The Lunar New Year: (2) Contextuality in media
Remember that post I wrote when I was in a state of fever? I didn’t offer anything new but tried to confirm the murkiness of Code Geass. However, I did try reading about postcolonialism by essays of established critics (as to glean more information on the literary movement where Derek Walcott belongs). I’ve read those essays because I thought those were what was recommended by my professor. However, when I revealed the book to him and asked help from him, he was shocked at me. For one, he noted, even he as a graduate student had difficulty reading those critics; for another, those essays weren’t the ones he wanted me to read. He wanted me to read about the author, not about the theory, which was infinitely more complex.
I wonder what made her breasts SO big …
I procured two books from the library: one was that mentioned above, a selection of essays on postcolonial theory, and the other an explication of colonial and postcolonial theory. A boon (or a bane, it depends on how one looks at it) of mine is that when I have taken the trouble of procuring a book, I always try to spend time reading it. Since I’ve already borrowed the two books a few days ago and read the first one, I tried reading the second one as well (why not?). So I read a chapter of it that was entitled ‘Postcolonialism’ (the one most apt for my studies). While it was infinitely more lucid compared to the serpentine treatises of the former book, it still had a lot of concepts that I was unfamiliar with.
The postcolonial writers were criticized by the author (I’m not omniscient, so do correct me if I’ve made any mistakes) because most of them are exiles of their own land, or have migrated from their own place. They have enjoyed lives of relative ease and comfort, whereas most of their countrymen have suffered and are still suffering. They may have written masterpieces (Salman Rushdie has been nominated more than once for the Nobel Prize), but it remains that they are away from their country (and without its context). Although it can be said that literature speaks to everyone (and to some extent it is true), there are impermeables that are particular and specific only to one country that these writers have not captured because they are not inhabitants there. In a way, they are elites merely writing for other elites. They may serve as mirrors to their own country, but they also break those mirrors in some way by not being there in the first place. They obscure the message they want to transmit because they as writers are themselves somewhat unfamiliar with what they are discussing. (To their defense, the exiled postcolonial writers wrote about the transnationalism of the world, and its ability to communicate from one point to the other. But it still doesn’t change the fact that while they are being celebrated as masters of their art, most of their people are suffering and dealing with poverty as a daily bane.)
I’m actually like these postcolonial writers at times, and it irritates me. While I was talking with Lupus today, I told him that I was planning to write on the mythology of the foxes in Japanese culture as can be found in Kanokon. But doesn’t that obscure the message of the show (which is clearly, clearly evident to anyone): have fun, and enjoy the risquÃ©? I’m not saying I write masterpieces (I know I’m still very deficient as a writer), but it’s sad that at times I forget the context of fun in the search of meaning.
I guess everyone does, also. Sometimes.
P.S. Special thanks go to lolikitsune for teaching me how to create mouse-overs.