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Taste is incomprehensible

Other than the recent stub, I haven’t really been writing much: I have had to deal with more pressing matters, such as the choice that would dictate all my future endeavors. Writing was among the least of my priorities, if you catch my drift.

I have lately been reading, however, and within the past two weeks (barring my failure with BarthesS/Z), I’ve finished reading Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy and a textbook on neuroanatomy. While more insights could be obtained from Jude the Obscure with most people (and it would also probably be more relevant to them) I rediscovered something in my choice of reading Neuroanatomy instead of other literary texts: in a statement, taste is simply incomprehensible. While I would like to have blown my horn and say that I did it in preparation for medical school (hyuk hyuk), the truth was that I purchased it and read it primarily because the cover appealed to me (it was purple). As most people say, don’t judge books by their cover. There is some truth, however, in that despite my utter lack of understanding with the content as I read the book, it has prepared me for the grueling task of reading a few hours everyday, something I would have to be very familiar with when medical school comes, and something that is currently alien to me (I haven’t exactly been an excellent student in university). For all the reading that I’ve done I could honestly say that I only understood about 10% of the book; and that may even be a gross overstatement. Despite that, at least I could also honestly say that it has somewhat contributed to me honing my patience and perseverance in reading more academic texts.

I think the same can be said with regard to my tastes in anime. I do think that Honey and Clover, Cowboy Bebop and Ocean Waves are great anime, and a lot of people would agree, but I also appreciate and like ToLoveRu, something that erudite and elevated individuals would dismiss as rubbish. I sometimes prognosticate wrongly, like what I did with Toradora (by comparing it to Honey and Clover). I can even bear finishing series like Gin-iro no Olynssis, and I think I’m among the few people who did. It’s ultimately puerile and stupid, not to mention hypocritical trying to comprehend the tastes of others; yet I admit I am sometimes that. Biases just inherently exist within us, I guess, and Roland Barthes explained (in the twenty pages I’ve attempted to understand in S/Z) why subjectivity and objectivity don’t really exist for the most part in reading, or in the appreciation of media: the I who reads (or watches, or listens) is himself a compendium of texts (or music, or video, or movies, or anime). How he perceives a text is grounded in the texts that he has encountered before. Furthermore, reading (or any appreciation of media), isn’t actually a parasitic act. We also write something as we read it. This is why no two texts are appreciated by the same way with different persons. My reading of the neuroanatomy text was merely to complete what I’ve started and simply was due to an irrational impulse; to an aspiring neuroanatomist, however, the text may be a godsend. The difference in appreciation is among what ultimately makes us human.