Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Frankenstein or the Modern Promethus- Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley wrote this when she was 19 in a sorta competition borne out of boredom with friends - Lord Byron and co. Each of them was to write a supernatural story. Shelley turned their little game into a renowned sci-fic novel, which is still widely read today.
The story was first told through Walton, who was on an exploration journey to Antartica, via letters to his sister, Margaret. When Walton rescued Victor Frankenstein from the icy seas, the tale of the creation of the monster was told through Frankenstein. 
The beginning of the book was quite interesting but it does feel a little lazy at times, eg. The brushing off of the details of how life could be breathed into inanimate objects by having Frankenstein say that one should not be privy to such knowledge. Understandably so however, as it would probably make the story a tad too complex. I do feel though that there were quite a far bit of loopholes present throughout the story, eg how it was possible for the Monster to travel from country to country without being seen, how he could acquire language and knowledge just by observing from afar a family's interactions (how he was able to see their reading materials from outside of the house seemed a little far-fetched but never mind), etc. 
I also didn't like how the monster/creation just kept whining on and on about how desolate he was; It stretched the story unnecessarily. 
The development of the story at the end seemed a little amateurish, with monster plotting to murder Frankenstein's loved ones. I couldn't quite fathom how Frankenstein didn't realize that the monster was after Elizabeth and not him, especially after the murders of his brother and best friend. 
I scratched my head a little at the part when upon learning of Frankenstein's death, the monster was sorrowful and decided to destroy himself. He had told Frankenstein how much he abhorred him and wanted to make his life miserable. 
Yet, he grieved at Frankenstein's deathbed. However after a while, I sort of realized that he had found his meaning in life in Frankenstein, his creator. The monster was desolated, all alone in the world, and in a way, Frankenstein was his only "friend"/ link to the human world. With Frankenstein alive, he had a purpose-to destroy his loved ones, when Frankenstein died, the monster had nothing else to live for either and so had chosen to self-destruct. 
I think I can only give this book 6.5/10.
Mid may 2016

We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.

[…]

There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold. And what can life be worth if the first rehearsal for life is life itself? That is why life is always like a sketch. No, “sketch” is not quite the word, because a sketch is an outline of something, the groundwork for a picture, whereas the sketch that is our life is a sketch for nothing, an outline with no picture.

Mila Kundera's unbearable lightness of being 


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Writing




Didn't realize I'd spent an hour just writing out verses. It gets kinda addictive once you start writing. Spencerian script is one of my favorites so far but quite impractical since the capital letters take up a lot of space with its flourishes. Round hand scripts although much more practical, just lacks that bit of spunk. I've taken to watching videos of people writing and I'm not sure why I found it quite entertaining to watch the letters form. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

There are days when the heart feels wicked,
And too weary to care.
In one's countenance,
One sees only despair.
All these weight on one's shoulder 
Sometimes it is just too much to bear.
I tried to see with unbroken eyes 
But was caught in a snare.
Asleep, awaken,
I found myself in the lion's lair.
He numbered my days
And counted the strands of my hair.
The days have ended
And I was laid bare.
My anguish, my tears, and sins
No longer forbear.
There is a truth he said 
That we all share. 
We are bind forever,
If we only dare,
To and in his love. 



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The adventures of huckleberry Finn-mark twain

Took a little break from reading. Was deciding between Jonathan Franz's book and this, and finally chose this as it is such a well-known book and I've not gotten down to reading it. Upon reading it, I realized I might have enjoyed this a little more if I had read it in my teenage years. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a sequel to adventures of Tom Sawyer and in this book, we got a whiff that in the prequel, tom and huckleberry had acquired 6000 dollars. 
The beginning of the book was interesting but it got a little boring in the middle and then it started to get funny and interesting again at the end. Finn was a 12/13 year old boy who hated school and smoked pipes, and because of his no-good father, decided to run away by staging his own murder. During his run-away he met another run-away -a slave (Jim) of Ms Watson who had treated him kindly but whom he bore a little sense of resentment towards. So it was that Finn and Jim struck an unlikely friendship and with Finn determined to set Jim free from slavery. They got separated on one occasion when they went overboard after a steamboat came too close to their raft. Finn stayed with a wealthy and kind family who were enbroiled in a feud with another family. The family members were mostly killed but Jim and Finn were then reunited. Finn almost gave Jim up as he felt guilty for helping a slave escape but a sentence from Jim saying that Finn was his best friend in the world, prevented him from doing so. They continued on their journey along the Mississippi River to a state (I forgot where) where Jim could be free. They then met two frauds who pretended to be a duke and a king. Although Finn realized they were not who they claimed to be, he continued to act as their servant. The frauds were finally exposed when they posed as brothers of a man who had left behind a fortune. The part I loved most was when Finn came to Aunt Sally's (Tom Sawyer's aunt) home and posed as Tom. Alas, Tom came and after being briefed by Finn about what had transpired, tom posed as his own brother, Sid. There, they tried to free Jim who had been held captive by Aunt Sally's family, in the most ridiculous way. Tom Sawyer refused the easy way to get Jim out of captive and made an elaborate plan(from books he read) such as digging through the ground with knives, planting snakes, rats, and spiders in Jim's cell, hiding rope ladder in a pie and have it sent to Jim, etc. Jim lamented that it was hard being a prisoner because of these things that Sawyer insisted that he did, as this was what prison break was all about. I thought this part was really funny and tom's imaginative and adventure-seeking character really shone through in this episode. During the escape, Sawyer was shot in the leg by a gun and instead of feeling miserable, he was exuberated that he had acquired a gunshot wound. However, his condition deteriorated and Finn had to call upon a doctor (Sawyer again came up with an elaborate plan to bring the doctor). Jim was recaptured when he helped the doctor attend to Sawyer. Jim was finally released when Aunty Polly appeared and revealed that Ms Watson had left in her will that Jim shall be a free slave upon her death. his escape was thus redundant but had offered Tom Sawyer a wild adventure: not so much for Finn as he had just went along with whatever tom wanted. 

I'm not totally in love with the book and think it suits a younger audience. It was an entertaining read nonetheless.

2/5 - 9/5/2016

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bright star- John Keats

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art-- 
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night 
And watching, with eternal lids apart, 
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite, 
The moving waters at their priestlike task 
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores, 
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask 
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors-- 
No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable, 
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast, 
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell, 
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest, 
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath, 
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Why we can't remember what we read

http://bookriot.com/2016/05/04/read-cant-remember/

Exact sentiments...
It's funny how little I remember of a book even when I have just turned the last page. This is also one of the reasons why I decided to do a book review, to try to recall what I can... But most of the time, I end up writing more about how I feel about the book rather than giving a recount as it is a much easier task to do.