Fiction

The Pursuit of Happyness

Mark Twain aka Samuel Longhorne Clemens aka Josh aka, (and this is my personal favourite) Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass, was in all possible respects, a Dude. You just need to read one of his novels, or travelogues, or short stories, or letters to find out why 🙂 What’s infinitely interesting though is to go through the man’s bibliography, and look at the manner in which his writing actually evolved through the years, and all the different layers it kept on acquiring.

I don’t think there have been too many other authors with a body of work, as distinct and truly varied as Mark Twain’s. I don’t think there have been too many writers, who started out penning flippant, outrageous prose and ended as a chronicler of their times; sombre, cynical, and faintly disillusioned. And defined happiness as, and I quote, “Happiness ain’t a thing in itself – it’s only a contrast with something that ain’t pleasant“. (Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven)

So, essentially, the greatest humourist of his generation would have us believe that happiness isn’t truly a tangible entity. Moreover, its so inconsequential that it can be defined only by taking recourse to an allied, and an entirely contradictory, concept. And so, the only way you can be happy, is if you ain’t sad. Bit sad, na. Its a little like defining light as the opposite of darkness, you know.

But then again, light isn’t merely the opposite of darkness. Light can also be the absence of darkness. For there to be light, darkness isn’t necessarily the logical precursor.

And neither do you need to be sad, to be in turn, happy. Happyness is a sturdy enough little thing, to be able to stand on its own feet 🙂

Happyness is when you read the likes of Pratchett and Wodehouse. And have a stupid grin plastered across the middle of your face.

Happyness is, and here’s another law school digression, spending some 40 odd straight hours on research paper submissions, and then going to a deserted library, reading Porterhouse Blue, and howling your head off.

Happyness is going to sites like this. And reading posts like this.

And at times, Happyness is about watching a certain guy score a double hundred in an ODI.

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Apologies, Senor Eco

Finished reading a novel that I never thought i’d ever get to finish; and after doing so guess i owe an apology; to the novel, to the author for all the uncharitable things i had said previously; alright it might be titanically verbose, esoteric enough to drive good ol Aleister Crowley crazy, filled with manic madness, language, heavens, language heaven forfend anyone should even contemplate using, but for all that its a nice enough read, mind you, not leisurely, not in the least. There are some reads which are a pleasure…….others, in which pleasure be damned, u just wanna know what the hell the darned writer is blabberin abt…..this one falls in the latter category……….still, the thing grows on ya, steadily impresses u with its style and ultimately ensures tht for all its diversions, its the diversions which make the novel………………if you ever wanted an encyclopedia on all sorts of esoteric forms, the mysticism of kabala, afro-brazilian rites, philosophy behind Agarttha, info abt the Comte de Saint-Germain, the Knights Templar, Hassan-al-Sabbah holed up in is fortress at Alamut, the Rosicrucians, the Freemasons, et al, go for this one………………….go for Foucault’s Pendulum

Assembly-Line Novels

Why do all Dan Brown novels, or for that matter, almost all novels of this genre read like they have come out of an assembly line production? Got hold of Brown’s Angels and Demons pdf version yesterday and finished it in four straight hours (and was deprived of a good nights sleep in the process). Although, a plausible enough storyline, most of the literary instruments resorted to were the same as with any other similar novel. Short, crisp sentences to create the feel of a taut, pacy storyline and impossibly long, evocative sentences almost tantamounting to an epiphany of some sort whenever one of the central characters would be in the throes of some strong passion.

Kinda brings back memories of a brilliant short story by Roald Dahl by the name of the Great Automatic Grammatizor or something. Still, Mr. Dan Brown’s novels do contain lots of out of the world trivia and are pretty crisply written

Ahem, Ahem, Hello 2006

Well, I would have started with the old cliched Happy New Year, but then, there was nothing even remotely happy in the way 2005 ended for me. Ergo, I am not exactly in the right frame of mind to indulge in such needless pleasantries. My grades have gone right down the drain (rather, with the kind of drop I had this sem, they might have bloody ended up in the Bay of Bengal or somthing), I had to start and finish 5 research papers of around 20 pgs each in 4 days flat, and that too without any research done, my comp is so screwed up, some goddamn virus has infected it and the stupid antivirus thing keeps on giving error messages, my entire music collection is wiped out. In short, the world is going to dogs.

You know, sometimes whenever you read anything, you get the feeling you have already read something very similar before, even though the similarities might be nothing other than a byproduct of a rather hypreactive imagination. I just started Pamuk’s The Black Book today and from the very first page, the style of writing reminded me somewhat of Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children. This, purely based on the style of writing. On the other hand, something like The Rule of Four was eerily similar to Amitav Ghosh’s In an Antique Land. This, purely on the basis of the content (wherein the present was trying to unravel the mysteries of the past, relying solely on a manuscript of some sort).

I’ll try to finish as much as I can of Orhan Pamuk’s book today. Will catch the Arsenal-Man U match at 1 and then format my comp. Signing off then, ciao