the travesty that I've written. Now that I look back on it, it looks superbly unpolished. Not publishable standard. I am screwed.

Still, there is Gombrich!

I have a whole pile of books on reservation at both BA and P&C and it's working against my Work For Japan savings plan! Granted that books are always a good investment, but I can't eat them when I'm hungry there. I'm chucking back all the Japanese editions of Soseki (514 yen is only $8!; 352 yen is $5!!! Japanese books are cheap in Japan!) I found in BA because I know I can get them cheaper at Book Off or any other bookstore in Japan. Though, I am still going to keep one of the longer essays I found (やがて哀しき外国語) until I find a copy in Japan. :)

I just checked for the books I just returned to the shelves. There are in stock in Kinokuniya Japan. Haha. I could just order them. (ISBN 9784101010014 and 9784101010137) When I'm there, I mean. The covers are really beautiful. I hope they have these editions when I get there!

I forsee myself placing orders every month and getting my brother to ship them off to me, my care package of books, once there is enough to justify a shipment. Told my brother that I'll pay him to pick things up like Monocle and books for me. Monocle is S$30 in Japan! I'm not spending that for something that costs $19.90 here! (That said, I'll be keeping my Kino card for Monocle. I don't get a discount off magazines at BA.)

So I need to slowly clear my stock of wishlists. I don't think anyone will give me books as a farewell gift (although that would be lovely). I don't have that many at P&C, but they're generally more expensive. (Zizek's book is $52!!) I will most probably clear another book, a.k.a buy, off the BA pile next week.

Working has left me want of energy and sleep. Not that I don't like work. I like being tired and sleepy because of work than being sleepy and tired because of nothing at all! Still, I am yawning slightly too often. It will all pass once the symposium is over!

Alright. Back to Gombrich -- I mean work.
spiderpig: (mmmmm. // ariake koichi)
The tea used in the ceremony is finely powdered green tea, carried in a lacquered caddy called a natsume, which is shaped like an egg with a flat bottom and top. One day, a student failed to support the body of the caddy, taking only the lid in his hands and the caddy dropped from the height of about one meter directly onto the tatami. The powdered green tea puffed high into the air in a cloud, and tea settled in a green ring on the mat before our startled eyes. Everyone was petrified. In the silence, Sawada (Minoru) asked us, "What is the appropriate thing to say at a time like this?" Nobody could answer. He said, "You should say, 'How beautiful!' "

- Alex Kerr, Lost Japan
spiderpig: (do-s ::xanusxsqualo)
Matter exploded into being, apparently as chaos, but in fact as a chord. The ultimate power chord. Everything, all together, streaming out in one huge rush, that contained within itself, like reverse fossils, everything it was going to be.

And, zigzagging through the expanding cloud, alive, that first wild live music.

This had shape. It had spin, It had rhythm. It had a beat, and you could dance to it.

Everything did.

A voice right inside Susan's head said: And I will never die.

She said, aloud: "There's a bit of you in everything that lives."

Yes. I am the heart beat. The back beat.

She still couldn't see the others. The light was streaming past her.

"But he threw away the guitar."

I wanted him to live for me.

"You wanted him to die for you! In the wreckage of the cart!"

What is the difference? He would be dead anyway. But to die in music... People will always remember the songs he never had the chance to sing. And they will be the greatest songs of all.

Live your life in a moment.

And then live for ever. Don't fade away.

- Terry Pratchett
spiderpig: (Default)
Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine, ----- they are the life, the soul of reading

- Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
spiderpig: (bitch please :: tiera)

Wah lau eh. Why people want to copy until like that. Got no life of their own ah. :\ I damn pek chek when I see it lor. Okay lah, I not some big towkay or dua pai kia but still EH DON'T COPY ME CAN. Kao beh. Simi lan jiao.
spiderpig: (mmmmm. // ariake koichi)
It was nice to be alone, not to have to smile and look pleased; a relief to stare dejectedly out the window at the sheeting rain and let just a few tears escape.

I wasn't interesting. And he was. Interesting...and brillant...and mysterious...and perfect... and beautiful...and possibly able to lift full-sized vans with one hand.

And I couldn't stop the gloom that engulfed me as I realized I didn't know how long I would have to wait before I saw him again.

I can't explain it right...but he's even more unbelievable behind the face.

Trust me just this once--you are the opposite of ordinary.

It's the safest time of day for us. The easiest time. But also the saddest, in a way...the end of another day, the return of the night. Darkness is so predictable, don't you think?

And so the lion fell in love with the lamb...

