From now on, I’ll share comments posted by you, dear readers, that have inspired me, in a rubric I’ve generically named “Conversations.” I highly value your insights, and occasionally I’m sure there will be a few that are too valuable to be left buried and forgotten in the comments section, seen by my eyes alone.
It’s not the first time I’ve done this, as you may recall from this post and this little survey. But I hadn’t thought of dedicating an entire category to reader responses.
I envision this to be a weekly post. There may be irregularities, however, should I fail to sufficiently engage my readers. 🙂
Shout-out time again! For this post, I though I’d look at one of the first WordPress blogs I ever came across: sairyou.me, a blog run by Daniel Budiarto. Daniel’s purpose behind this blog, in his own words, can be explained as follows:
Books and the internet are full of random bits of wisdom handed to us by the world’s greatest minds. Reading them, however, is only the first step. To attain wisdom, we must transform this randomness—borrowing words from BuddhaNet—”from simple intellectual facts to real personal facts.” We must change this knowledge “from mere book-learning to real living experience.”
Sairyou.me is an attempt at doing just that; to take random bits from the cloud, to understand them through the eyes of this Buddhist left-libertarian writer, and to send them back into the cloud—in a continuous circle.
But equally, if not more, important are your insight and experience. This is why I…
In a piece for the New Yorker titled “Laptop U,” Gregory Nagy, a professor of classical Greek literature at Harvard, told Nathan Heller—almost in passing:
I had this real revelation—I’m not saying ‘epiphany,’ because people use that word wrong, because an epiphany should be when a really miraculous superhuman personality appears, so this is just a revelation, not an epiphany.
Something’s wrong with me. For the past few weeks, I can’t seem to write anything; substantial or not. Stories form in my mind as a clear, still image, which means that the best I can get out of my head right now are single, mostly trivial, scenes.
Not good. To create a complete, compelling story, I need at least a vision of an important key-scene.
There’s another thing. What I do right now is worry too much about the end results; what readers or other writers might think when they saw my work. Completely ridiculous, of course, because by doing that I prevent myself from having any work to show in the first place.
Look! I have just posted a photo on my blog, of Lord Chubbington dancing on a string. Isn’t he adorable?
OK, it’s time to engage in some meaningful blog marketing and get people—a lot of people—to see Lord Chubbington. You see, the best way to do this is on the WordPress Reader, which is perhaps the most ingenious invention in the history of blogging, like, ever. I simply have to type the topic—“humor,” in my case, but feel free to type anything you feel like “reading”—in the search box, hit enter, and voìla!
See that “Like” button underneath every post? That’s my secret weapon. Although, if you’re reading this, I guess it’s no secret anymore.
First post. Click. Second post. Click. Third post. Click. Clickety-click-click.
Phew. Fifty-seven posts “Liked” in a minute. That’s got to be a personal best or something. Wait, what’s this? Continue reading →
A lot of people are probably going to hate me for this, but let’s have at it anyway:
No writer is perfect. Not even James Joyce.
I’ve been struggling to finish Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” for a while now. To be precise, it was the 5th of December, 2012, when my Modernism Professor assigned it as a compulsory read. (I neither finished the course nor obtained a degree in English Literature; I had to get real and find employment.)
It’s not that “Portrait” is extremely difficult, it’s just— incredibly boring. I can never bring myself to care about Stephen Dedalus, let alone what happens to him—there has not been one single event in Joyce’s bildungsroman that triggered my interest to know more. It’s like reading into the life of someone unknown, to whom I have no connection whatsoever.
There’s one other reason I have such a difficult time enjoying the novel: Continue reading →