A time to speak

I’m not really on hiatus; so to confirm that I am not, here’s an update. Be warned, however, that it would be mostly about books and partly about anime – the only anime episodes I have watched since arriving here in my home city were the first two episodes of Tokimeki Memorial ~ Only Love. Since this is primarily an anime blog, let me start from there.

Tokimeki is really just your average harem anime. There’s nothing really special, except maybe perhaps Aoba isn’t really a loser compared to most male protagonists of harem anime. In addition, the girls also are drawn pretty well; I am also attracted to its animation and art which look shiny and clean. I love how Aoba slowly plods to getting the almost perfect girl, Amamiya, and despite its cliched storyline and it belonging to a genre that’s overpopulated with mediocrity, I couldn’t help but laugh at the misadventures of Aoba while getting to know his classmates and the girls that he’s either interested in, or are interested in him. You can’t ask for classic anime like Cowboy Bebop or Tsukihime all the time, but you can enjoy dwelling and watching mediocre anime, which I do.

All the same, I’m quite besotted with Tokimeki, and this anime adds to my ever growing list of fall anime to watch.

I wish I could watch more anime, and I’m really desperate for more, but I guess it will have to wait until I get back to my dormitory. Besides, I now have a DVD burner (~yay!) so it would be easier for me to watch more series at one time.

* * *

In this short break before the second semester, I guess I did a lot more than just watch anime: I managed to use my time somewhat wisely – in a little more than a week I’ve read three books, two good, one copacetic (I guess), and since the copacetic one was the one I read most recently, here’s a write-up of mine on it. Its title is A Time to Speak.

Instead of continuing with Snow Falling on Cedars, I decided to start (and just recently finished) another book entitled A Time to Speak by Edward St John. Since I bought it out of impulse (i.e. I bought it because the cover page of the book was aesthetically appealing to me), I read through it as quickly as I could – I knew that the content of the book wasn’t as voluble or visceral as the classics that I often read – and I was correct in this assumption.

It was a decent book. It somewhat hinted to me the political climate of Australia in the late 1960s (which was tumultuous), and narrated notable historic occurrences of that time (an example would be the sinking of HMAS Voyager, or the development of the F-111). However, as I saw it, it was mainly propagandist material and the author’s defense of himself. The book, as well as the topic St John discussed was temporal and topical: from the perspective of a young adult in the year 2006, his novel was self-centered, shallow, banal and basically worthless – though I must say, I learned quite a few things from that narrative of his. I learned new words like shibboleth, percipient, contumely, animadversions, etc. It was somewhat a quasi-historical document, so I was somewhat partly informed about Australia’s history. Ultimately, however, the author seemed full of himself (this ‘virtue’ is needed when one desires to win an election or be a politician), but it was good to know who the PM of Australia was at that time: when someone asks me (most probably tangentially) who the PM of Australia was in 1969, I could say that it was John Gorton.

It is a book I wouldn’t recommend unless one is an Australian OR immensely interested in its history; even Microsoft Encarta (the popular electronic encylopedia) didn’t have any articles on Mr. Gorton or Mr. St John, or of the multitude of names that he had mentioned in that book. I do thoroughly suggest reading For Whom the Bell Tolls, however – now that was a great book.

I originally planned to post this on the AS Forums, but I decided that it wasn’t the place for this. And really, do get your hands on For Whom the Bell Tolls – it’s a great book. :)


3 Responses to “A time to speak”

  1. Lupus Says:

    A book by Hemingway? I was bored witless by ‘Old Man and the Sea’, so thanks, but no thanks.

    By the way, Australian history is boring and useless. I don’t know who John Gorton is, and I was forced to study Australian history for four years in my high school. The only ones who cares are the people who revel in the glory of their past like this St. John fellow and historians. Even then, the 60s wasn’t exactly the most important time in Australia’s recent history.

  2. Ryan A Says:

    I had to do a critical essay on Hemingway, but I believe I have ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’ in a box somewhere. I once bought a book from the cover, it was Norse Mythology, but turns out it was one big critical evaluation of the myths… I didn’t read it. :/

    Tokimeki is pretty insane, I thought the randomness would cool down after episode 3, but episode 4 was outrageous.

  3. Michael Says:

    Do not worry, Lupus – I wrote an article yesterday which is to be my next post – if you can wait, in time, I will post that – and you’ll see that I’m just as acerbic towards this MP as you are (from what I can perceive). I couldn’t post it because I wrote it in my laptop and I do not have a USB flash disk to transfer that document to where I can post it (i.e. in an Internet cafe) – I have to wait until Sunday where I can upload it with my Internet connection in my dormitory as I’ll be going back to Manila to prepare for the second semester.
    As for your issue with Hemingway, I can understand because that has been the main qualm by readers unaccustomed to his terse and salient writing style – to them it has been a tedium just plodding through the book. He was significant in the realm of literature, however, because he rushed in an era of a Japanese-like writing style: brief, simple (in terms of word use and dialogue), reticent and yet highly complex. Before him it had been prolix and lengthy novels that were even more boring (in my opinion) compared to Hemingway’s works. (Vanity Fair comes to my mind.)
    If the book has not misled me, John Gorton was the Prime Minister of Australia after Harold Holt passed away. His office was from 1968 – 1971. I do remember that the more important years in Australia were in the Menzies era (another Prime Minister, right?) Searching Google didn’t even yield any results for this St. John fellow – but so as not to preempt my next post, I’d speak no further about this matter. 😀
    As for you, Ryan, yes, Tokimeki is quite insane, but since it’s done all in good fun, who cares? I buy books based on their cover once in a while to counteract my book snobbery – as I only read classical literature most of the time. This adds spice to my book reading, but sad to say, it didn’t that time around. Care to discuss For Whom the Bell Tolls with me? 😀

Leave a Reply