Twilight Stephenie Meyer

....What the fuck indeed! No offence but I wrote like that when I was 13 and writing horrible Mary-Sue filled fanfiction in the Fushigi Yuugi universe. Tell me why I refuse to read the books. :\

Anyway, got back Walter Lim's first writing assignment. Letter grade was terrible (in my own honest opinion) but on the rubric it was "very good". Meh! I was writing like a child, for that essay. Like a child at a candy store for the first time. I grabbed haphazardly at anything I could lay my hands on and threw the grab-bag at him (100g, $2.40) and expected him to like my choice of sweets. Didn't really work. But now I know (thanks to Kerri, who I flailed in front of before Psychoanalysis), that Dr L likes nice in-depth essays - not the JC "Let's see how many points I can point out".

The most disappointing thing of course, is when I get comments like "you show a great deal of insight ... but not sufficiently developed", or "this was a good point, but you jumped to the next too soon". It's been happening since Susan Ang's modules (where she had this page long dissertation feedback telling me that I should've talked more about my first point because it was one of the more original points she'd come across). Shooting myself in the foot repeatedly. But I think I know what these professors (or at least, the great majority of them) want now and shall tailor myself - hem up every loose end - to their needs. Hur. Future is looking just a little bit brighter.

But not that bright, because I am severely behind on my Singaporea-men essay. I have about 1,111 words - no where near the halfway mark yet - and I'm having writers block. It's a very fun paper to write about, because I get to be the weirdo woman who thinks that Singaporean men are such marginalized and oppressed people (hahahahaah) and actually try to prove it. It's actually reinforcing the fact that they are pitiful creatures. Poor dears. I have a lot to say about this, and the whole pseudo-equality feminism advocates (really, I don't believe in much of it) but after the exams perhaps.

So anyway, awoke to an e-mail alert from Dr G who just returned our grades for the Wiki-Project. 7/10 for my presentation and then 10/15 for my wiki essay (I should have like, coded "Compiled by Alicia Tan" to grab more marks) but they're fairly good grades! He praised me, so I am a very happy fat cat right now. I am "excellent" :D, hurray. Very much encouraged by his comment to "press on". Press on I shall! I wonder what the dubious duo got...

!! I like this song!

Anyway, I'm tempted to not find any work for the three months and spend it writing an academic paper for this collective [ profile] zerotonin told me about. It seems like a lot of fun and I might just send in a proposal soon? I mean, I don't know. I'd love for anything of mine to get published because that would mean that the chances of me getting a postgrad scholarship would be :D:D:D - very good for poor starving student who cannot afford a PACO box and must live in a cardboard one.

egg salad

Feb. 17th, 2009 12:34 pm
spiderpig: (Default)
I think most of Murakami's speech would be here.

"So I have come to Jerusalem. I have a come as a novelist, that is - a spinner of lies.

"Novelists aren't the only ones who tell lies - politicians do (sorry, Mr. President) - and diplomats, too. But something distinguishes the novelists from the others. We aren't prosecuted for our lies: we are praised. And the bigger the lie, the more praise we get.

"The difference between our lies and their lies is that our lies help bring out the truth. It's hard to grasp the truth in its entirety - so we transfer it to the fictional realm. But first, we have to clarify where the truth lies within ourselves.

"Today, I will tell the truth. There are only a few days a year when I do not engage in telling lies. Today is one of them."

This kind of made me tear. ;_;


spiderpig: (STALKER GEEK // ariake koichi)
Oh man. Oh man. I made a total fool of myself in my 18thC Lit class yesterday first, by coming in 10 minutes late and then coughing every 10 minutes. Interspersed with frantic gulping down of water. Oh but that's not the point of this post.

I was sitting in the back row and praying to our Almighty Father that I could go through this first class unnoticed because I didn't really have anything intelligent to say about Robinson Crusoe other than that I liked the old kiddies' versions of it where Crusoe didn't have such an enormous love/hate relationship with God. Pages, and pages of it. Nooooo. Well okay.

Dr G starts to talk about how some people felt that calling Friday "Friday" was derogatory because it's like having meeting person A on Thursday, you decide to call him Thursday. Or if you meet someone in a cafe and there's a teapot on the table, you decide to call that someone Teapot. Yes, that was his example. "I'm sure none of you would want to be called Teapots!" he goes on.

So the class is fairly silent for a while because I think we really don't have anything to say about Friday Teapots and he decides to call my name from the register. There is a brief confusion to whether I'm in the class or not (me having slinked in from the back) and then I'm left to fend for myself.

Note: I rarely speak up in classes. The last time I was loquacious enough was during my JS1101 tutorial because people were making very erroneous comments about Japan.

"Um, well. I don't think it's really derogatory," I begin, "I mean. It provides some sort of constancy for him doesn't it? There's a framework for him to work with. There's a Friday in every week so by calling him Friday, he establishes something like a routine -- unless he decides to get rid of that kind of calendar or something..."

At this point, Dr G decides to intercept my answer and go, "There are teapots every where too!"

