Who would’ve thought a friend I met at English Corner @ UCI a year ago would one day come all the way from his city to take me to visit Taipei? (And finally ending my everlasting quest to find ‘Mrs. Dalloway’ in Taiwan). #taipei #keelung #taiwan
One day you’ll Wake up and realize
that all those times you spent -
you spent in vain.
Perhaps you’ll lost Years
But once you come to that realization
that you toiled in vanity,
maybe then it will no longer be in vain.
tea&novel pt2: “The Little Prince” is one of my favorite childhood book. I re-read it twice this week! “It is the time you have wasted with your rose that makes your rose so important.” #thelittleprince #taiwan #keelung
I suppose when you’re done with school is when you can finally read for pleasure. What more appropriate way is there to begin your post-graduate reading endeavors than with the coming-of-age tale that follows Art Bechstein’s summer after college. And what a pleasurable book! Michael Chabon’s first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, which he began writing when he was 21, and eventually submitted as his master’s thesis at UC Irvine (zot zot), has been hailed to be in the ranks of The Great Gatsby. Like Gatsby, and possibly like all great literature, it evokes a sense of nostalgia as if you had once, a long time ago, lived the novel - in this case, in the terrible, charming city of Pittsburgh. The writing is elaborate, lavished with metaphors, and the characters are exquisitely flawed; you root for them because you identify with their fragile human yearnings - acceptance from others (yet retaining the ability to self-sustain), uncontrolled freedom, and lots of sex. Chabon crafts a balanced plot. There will be times when your heart aches for the youngsters who are all trying to figure out what they’re suppose to figure out, and perhaps that is to deal with the question of how to cross the imminent bridge from youth to adulthood while not losing the magic of youth, the delicacy of hope, and most importantly, each other. Hint: they don’t quite get there.
Like most people at this particular stage in life, the protagonist is forced to make a series of life-altering choices. His particular dilemmas include: to dutifully be his gangster father’s only son or to rebelliously be one of Cleveland’s only friends? to embrace Phlox’s heterosexual love or to entwine within Arthur’s (his namesake) homosexual love? (Is there even a difference? The novel claims there is.) to stay in his established relationship or to tamper with the established by engaging in a secret affair? Eventually Art has to decide; his very identity is at stake. These decisions are subtly avoided until inevitable confrontations, such as this tender one:
"I don’t know what I’m like anymore," I said. "I do dumb things." (Art)
"Don’t ask me to choose. Please." (Art)
"I won’t," he said, shortly, as though it cost him some effort. "Just don’t leave me." (Arthur)
But what choice is there when none of the choices seem right?
Next up, I’ll be reading The Hours by Michael Cunningham.
I think it’d be wonderful writing eulogies for a living.
You can write with overly flowery language and
blatantly exaggerate someone’s unnatural goodness
and it’s entirely acceptable.
I wonder as I wander out under the sky…
|—||Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson|
One of my favorite scenes — Great Expectations (1998)
Finn: You know what this is? It’s my heart and it’s broken.
I’ve had, for the past few days, acupuncture done by, who I’m convinced to be, a slightly sadist doctor. He always assures that “we’ll take the needles out in five minutes”, but he really just comes back to where I’m sitting every five minutes and tries to test my limit by slowly pushing the needles further and further in. As he carefully watches my face to detect signs of pain (I don’t reveal too much because I don’t want to admit defeat), he chirps - and I KNOW HE TAKES PLEASURE IN CHIRPING - ”Does it hurt? Does it hurt? Does it hurt? Does it hurt now?”
YES YOU’RE DRILLING NEEDLES INTO MY HANDS. YOU’RE HURTING ME. HOW IS THIS NOT SUPPOSE TO HURT.
but I’m still paying you to do this.