Friday, December 26, 2008

ஜே.ஜே. சில குறிப்புகள்

I fell in love with this book right away when my friend read a few random passages from the second part, which is structured like the protagonist’s diary. To fall in love with it was more like falling in love with my self. Don’t know how many times you have felt that beautiful smile of delight spreading across your face when you read something that so much close to your heart that it could very well have been said by you. A smile that is out of happiness from recognizing that there is another who is just like you. Like the happiness that you get on seeing a long-lost friend. Well, yeah, this is not something you get too often. But, when my friend read this book to me, the delight was so much so that we both had quite a few good laughs. By the way, till now I haven’t read more than twenty pages of this book. But, what I had read in those few has pushed me so far into writing this post.

Leap of faith

I have this hate for the advice against what they call ‘Leap of faith’ in writing. They say you should put yourself in the readers’ shoes and make it easier for them to get what you say. In short, don't put faith in the reader, put everything on the platter: peeled and if possible, masticated. However noble-intentioned it may sound to be, IMHO, you can ask a writer to do that when the idea is to just inform. Not when he tries to make the reader THINK. Then, the process reverses: the reader has to get into writer’s shoes. Indeed, the writer on his faith: faith in the reader and his intelligence. Here, the writer has respect for the reader and puts him on the same platform as he is. Even if the reader is not, the writer knows he can jump on if poked properly. Spoon feeding here is an insult to the reader that he just can’t commit.

That said, we obviously can’t equate the level of incorrigibility with the author’s intelligence. Language is a fine sword. You can use it to poke, to cut, to cure and to kill. Or you can just feign all this with the sword still in its sheath. Most of the writers just have the sheath, and the rest of those with the sword, still have trouble using it. They are so much weak under the weight of the sword that they almost always cut, kill others and at times, themselves too. There are very few who have a strong intelligent arm to handle the sword. JJSK is one such show of fine swordsmanship.

அவன் பாஷை சவரக் கத்தி. சொல்முறை, நீண்ட படிக்கட்டில் ஒரு படி விட்டு ஒரு படி தாண்டிச் செல்வது. (JJSK, pg 16)

It is a masochistic pleasure to be cut, to be bled by such swordplay. And at times, I agree, it is indeed frightening. Still, it is worth it. But, no need to plunge headlong. Probably it might be too much for us. Just take a jab from JJ now and then.

ஜே.ஜே.யைப் படித்த போது பயம் ஏற்பட்டது என்றேன். என்ன பயம்? பயம் ஏற்பட என்ன இருக்கிறது? ஆனால் பயம் தான். நான் நம்பும் உலகத்தை இல்லாமல் ஆக்கிவிடுவானோ என்ற பயம். நான் நம்பும் உலகத்தை இல்லாமலாக்கி அதன் மூலம் என்னை இல்லாமல் ஆக்கி விடுவானோ என்ற பயம்.

கனவுகளுக்கு அவன் எதிரி. எனக்கோ அவை தின்பண்டம். (JJSK, pg 16)

Sometimes, I wonder all this “elitist” cry for the ‘real literature’ is all just out of helplessness and economics? Are such writers just among the high-ranking masochists and more often, sadists? On that, probably some time later.

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