Clearing things up: why I’m writing about literature in a supposedly anime blog, passions, and history
I thought that I had already resolved this issue with my writing in the past, but a close friend of mine had asked me why I wrote about literature so much. I also believe I have alienated some people with regard to my writing style, use of rhetoric, or some idiosyncrasy of mine, so I will try to set things straight (although I doubt I can change how I write at all). It still helps to clear things up. I believe that in this post a quasi-Wittgenstein approach is apt, so without further ado, I will begin.
I. Unlike Daniel, my major has never been literature. It is Biology, and somehow I am expected by my parents to proceed into medicine. If that remains unclear, please check out my (unupdated) about page. I was precocious as a child with regard to reading, and so my parents (particularly my father) kept feeding me with words to play with; in addition, my father coerced me to start reading short stories and novels at a very early age. (I read 40 of the 52 initial Hardy Boys stories when I was still eight. By nine I started reading Poe [ask my father why he wanted me to read him].) I developed a love towards the English language (I suck at speaking and writing in Filipino, and I barely know Chinese). My love for novels grew more and more as I discovered more and more novels (and how perverse these thinkers were!).
II. This fondness, love, or mania (whatever one would like to call it), was trampled upon by necessity. To gain access to an excellent high school, I had to direct my energies to sciences instead of literature (in the Philippines, the high school is Philippine Science High School). It was already an honor if one got accepted in any of the campuses, because the screenings were very rigid. There is an interview in addition to two screenings: there is an average of 13000 applicants every year (for one campus), and only 90 are admitted. Of course, with the small number of students the teachers do not have a hard time. In addition to that, the curriculum was made so that even without intense studying in university the students could still excel (or at the very least pass) until college’s sophomore year. (Of course we had to study to death while we were in high school.)
III. While tuition and matriculation fees are free in Pisay (as alumnae and students fervently call it), there are conditions to be met by the student. Of course, no one should fail; everyone should finish the four years; and, most importantly, the courses that one can get in college need to be steeped in science or engineering. In short, there were no A.B. courses allowed, only B.S. (bullshit?) ones. My parents already chose B.S. Biology for me (HAHAHA), and I acceded, being an obsequious son.
IV. Of course, I did not have much to do with literature. After all, I was in Biology. We had to dissect cats, and not why Joyce wanted to forge in the smithy of his soul the uncreated conscience of his race. We had to know where the humerus was (I forgot, don’t ask me. I’ll be more serious in medical school, I think.) I started this blog as some sort of juxtaposition of my two loves and passions: anime and literature, but more broadly as a juxtaposition of media that appeal to me. It is because I believe that anime is only one medium out of the many there exist, so unlike most bloggers I do not place anime on a pedestal and dissect it exclusively. Literature is a medium, and so is anime.
V. This is the reason why there are literary allusions to my post. Since I recently discovered I really didn’t give much of a damn about Biology, I just read more and more novels rather than becoming neurasthenic, as in the past; I also didn’t watch as much anime because I don’t see much in most new ones. Even though I don’t talk about them (the recent ones, anyway) I did try to watch every single episode of this new season’s series. (I’m currently stuck at three. [I have a lot more series saved on my PC, but I still have to rewatch Code Geass before I start with the new series and finish Strawberry Panic, La Corda D’Oro, and Maria-sama ga Miteru. I am watching the latter three because I want to be holistic in my anime watching. Don’t worry, I will try an episode of Junjou Romantica later on. I won’t write about that, though.]) Anyway, I’m reading quite volubly these past few weeks because I’ve had time and some novels are required.
VI. I also just want to converse with people regarding my two passions. Believe it or not, in our country no one reads nowadays. They would rather watch the Philippine version of Big Brother or sleep. At least, that’s what I’ve observed with a lot of people. Reading has been so out of fashion lately, and it doesn’t help that the bookstores sell these books exorbitantly. I treasure all the comments that people post, especially those that have even just a little semblance of understanding what I am writing about. Curse me about Joyce! Hell yeah!
VII. I’ve read on what I’ve written about. Those who say that I have not either haven’t read the novels that I have written about, or are full of braggadocio. I have read totally or at the very least partially all the novels I have discussed. I may not be as creditable or as qualified as Daniel or Higevs, but I assure you I’m not writing bullshit.
VIII. If you have any qualms with what I am writing, please post comments. I welcome disagreement as that foments discussion. If you have any suggestions on novels you want to juxtapose with anime, e-mail me! I’m perpetually looking for good novels to read, even with my current backlog.
IX. [For the Wittgenstein comment, Wittgenstein only published one book-length work in his life, and that was the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. It had bullets that progressed logically (as I hope mine did).]
X. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu. 😀
P.S. Close friend, if you’ve read this, here you go! 🙂