Seriously, now to get back to anime …

I think I know a good deal about physical suffering. But this is the worst of all, to feel your soul dying. -Malcolm Lowry

I didn’t like Under the Volcano as much as other casual readers or critics did. But with a line like that, I could recognize its status as a classic of 20th century literature.


The novel used very high diction: while I only had one trip to the dictionary with Absalom, Absalom!, I had about ten with this novel. I also used online translators prodigiously because of the novel’s multilingual nature: in addition to English, it had sentences or phrases of Spanish, French, Italian, German, Latin, and Greek. While this may pique the interest of polyglots, the processes of translation was a chore to me: some parts did contribute to the understanding of the novel, but some only served to paint a more complete picture of the current scene. I also didn’t enjoy the frustrating debacle which was the protagonist himself. He was a hero of consciousness: he decided not to act for the entire novel, even until his death. For me as a reader, however, he was very vexing.

The synopsis of the novel was very inviting: a day in the life and death of Geoffrey Firmin, a dipsomaniac ex-consul is portrayed while being juxtaposed with the Day of the Dead in Mexico (El Dia de los Muertos). The novel’s prose was poetic, colorful, and allusive, but it was too tiring for me: in the end, in addition to being informed and inundated with knowledge I also want to be entertained.

Absalom, Absalom! was better in regard to its prose and its style: the labyrinthine structure of the novel, while difficult, unfolded in such a beautiful manner that at its very end its structure was justified. Under the Volcano, however, just did not resonate within me. While there were passages of scintillation, the novel by its end was just too lengthy. Other people may disagree, though.

I think (to not use Ergo Proxy too much)the novel is like Serial Experiments Lain. Lain was brilliant, even at times, but at its end it just felt too long for me. That’s just me, of course.

(My more literary friends called me mad for trying to read these novels. I had actually tried reading both these novels once, but I dropped them because I didn’t have time and I couldn’t concentrate much anyway, what with school and all. I decided on my flight that the moment I got back to Davao I was going to finish this backlog of two novels and thus estranged myself from any anime. You can call it masochism, but I call it dealing with a backlog.)

Now to get back to anime.

18 Responses to “Seriously, now to get back to anime …”

  1. IKnight Says:

    Get thee to a punnery.

  2. Michael Says:

    I *just* knew you were going to same something like that. D:

  3. Lelangir Says:

    You said like a week ago you’d comment on my afro samurai post after you finished Absalom!

  4. Michael Says:

    Wait, did I? Fucccck.

    EDIT: I’m reading it now. 😀

  5. supergothgirl Says:

    SOOO……….Technically u read it.U do lurv anime do you??Anyway this is my first reply.Since i cant create one of this on my own.>.< can u help me??

  6. Michael Says:


    You can get an account over at, I think.

  7. lolikitsune Says:

    Lain? Brilliant?

    I thought we danced this dance before…

  8. Joey Says:

    Thanks ungly ewww

  9. Hige Says:

    Haha. You, sir, are a barefaced liar. Good thing I enjoy reading your lit posts as much as anything else. :3

  10. Michael Says:


    I mean I’m not going to post just solely about literature in the following posts. Thanks, still. 😀




    Um, aspects of it were still brilliant, you know.



  11. barosl Says:

    It’s interesting that the novel is like Lain. I also watched the anime, and found it crazy. It really makes me scary. lol

  12. Ryan A Says:

    So the “get thee to a nunnery” on first post is like inaugural now lol.

    I get what you mean though, it is like the Kung Fun which wastes too much “wushu” (time+energy, too busy). Things can be simple and pretty, complex and beautiful, but these combinations can be found at ends with each other.

    I find it similar to the metaphysics which explores the difference between the eye of a picture vs the eye of my body vs the eye of the mind, a fuzzy definition at best…. and as we know, fuzzy definitions can be the DOOM, just look at fuzzy latitude and longitude when dealing with rocket fire. ^^

    Experience may not produce emotion if the whole idea is not consumed. hmmm

  13. Michael Says:


    ‘Experience may not produce emotion if the whole idea is not consumed.’

    This is a wonderful saying, Ryan! Wow.

    I don’t know with the Hamlet saying as anointment to my posts, but it is irritating spending time and trying to dig into the text as deep as one can only to find it unmoving by its end. Fuzzy definitions suck if the execution is not well-done (per your saying), but if they induce thinking and inspiration, why not?

    Thanks. I’ve been looking for a reply like that, I appreciate it. 😀


    I wasn’t scared, but Lain really was brilliant at times. Unlike what lolikit says.

  14. Baka-Raptor Says:

    @IKnight: Thanks, now I need to find a new catch phrase.

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