Holden Caulfield’s New York

March 1, 2013 § 3 Comments

Salinger.Avati.Catcher.In.The.Rye

Every time I pass a frozen pond and ducks I can’t help but wonder what do the ducks do in cold freezing winters. And then I read Catcher In The Rye. Holden Caulfield wonders the same I found out.

After years of somehow missing out on reading it I bought Catcher In The Rye off of amazon. I know I am repeating myself but did you know… USED BOOKS COST LIKE HALF OF KINDLE/NEW BOOKS . Its crazy. I got three books in twenty dollars. Does anyone else get a kick out of book ownership? I definitely do. My book owning joy = having a new car. I open the book, smell it, always face a dilemma as to where to put my name – the utterly blank first page or the page with the title and almost always decide on the latter.

SO, while reading Caulfield’s journey Trenton to Manhattan I couldn’t help but gasp in surprise and delight as I thought I have been here – all these places he is talking about. Unfortunately no one was around or I would have blabbered jumping up and down about it. But it was a delight to read about the places in 1951. Comparing the views we see now to those in Salinger’s book one can’t help but wonder how time passes changing things and yet keeping them static in a grander version. These places are key to Holden’s journey. They set the mood and the environment for his monologue. The pond in central park, Phoebe’s carousel, the Penn station, the Rockefeller plaza (!) , the train journey…

How we put grand projections on inanimate things! Just because it has a history or a context other than ours, just because it’s in someone’s story , fictional or otherwise ; makes it special. But then why not! Why not indulge in romantic grandeur and escapism if it makes you squeal in delight!

And we are back to ducks… and I found a really nice video and also an article you would like.

http://mrbellersneighborhood.com/2010/01/holdens-new-york

DO, DO read the book. It is delightful and different. More like a stream of consciousness monologue… an interesting read.

 

 

Quote tuesday

October 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.
-Albert Camus

Zadie Smith gives her list of ten rules of writing.

October 8, 2012 § 3 Comments

Zadie Smith gives her list of ten rules of writing. Via Brain Pickings. (thank you for the wonderful content you publish Maria Popova.it is very enriching!)

  1. When still a child, make sure you read a lot of books. Spend more time doing this than anything else.
  2. When an adult, try to read your own work as a stranger would read it, or even better, as an enemy would.
  3. Don’t romanticise your ‘vocation’. You can either write good sentences or you can’t. There is no ‘writer’s lifestyle’. All that matters is what you leave on the page.
  4. Avoid your weaknesses. But do this without telling yourself that the things you can’t do aren’t worth doing. Don’t mask self-doubt with contempt.
  5. Leave a decent space of time between writing something and editing it.
  6. Avoid cliques, gangs, groups. The presence of a crowd won’t make your writing any better than it is.
  7. Work on a computer that is disconnected from the ­internet.
  8. Protect the time and space in which you write. Keep everybody away from it, even the people who are most important to you.
  9. Don’t confuse honours with achievement.
  10. Tell the truth through whichever veil comes to hand — but tell it. Resign yourself to the lifelong sadness that comes from never ­being satisfied.

Oscar Wilde’s – The Preface to The Picture Of Dorian Grey.

October 2, 2012 § 2 Comments

I was 17 when I read The Picture of Dorian Grey. Till then I had paid little attention to the prefaces of books I read. With an exception to Somerset Maugham’s ‘Theatre’ , I would simply skim through and flip over the prefaces. When I saw this one, I realized how important prefaces are… even though the author has said everything he wants to say in the book, the preface adds that little touch, a tinge of the person behind the book. Now I always read the preface before I start. Next time I will post Maugham’s preface to ‘Theatre’.

Preface

The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal the artist is art’s aim. The critic is he who can translate into another manner or a new material his impression of beautiful things.
The highest as the lowest form of criticism is a mode of autobiography.

Those who find ugly meanings in beautiful things are corrupt without being charming. This is a fault.

Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are the cultivated. For these there is hope. They are the elect to whom beautiful things mean only beauty.

There is no such thing as a moral or an immoral book. Books are well written, or badly written. That is all.

The nineteenth century dislike of realism is the rage of Caliban seeing his own face in a glass.

The nineteenth century dislike of romanticism is the rage of Caliban not seeing his own face in a glass.

The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium.

No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.

No artist has ethical sympathies. An ethical sympathy in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style.

No artist is ever morbid. The artist can express everything. Thought and language are to the artist instruments of an art. Vice and virtue are to the artist materials for an art.

From the point of view of form, the type of all the arts is the art of the musician. From the point of view of feeling, the actor’s craft is the type.

All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.

Diversity of opinion about a work of art shows that the work is new, complex, and vital. When critics disagree, the artist is in accord with himself.

We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely.

All art is quite useless.

— OSCAR WILDE

Aaaah… isn’t he brilliant!  

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