Tuesday, January 19, 2010


This year, to me, will be that of Walt Whitman. All his lines touch my heart and kick my butt... with his simple and immense truth! See the following, for example:

After me, vista!
O I see life is not short, but immeasurably long,
I henceforth tread the world chaste, temperate, an early riser, a steady grower,
Every hour the semen of centuries, and still of centuries.

I must follow up these continual lessons of the air, water, earth,
I perceive I have no time to lose.

(Leaves of Grass, 193)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

World Cinema Continues

Films in 2009:
83. Wei Te-Sheng, Cape No.7 (2008)

A charming and well-conceived film that calls for a subtle socio-politico-ethnic reading of it. Historical complexity of Taiwan is stunning. Now is the time to pay attention to Wu's Pariah Manifest.

Films this year:
1. Toshifumi Matsushita, El regalo de la Pachamama (2009)
2. Chung-Ryoul Lee, Wonangsori (Old Partner, 2009)
3. F.W.Murnau, Sunrise (1927)

1 is a very ambitious staged documentary that deals with the Quechua life today. I liked it immensely.

2 is fascinating, riveting. This documentary was a blockbuster in Korea; you will cry when you watch it.

3 is Murnau's masterpiece that changes its atmosphere totally according to which of two sound tracks you choose.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

He never repeated himself (?)

Here is what Stephen Spender says on T.S. Eliot:

"What is immediately striking about the poetry of T.S. Eliot is the difference between the work of the early, middle, and late periods. It is not just that Eliot never repeated himself and that he wrote a new poem only when he had something new to say and a new way of saying it, but that, at successive stages of his development, the poetry seems to proceed from a different consciousness." (T.S. Eliot, 3)

This itself is striking. Is it ever possible that one never repeat oneself? How does he know before he actually writes that he has found something new to say?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

My new year's resolution

This year I will reorganize my life around... READING. This will be, once again, the focus of my life. See the great quote from my old mentor (in my heart) Gaston Bachelard:

"J'étudie! Je ne suis que le sujet du verbe étudier."

Philosophers pretend they THINK rather than STUDY, but what you need to do seriously is STUDY, namely, READ. Writers tend to think they WRITE rather than READ, but writing in essence is a series of RE-READING in which one's own writing is in constant struggle with one's predecessors'.

Happy reading to us all.