Fill in The Blanks

Lady Susan
Jane Austen

Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky | English version translated by Constance Garnett

This Side of Paradise
F. Scott Fitzgerald

It has been a psychological/philosophical/phonetic/melodramatic/realistic/whatever-the-phrase-is week. Been reading a couple of books that reveal few reflections to myself.

Sort of peculiar when I muse why all of them are almost two hundred years old..

Well, that is a silly thing to say anyway. Because any books you read, unbearable or not, certainly will be a mirror to your own self. Whatever the book is, how *old* the story is, however your feeling to the book is. It is still an outcome of your own choice--which, of course, in a different weight and density, still have a reflection of yourself.

So, Moby Dick or Harry Potter, Dubliners, Doraemon; they are. Though I still doubt they could reflect the entire identity of yours. As in there isn't a single way for 'em.

Yet, in some rare times, a certain book, come knocking some things. Some reflections, some facts that you actually already know long ago, but you kept it safe in a silver case somewhere in the corner of your mind.

Most of the time maybe it will be an uncomfortable moment, the turn up of the facts. You can welcome it with a bitter smile and a silent chuckling, or just finish it in silent and throw the book to the wall. The brush, is still in your hand.

What to draw next?


Rumour Rock

Dearest creatures, it's been a while since I say something. Some days behind been quite mumbling too. For doing anything, or reading. Apparently lost in your own thinkings and debating with your own minds can take that many days.

So, a light reading today, bit lighter than usual:

Jerry Oppenheimer and Jack Vitek. 

It's a story about Rock Hudson, and for you young'uns, I'll tell you: he's a famous Hollywood celebrity, a dashing actor, or as the book's subtitle put it: An American Film Hero. If you still sitting there with confused blank faces, go ask your mothers, or grand mothers--it's much interesting than googling.

This book is an old book, my father's actually. He bought it during his couple days' visit to Pittsburgh. I never quite understand why though, knowing that he's not quite a fan of Rock Hudson, nor any of his films--same taste that I shared.

Probably he got the book because back then, talks about Rock Hudson's sexual orientation and the AIDS issues was still strong. It's just couple of months after Rock's death anyway.
Made me wondering is Rock's reputation really came from his works or his death. Note that decades ago AIDS issues and LGBT movement weren't like nowadays, people were just started talking about it.

About the book, from the first page of reading it, feels like I keep being hinted about tragical life of Rock Hudson. But again, this book's published not long after his death. There's a probability that it's not the writing, but because the label of Rock's death that affected my mind while I read.

I won't say this book is a biography though, concerning that I still debating the concept of biography itself. This is more like a history book.
The story of Rock Hudson written by Vitek and Oppenheimer, a tragic story compiled from facts and stories they got from other celebrities and sources. Harshly saying, this book's almost like a Wikipedia article, just with more details.

Yet, it's been a quite long light reading. Rhymed with the hard rain that's been hitting the window. Getting lost in the book tricked my brain to forget some things.
Faded for a while.


Nought Thought

We, human being, are in nature to make conclusion of others on appearance. We do.

Books includes, as in looking at books that other read.
You see someone's bookshelf filled with religion books, then easily thought that this person is a religious one. If it filled with sewing and knitting and cooking books, she's a good housewife. Romance trash novels, I say she's a silly girl. Comic books, a fun laid back guy. Facts books and dictionaries, maybe he can be a good help on filling the crosswords.

Fortunately, because there's always another factors that then paint these conclusions, also means that there's always a major probability that conclusions adapt and change. And in most cases they do change.

Some claimed that judgement based on the books choices is believable than presumption that comes from other factors, physical appearance for example. But the source of it still won't change the fact that it is still a judgement that comes from us: the creature that is always filled with faults.

Conclusions and judgments always have a hole in it, which means, there's always more to it. Which also means this natural 'habit' of ours is one of that helps abolish stories, or create it.

Choices available all the time on how to deal with conclusion, how far would you believe it, how strong would you believe it, how long would you keep it.

Although probably they never really gone from our minds..

♦ ssh, image taken from this site

To Do with The Length

Monday morning, the cloudy sky and the silent house, made me reminiscing how it's been months I've been detached from some sides of the real worlds. I miss Jogja.

Tea and crackers.
I dramatically decided to stop the melancholy, and think; let's have something random to read today. So, after searching randomly in my bags, the one that's been hiding was :

Gerakan Sabuk Hijau - Wangari Maathai. Indonesian version translated by Ilsa Meidina
The Green Belt Movement: Sharing the Approach and the Experience - Wangari Maathai

The book's been hiding quite long. Being light and simple, it's become my bring-along book. Wangari Maathai is an a amazing person, true. The world suffers a great loss with her death. Yes, it is.

And, this book disappoints.

