i am so not dead yet

I have been writing about literature and not about anime in my previous posts; I thus decided not to write anything unless I watched an episode of anime. Life hasn’t been lenient on me, however: as my close online friends know, I have had to fix my parent’s PCs (I’m pretty versed in the removal of spyware), and that has eaten up a considerable amount of my vacation time: I was not able to watch any anime because of those responsibilities.

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Because we’re all hot for genderbent Tieria

What happened

I was able to read a lot, however: one must have a considerable amount of patience when one fixes computers, and instead of just staring blankly into space while virus scans or installations completed I decided to spend time reading books and novels. I could not watch anime primarily because there are some instances that require immediate responses. I could do that while reading a novel, but not while watching anime: anime series are more engrossing than most novels because they don’t require one to cerebrate as much. In fact, one could turn off his brain in most anime series: this produces a lag of response, and sometimes these responses (especially those that restart the PC after some time) are critical to the health of one’s computer that one can’t take them lightly.

So I’ve read a lot of books, especially in the final days of my stay in Davao, because I had to resolve all our computers’ problems before I got back here in Manila. I read Milton’s Samson Agonistes, Scientific American’s The New Astronomy, S.R. Martin’s Buzz (Insomniacs series), Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Jealousy, and most recently John Kennedy Toole’s The Neon Bible, in the past three days.

I have no one to talk to regarding these things, so I’ll just act as quasi-reviewer for these works.

Samson Agonistes was most definitely Miltonian, and if one is fond of 17th century literature (like Daniel most probably is), one will enjoy this closet drama. The drama is just a retelling of what happened to Samson after his hair was cut off and he was blinded by the Philistines. Nothing really happens much, but it’s an OK read as I enjoyed it more than I expect I would.

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Samson is GAR

I read The New Astronomy because it had a violet cover, and I’m fond of judging books from their covers at times because they allow me diversions: I often read stuff I usually wouldn’t, and this makes my reading experience more unique rather than just permanently sticking to classics. It’s a dated book (it was published in 1953), but I still learned much about astronomy. The same was with Buzz: because it had a cute violet cover, I decided to read it. It was OK for a grade-school novel.

I decided to read Alain Robbe-Grillet next because he was the pioneer of the nouveau roman genre. Since I couldn’t find any novels by Claude Simon (1985 Nobel laureate), I decided to try the work of the genre’s pioneer. The novel was in itself all right, but it wasn’t really groundbreaking or anything. Jealousy is a plotless novel: there are objective descriptions, and they are obsessively repeated, and the narrator is suggestive of his jealousy of A… (probably his wife). It wasn’t impressive as I thought it should be, so I passed on Robbe-Grillet’s In the Labyrinth and decided to proceed with John Kennedy Toole’s The Neon Bible.

The Neon Bible is the best among the recent books I have mentioned solely because in its simple descriptions it painted a picture of a bigoted town and people (especially the hero) struggling to escape it. The ending is a surprise, but the novel is pretty good, especially when one realizes that it was written when Toole was just 16. This is one of the best bildungsroman I’ve read, probably only second to The Catcher in the Rye.

I’d appreciate if any of you could comment about any of these novels, but it’s also just great to finally get this out. :)

Classes start on Tuesday, but since I promised myself that I will finish a series I already proceeded with Gundam 00 and finally finished the second episode. I think I am, however, really addicted to reading. I feel the need to bring a novel whenever I plan to go out because waiting is such an integral part of our society, and oftentimes the best (undisturbed) reading one can have is while one is in transit.

Recommendations

I’m choosing between Roland Barthes‘s Lover’s Discourse, Sterne’s Tristram Shandy for my final reading, or another anime series. While I would very much prefer to read, I feel that I have to watch anime, because it really is a lot more entertaining than slogging through novels. It’s also a better (worse) waste of time.

I’m leaning towards Tristram Shandy, however. I think I can read it within three days. What do you guys think?

Anime! (finally)

I just finished watching the second episode of Gundam 00. It was great, and it was very exciting. I loved it.

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A few thoughts, however: among the four Meisters I think Tieria is the weakest not because of his effeminate appearance but because of his Gundam. It’s the most unwieldy among the four: Kyrios is quick as Exia is; Dynames isn’t slow and its long-range sniping ability makes it a hard target, while Virtue is just a big, priapic gun. Among the four it would probably deal the most damage, but it is the weakest.

The episode was a fun watch overall. Time really passes quickly when one watches anime.

P.S. Hige, you got me. T_______________T

9 Responses to “i am so not dead yet”

  1. Lelangir Says:

    /avoids giving g00 spoilers.

    Try reading Paul Gilroy’s “Black Atlantic.” If you don’t fall asleep after 5 pages, I applaud you!

  2. blissmo Says:

    I tried watching Gundam

    Got bored of it eventually

  3. Karasuhebi Says:

    You seem to like reading a lot. Have you ever heard of Audiobooks? Audibile.com has a good selection of them. You should give it a whirl. I got a link for you where you can get one credit towards a free book (and most of them ARE just one credit):
    audible [dot] com [slash] twit

    Let me know how it goes!
    -Karasuhebi

  4. Hige Says:

    pwned. ^w^

  5. Michael Says:

    @Hige
    /me hates Hige T___T

    Anyway, it’s quite depressing when you try your best to break free of something and it just comes back to bite your ass. :(

    @Karasuhebi

    Yes, I really love reading. But I’m a more visual person, and weirdly, I think audiobooks are a cop-out, no offense. ^^;;

    @Lelangir

    You know, with my sheer indifference to any perceived difficulty in books, I bet I could do that. Now I won’t say I would understand what I’ve read, but I can finish the book without much understanding anything.

    @blissmo

    Um, it’s not boring right now Maybe it will be so, later.

  6. Karasuhebi Says:

    That’s interesting because for me, when I listen to audiobooks, it almost seems like I’ve watched a movie adaptation of a book, when really, I just listened to the audio version of the book. I guess not having to read it and just listening to it lets my mind roam free to imagine the book as a movie, more so than when I’m actually reading.

    Maybe I’m just weird, I don’t know. lol
    -Karasuhebi

  7. Michael Says:

    @Karasuhebi

    Whenever I’m intrigued by a book or horrified by it, however, I often try to look for movie versions to expand my perceptions on the text.

    For example, I read Under the Volcano about a week ago. I didn’t like the novel, although I can recognize its brilliance. To look for alternative points-of-view, I obtained the Academy Award-nominated film by John Huston retelling the story.

    The novel was expounded upon further, and why I still don’t like it I understood why some people loved it. :)

    I don’t want my mind to roam: that was the reason why I avoided watching anime in the first place, because if my mind roamed what I needed to do would be slowed.

    And you’re not weird – it’s easier to appreciate stuff when they are not straining you. 😀

  8. Ryan A Says:

    Ah G00 is fun (still need to glance the last 3 eps), Sunrise keeps the tension high ^^

    Unfortunately, I have not read any of these titles; time is a conspiracy I swear! I may take in The Neon Bible from what you say though. I just have more coding to do, but with the current API state of melative, a Firefox extension which allows one to highlight words on a page (ie. The Neon Bible) and then set an experience state (ie. Wishlisted) ^^ is entirely possible.

    I may take to writing such an extension soon… lol Samson

  9. make Says:

    I wos watching Gundam but I just dont like that anime —-_—

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