Thursday, August 27, 2009

Amusing parallels

Ive been spending countless hours this past 3 days on a piece of article for one of the school publications. Putting thoughts and reflections into an entry for a magazine is a different ball game compared to the writes on my blog. The datelines, the word limits, worrying about how others might find and react to it can be pretty exhausting. Giving up seemed like the easiest option but it'll never be the case. A part of me wants to see it published and perhaps, be heard and be known. Or perhaps its simply the joy of writing - from entries to articles to simple comments - that makes me want to keep on writing. Or perhaps I see it as my baby steps to something bigger and better.

Here's something I found amusing:

"Like many great writers attending college for a subject they despised, García Márquez found that he had absolutely no interest in his studies, and he became something of a consummate slacker. He began to skip classes and neglect both his studies and himself, electing to wander around Bogotá and ride the streetcars, reading poetry instead of law. He ate in cheap cafés, smoked cigarettes, and associated with all the usual suspects: literate socialists, starving artists, and budding journalists.

One day, however, his life changed -- all from reading just a simple book. As if all the lines of fate suddenly converged in his hands, he was given a copy of Kafka's The Metamorphosis. The book had a profound affect on García Márquez; making him aware that literature did not have to follow a straight narrative and unfold along a traditional plot.

The effect was liberating: "I thought to myself that I didn't know anyone was allowed to write things like that. If I had known, I would have started writing a long time ago." He also remarked that Kafka's "voice" had the same echoes as his grandmother's -- "that's how my grandmother used to tell stories, the wildest things with a completely natural tone of voice."

Am I about to follow the footsteps of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Instead of law, would I want to abandon Civil Engineering for writing? Could that explain the piles of tutorials and lecture notes I've yet to read?

Yesterday, I felt Kafka-esque when I read what Ronald Gray wrote in his critical interpretation: "The formal excellence is striking enough in itself. Whereas very many of the stories are incomplete, or rambling and repetitive, The Metamorphosis shows all the signs that Kafka was able both to portray his own situation and to achieve artistic mastery over it."

Today, I amuse myself by drawing parallels with Garcia Márquez. Could I be going through a metamorphosis of my own when I printed a copy of Kafka's The Metamorphosis for my elective: HL808 Introduction to Magical Realism?

.........Pablo smiled to himself as he dreams of taking the road he knows he'll never take. He knows that as soon as this dream end, it's back to Soil mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, Fluid dynamics, Probability and Statistics and Physics 1.

He cant help but feel as though he's a prisoner of societal conventions and expectations.

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