Wednesday, June 28, 2006

World Hum's Top 30 Travel Books

"To read and to travel: that should be for anyone among the finest of vocations."
~ Gregorio Brillantes

World Hum - an excellent travel weblog - has finally put up their list of Top 30 Travel Books. Out of Which, I've only read 4, shown in Orange.

No. 1: Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger
No. 2: The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron
No. 3: The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
No. 4: The Soccer War by Ryszard Kapuściński
No. 5: No Mercy by Redmond O’Hanlon
No. 6: North of South by Shiva Naipaul
No. 7: Golden Earth by Norman Lewis
No. 8: Video Night in Kathmandu by Pico Iyer
No. 9: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
No. 10: In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
No. 11: The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
No. 12: The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
No. 13: Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
No. 14: Riding to the Tigris by Freya Stark
No. 15: Europe, Europe by Hans Magnus Enzensberger
No. 16: City of Djinns by William Dalrymple
No. 17: A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby
No. 18: All the Wrong Places by James Fenton
No. 19: Hunting Mister Heartbreak by Jonathan Raban
No. 20: River Town by Peter Hessler
No. 21: Road Fever by Tim Cahill
No. 22: When the Going was Good by Evelyn Waugh
No. 23: Behind the Wall by Colin Thubron
No. 24: Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere by Jan Morris
No. 25: A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor
No. 26: Baghdad Without a Map by Tony Horwitz
No. 27: The Size of the World by Jeff Greenwald
No. 28: Facing the Congo by Jeffrey Tayler
No. 29: Venture to the Interior by Laurens van der Post
No. 30: A Turn in the South by V.S. Naipaul

Full Link

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Observer: Jeanette Winterson

Observer interview with Jeanette Winterson for her new Children's Book, Tanglewreck.

Don't get me started. Yes, another one. ;p

'If I was a dog, I'd be a terrier. I suppose I was brought up in quite a tough culture and used to speaking out. I get angry when people behave stupidly or brutally to each other or to animals or to the planet. It seems to me a debasement of humanity when you can't be bothered to think how your actions will hurt someone else. It drives me mad. You know if there is a fight on the street, I am always in there. I have been knocked about so many times because I can't stand back.'

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Times Online: Malapropism

From Times Online
by Jeanette Winterson

Mrs Winterson used to talk about an interfering madam she disliked as a "proper Cleopatra". On further inquiry I discovered she had "a rod up her asp". When I asked what this meant, Mrs Winterson replied: "She won’t let sleeping snakes lie."

Full article.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

QUOTE: Flaubert on Reading

"Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live."
~ Gustave Flaubert

Now, it sounds all grand and romantic. But - keep in mind that Flaubert never married and lived with his mother his whole life.

Monday, June 05, 2006

When I have a little money, I buy books

I am currently reading The Praise of Folly (along with too many other books). This little quote seems appropriate.

"When I have a little money, I buy books. And if any is left, I buy food and clothings."

~ Desiderius Erasmus

Quotes For Your Notebook: Jeanette Winterson

Nine Wave Design is one of the moleskine-associated sites I visit regularly.

One of my favourite section of this blog is the Quotes For Your Notebook feature.

This is taken from Winterson's Weight: The Myth of Atlas and Heracles:
"I believe there is always exposure, vulnerability, in the writing process, which is not to say it is either confessional or memoir. Simply, it is real."

Yes. Anyone who quotes Jeanette Winterson is fine by my book.

Full entry.

Guardian Interview with Pink!

The Guardian's Barbara Ellen interviews Pink.

It's here because I like her kick-ass honesty. She's opinionated, she's brash and occasionally funny. But she's definitely more centered and self-aware than a lot of the people I know.
Does she ever feel pressured to sit down and shut up? 'Sometimes.' She chuckles throatily. 'And you know what? I'm a lot to take. I know that better than anyone.'

Did I mention I have ALL her CDs? Heh. ;)

Full interview

Backward Narrative

I have been thinking about narrative techniques recently. Sarah Waters' Night Watch works powerfully by telling the story backwards. This is not exactly revolutionary and Waters herself admits she was partly inspired by Harold Pinter's Betrayal.

The poignancy of the unravelled lives, and then moving back in time to where it all began. Knowing we are fated to disappointment and loss, yet yearning desperately to love.

As an explanation for this train of thought: I'm currently working on the story that I first began when I was supposed to be working on my thesis. That was more than 6 years ago. Back then I was watching too many Buffy the Vampire Slayer episodes. The tormented vampire/Slayer love story flooded my consciousness like a cheesy stew.

The story that first sprouted 6~7 years ago was supposed to be a pastiche of all the vampire stories I've imbibed my entire life. But as my computer crashed on me after graduation, and with my life consumed by an adult working life - the story went into hiatus. I stopped writing. Period.

Two years ago I picked up the thread of that lost tale. My notes and drafts were lost and I had to tell the story from scratch; I was also learning to live some aspects of my life anew.

As I begun to write, I realise another story was pushing itself into the foreground. Many of the original characters were altered, some were abandoned. My vampire pastiche became an existential meditation.

I wanted to begin the story with the broken lives of my heroes. (They are heroes because these characters bear the Promethean burden in the story.) And I wanted to trace everything back to the start of it all, 5 years ago.

Intertextuality in Fingersmith

From The Guardian

John Mullan on intertextuality in Fingersmith by Sarah Waters.

What I liked about Fingersmith was the whole Wilkie Collins feel about.

Full article.

Friday, June 02, 2006