And for the life of me, I don't know why I said this, but I immediately went (there was a 0.5 second pause): "Yes, and that's why its perfectly fine for you to call any of us teapots!"

Cue laughter from the class (D: I only know how to make the class laugh!!) and this very perplexed/amused/wtf/ithinkshelosthermind expression on Dr G's face. To cover my total embarrassmant I just went rambling on about how his whole life is governed by "like he said (gesturing wildly at the Exchange Student who talked about Time)" time and we can see how Crusoe's very dependent on schedule to get his crops ready on time and ETC.

Oh my god. I hope I haven't ruined all my chances for this semester.

BTW, sorry if I haven't replied any LJ comments so far! I will get to them soon!


Jan. 24th, 2009 08:30 pm
spiderpig: (opposable thumbs :: konata)

Gwendolyn gwendolyn.

Gwendolyn. )

And carv'd in iv'ry such a maid, so fair,
As Nature could not with his art compare,
Were she to work; but in her own defence
Must take her pattern here, and copy hence.

- "The Story of Pygmalion and the Statue", Metamorphoses by Ovid

(Click on images for larger resolutions.)

spiderpig: (STALKER GEEK // ariake koichi)
GSC's Ryogi Shiki Garannodou Ryogi Shiki Garannodou

"I have been told I've got a darkish personality. A few times."
Takahashi swings his trombone case from his right shoulder to his left. Then he says, "It's not as if our lives are divided simply into light and dark. There's shadowy middle ground. Recognizing and understanding the shadows is what a healthy intelligence does. And to acquire a healthy intelligence takes a certain amount of time and effort. I don't think you have a particularly dark character."
— Haruki Murakami (After Dark)

Why and how is he able to write like this. It's as though I can reach out and touch those words and feel them with my arms wrapped around them.
spiderpig: (mmmmm. // ariake koichi)

"A devastating absence hovered about my apartment. I stayed shut-in for six months. I never went out during the day, except to make the absolute minimum purchases necessary to survive. I'd venture into the city with the first gray of dawn and walk the deserted streets, and when the streets started to fill with people, I holed up back indoors to sleep.

Towards the evening I'd rise, fix something to eat, feed the cat. Then I'd sit on the floor and methodically go over the things that had happened to me, trying to make sense of them. Rearrange the order of events, list up all possible alternatives, consider the right or wrong of what I'd done. This went on until the dawn, when I'd go out and wander the streets again.

For half a year that was my daily routine. From January through June 1979, I didn't read one book. I didn't open one newspaper. I didn't watch TV, didn't listen to the radio. Never saw anyone, never talked to anyone. I hardly even drank; I wasn't in a drinking frame of mind. I had no idea what was going on in the world, who'd become famous, who'd died, nothing. It wasn't that I stubbornly resisted information, I simply had no desire to know anything. Even so, I knew things were happening. The world didn't stop....

I'd been damaged, badly I suppose. The damage was not petty. Blood had flowed, quietly."

Dance Dance Dance, Haruki Murakami
spiderpig: (bitch please :: tiera)
Waste Land Limericks


In April one seldom feels cheerful;
Dry stones, sun and dust make me fearful;
Clairvoyantes distress me,
Commuters depress me--
Met Stetson and gave him an earful.


She sat on a mighty fine chair,
Sparks flew as she tidied her hair;
She asks many questions,
I make few suggestions--
Bad as Albert and Lil--what a pair!


The Thames runs, bones rattle, rats creep;
Tiresias fancies a peep--
A typist is laid,
A record is played--
Wei la la. After this it gets deep.


A Phoenician named Phlebas forgot
About birds and his business--the lot,
Which is no surprise,
Since he'd met his demise
And been left in the ocean to rot.


No water. Dry rocks and dry throats,
Then thunder, a shower of quotes
From the Sanskrit and Dante.
Da. Damyata. Shantih.
I hope you'll make sense of the notes.

-- Wendy Cope

spiderpig: (literary criticism)
I have been reading!

For the sword outwears its sheath,
And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
And Love itself have rest.

-Lord Byron

Holy Sonnets: Death, be not proud

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think'st thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul's delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell;
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell'st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

-John Donne

(I remember having this as my last PC exercise during JC2, but I never did hand it up!)

Excerpt from Darkness

A fearful hope was all the world contain'd;
Forests were set on fire--but hour by hour
They fell and faded--and the crackling trunks
Extinguish'd with a crash--and all was black.

-Lord Byron

Reading up for my own enrichment (oh wow, I sound like an educational spokesperson!) and for upcoming classes next sem. University has made me read less, much to my disappointment.

Anyway! I am definitely getting these lovely Moleskine City notebooks once they're out!