Reading it is like wearing uniform and standing in the heat, listening to the Headmaster's speech, or the Governor's, or the President's, whoever, but still a long speech, about the same old theme. and you're standing in the heat.

The terms and the sentences used in every parts are hardly different. When reading it, felt like I've been staring the same page for hours. Sometimes I was thinking if she really wrote it, or just copying project reports and proposals from her desk. That, and also the way the words compiled into it, made the book very.. two-dimensional, sort of like I'm the wrong reader to read it.

Yet through it all, apart from itself as a book, the contents are great. It's hard to believe to see someone still can be so positive. For decades having the faith struggling for a subject as "simple" as planting trees.
The organization is amazing. If half the people on this earth can have half of their bravery, I guess we'll be alright after all.


Six months ago, when I bought this book, it's because it's one of Wangari Maathai writings. But my biggest mistakes were to realize (and remember) that mainly, the book is about The Green Belt Movement, it is not an autobiographical of Wangari, as I wished to be.

Though I guess, all books, all writings, are an autobiographical. 
In its own ways.


Rights of Ideas

For someone having four blogs, yet barely managing it, creating another one seemed to be part of a true manic episode . It is.

At first, I blame it to Miy, The Picnic Girl simply for bringing up the reading challenge. Though it really is the hormones, heat, October's end, sleepless hours, biscuits and excitements that hold the faults.

November Gong was made mainly because I agreed to the reading challenge, and 140 characters wouldn't be enough for the stories. So my brain, that's in its hyper chamber, suddenly flicked and said, 'well, let's make a blog about it !'.

Ergo, this blog will be mostly about books and readings. And because of the out of the blue tones it has, the nature of names and the titles are useless to be questioned, and also because: I create bad puns.

Hopely, along with times there will be some improvements from the blog, though I can't promise that. I also can't, and won't, promise that I will write everyday. Because, writing is exhausting. It took times. Especially to read.

Thus, the Readers, wherever you are, whatever age you are, whoever you are, if you are even exist:

Enjoy the privilege, because 
what happens in November, stays forever. 


Knock the Wood

and the first morning of The Picnic Girl's Reading Challenge too.

At the very least, I was really excited to enjoy this till the fullest bit. And what made it perfect, the Time seemed like agreeing with me by running extra slow this morning. Books in hand, high in sugar and caffeine, dreamy hot windy weather, begin it is. Ahh..

But of course, something happened, as it always does: I didn't realized my aunts come visiting.
And a surprise visit like this means: Foods! Snacks!
and.... Kids. tons of it.

Looks like it's not gonna be a quiet Friday.

Yet, thanks to ice creams and the technology, my reactions to these ambiguously lovely little creatures were seemed to be over dramatic, as it always be.

So between screams, tears, and extreme curiosities to chickens and fires, there's still some times to read:

or, rather I say: re-read, because technically, I already finished the book four days ago.

It did mesmerized me, and I chose to read it again, this time focusing on the 'other' stories; Kotick The White Seal, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi the mongoose, etc. . Because last time, stuffs distracted me when reading the Jungle Book. And also distracted me to really recognizing the true tone of the tales.

Not until now, after hours, I really realized how I have missed a lot of things. This Kipling masterpiece is not just a paw-paw, it got some prickly prick inside it too. Sure, the dark sinister twists of Mowgli stories I already understand from the four days ago. But the Shere Khan finale, the Sea Catch fights, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi story, they put the word Evolutionary Theory to my head.

Then the very same head also highlighted another words; Imperialism, Segregation, Domestic Violence... all the words that, in standards of the "Society", are not really for children. The Jungle Book is a book of tales for sure, but I don't think I'll put the same book to the Children Books genre.

I cringed at the first time, but more so when I started to question my head for thinking it. This conservative thought surprised me. Rudyard Kipling is not the first, and certainly not the ones about dark tones in tales.
Remembers the Brothers Grimm.

This thought, putting standards and rules the "Society" possessed; it forgot the fact that our civilizations have changed. Our civilizations are old.
I am old.
This also old brain also contained some bits of cultural historical political studies. and probably that's what made my head probing about the words and the thought.

So my head shook it all up.
The words are boring.
The thoughts are exhausting.
And thinking about it all the time certainly stopping me to enjoy reading the book.

Though the truth, exhausting and boring as they are, the words and the thoughts isn't gone. I'll be telling lies if I said I'm not interested on it.
The topic about lines between Children books and Tales and Cultures, it's a very dense one. I can talk long hours from it, in fact, I do have some stories from it.

Yet dearest readers, maybe that would be writings for another time. Because right now, they're still other heaps of books that I have to finish read enjoy.

There's train to catch!


November Ripple

Oscar Wilde

“It is what you read when you don't have to that determines 
what you will be when you can't help it.”

~ Oscar Wilde ~