Wednesday, 25 July 2012

On Reading aka With Apologies to Stephen King (again!)

I have this habit of re-reading books I really love countless number of times, and apparently this “behavior” seemed weird to others.

If by chance you are ever in my humble home’s humble makeshift library, these books are recognized by their “kusam” (Malay for “in shreds” or something thereabouts) look.

Some notable titles include Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, Frank Miller’s Dark Knight returns, Leon Uris Mila 18, Robert J Shea’s Shike and Jonathan Lynn Antony Jay’s Yes Minister.

There are others, of course, but the above are those that pops easily to mind.

Of late, the pressures work and family has disallowed me this favoured pastime, but off and on, I’ll still slip short reads of often well-remembered paragraphs and pages.

The titles are in particular order of preference really, but if pushed, I would place Yes Minister top ranked followed by Dark Knight Returns a close second.

Both Mila 18 and Shike is part historical part fiction; that is if you buy into the authors’ depiction of events as plotted out in the two titles.

Note the oddity of the pseudo-academic On Writing: A Memoir amongst fictions.

On Writing is very fiction-like in its readability, even the ‘teaching” parts.

The book is actually part biography but it is a still “a page turner”, as blurbs on novels usually put it.

Writers have very distinctively styles that mark them out and thus not easy to replicate.

King puts it as life and people experience; providing examples of dialogues from other authors for comparison.

He talks about passive sentences:” They were unceremoniously ushered out of the hotel room” as opposed to “the Hotel kicked them out”. (MY example)

It is something I’m fully guilty of in my own writings which according to King, originates from timidity.

In writing. Imagine that.

Anyway, I read this following article in the New York Times which provides for some good illustrations in a different kind of writing attitude: pomposity.
I have to reiterate of being guilty of similar offences in my own pieces.

Pompous, eh?
Dark Knight, nuff said!

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