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Friday, May 30, 2008

reading and writing

I am concurrently reading Lolita and The Night Watch at the moment. One is about a paedophile and the other a lesbian novel. But both are nicely written, beautiful prose, even if I cannot really relate to the subject matters. Language always gets to me this way.

I love sociological novels as well; the ethos of a time, the subculture within a cosmopolitan city. Hence I love Hanif Kureishi, DH Lawrence, and even (well-written) chick-lit.

My own writing of a book is still in its stop-start mode. Using myself as a muse hardly qualifies, and it is in fact rather irritating because I am such a perfectionist. I think about reading perfectly even before I write the words. Plus I am lousy at fiction. I could probably dig my own blog for material but even that is too tedious for my current state of energy-laziness. I think about my book(s) from a marketer's point of view (occupational hazard?) and the words cease after a while.

I think about my favourite artists like Joan Miro, Jackson Pollock, and I think about their lyrical, meditative artistic process. I want to translate that into literary art. Each one of Miro's and Pollock's artwork is a perfect poem.

Maybe I should interlace my poems in chronological order with the entries from my notebooks and blog. But that is more editorial tedium than writing in itself.

Reading more doesn't really seem to help very much, it has diminishing returns, and seems to not benefit my writing unless I really start to write and write.

I think about writer's desks in rooms or beautiful flats, and I wish I could really write like one like that. Emily Dickinson wrote in a room that she lived in most of the time, an attic of sorts. I want to be like that - lock myself up and write, and think of writing the moment I put the key in my door to enter.

And who would read my books? Local books are hardly the toast of the town, even if Asian writers in general are rather toasty. However I am no Banana Yoshimoto or Haruki Murakami; I am Singaporean. I am more inclined to buy a locally published book out of sympathy and support, just like how I support local films.

Thus, somewhat of a stalemate. Bah.