Feed my soul! )

random band ranting )

I wanted to get Tales of Beedle the Bard for my two younger boy cousins but I couldn't find them at Kino (a.k.a I did not want to navigate the throng of people there) so I picked out two pocket versions of the Iggulden brother's Dangerous Book for Boys. To my surprise, they were lovely reads! Yes yes, I read my cousin's presents. I can't help myself. I just read whatever I have at hand - shampoo bottles, sauce bottles, pamphlets, newspapers, magazines - if it has print I'll read it.

I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of poetry that was included in one of the volumes! (I think it was the Facts, Figures and Fun one?)

Iggulden's Dangerous Book for Boys )

I mean, the oodles of (good) poetry in there astounded me. And made me more certain that the boys should be getting this book for Christmas. Not only are the nuggets of information delicious fun, there is poetry! I wish that there were books like these when I was a kid! Though, I would've never gotten them for Christmas because I'm not a boy. I'll be adding these lovely books (even though I'm still not a boy) to my collection soon. I love the fact that they're hard-cover cloth books, which makes them really pretty on the bookshelf. Plus, their spines will hold up to the obvious wear and tear. Cheers to the Iggulden brothers for putting together what I think is an awesome book for children (and children at heart)!

Anyway, off to read more and need to wrap presents for the maternal family christmas party tomorrow! My mum wants to pair ham and oranges together. :\
spiderpig: (sheets of fire :: the office)
That to have the eyes of an artist,
That can be enough,
The ear of a poet,
That can be enough.
The soul of a human
just pointed
in the direction of the divine,
that can be more than enough.
I tell you this to remind myself.
Every gesture is an act of creation.
Even empty spaces and silence
can be the wings and voices of angels.
- Michele Linfante
spiderpig: (literary criticism)
A line I particularly liked while I was typing out references to be used in my Romanticism essay. (I do like Byronic heroes. I like heroes. Yes. That's it. I like the whole heroic adventure, the struggle, it makes me feel better that man is fighting against a larger something.)

For we are surrounded by mirrors, walled in by contradictory images of ourselves.

-Brombert, "Sartre: The Intellectual as 'Impossible Hero'", The Hero in Literature

Finished gathering notes from one of my research books. On to studying for tomorrow's midterm! (And then more hunting and gathering from 6 more other books for 2 essays due on Tuesday. I am dead.)
spiderpig: (something wicked this way comes :: soul)
"Why do they blame me for all their little failings? They use my name as if I spend my entire day sitting on their shoulders, forcing them to commit acts they would otherwise find repulsive. 'The devil made me do it.' I have never made one of them do anything. Never. They live their own tiny lives. I do not live their lives for them .... They talk of my going around and buying souls - never stopping to ask themselves why. I need no souls. And how can anyone own a soul? No. They belong to themselves - they just hate to have to face up to it."

-- Lucifer, Sandman: Season of Mists by Neil Gaiman

Typing out draft on gendered consumption and the commodification of romance in Takarazuka. I'm not enjoying myself, but I'm not exactly hating it either. Right now, all I want to do is get my As and get rid of all the crap on my To-Do list.
spiderpig: (achtung baby! :: klavier)

"I always feel like I'm struggling to become someone else. Like I'm trying to find a new place, grab hold of a new life, a new personality. I guess it's part of growing up, yet it's also an attempt to reinvent myself. By becoming a different me, I could free myself of everything. I seriously believed I could escape myself- as long as I made the effort. But I always hit a dead end. No matter where I go, I still end up me. What's missing never changes. The scenery may change, but I'm still the same old incomplete person. The same missing elements torture me with a hunger that I can never satisfy. I guess that lack itself is as close as I'll come to define myself. For your sake, I'd like to become a new person. It may not be easy, but if I give it my best shot, perhaps I can manage to change. The truth is, though, if put in the same situation again, I might very well do the same thing all over. I might very well hurt you all over again. I can't promise anything. That's what I meant when I said I had no right. I just don't have the confidence to win over that force in me."

South of the Border, West of the Sun - Murakami Haruki

Hello Murakami, you always know how to make my day a whole lot better.

(And I walked past Hemingyay just now. The small joys of life try to salvage my huge disappointments!)


Sep. 19th, 2008 03:22 am
spiderpig: (korakorakorakora :: connello)
As it is, I can't settle, I want someone who is fierce and ill love me until death and know that love is as strong as death, and be on my side for ever and ever. I want someone who will destroy and be destroyed by me.

Oranges are not the only fruit, Jeanette Winterson

Not particularly one of the texts I like, but I suspect that it'll grow on me, especially if it has lines like these. I'm ambivalent towards Winterson's writings. Oranges generally rubs me the wrong way (I don't know why, but it does) but I do appreciate it.


spiderpig: (Default)
A Tan

September 2011

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