Sunday Observer Online
   

Home

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Untitled-1

observer
 ONLINE


OTHER PUBLICATIONS


OTHER LINKS

Marriage Proposals
Classified
Government Gazette

Six investigations of the act of reading

Caleb J Ross--Stranger Will

The aim of this series or six essays is not to bring a specific understanding or criticism to the individual novel or collection each is filtered through-indeed, the opposite could be said to be true. These are personal, individual investigations of the act of reading, the specific pieces serving as filter, grounding of sort.

***

I chose six works that I personally consider exemplary of aspects of the contemporary American Indie scene, a bourgeoning scene that I do not feel has established any specific boundaries-though not for lack of trying, such trying I think symptomatic of a peculiar illness afflicting new American literature but an illness I will only touch on incidentally in this series, not one I have a desire to take stabs at making explicit or suggesting cures for.

It is because of this unformed nature that works I feel bound in it are a perfect fit for such investigations as mine-with no crutch of general, unconsciously felt consensus or canonized, documented, argued specifics to lean on, these works are approached by me (and I would say by anyone) in a kind of ether-my reactions are delineated only by the very fact that I read them, how I read them, when I read them, where I read them. I could have chosen six others, I could have chosen six more-the works themselves are presented due to no specific allure beyond that I encountered them and feel they have wormed a place out in me, to whatever end

***

Though I will at times refer to specific scenes or aspects of these works, I will in no way make any effort to give summary of their plots, critique of their themes, or define their "natures"-indeed, one of my personal beliefs is that not sufficient enough time has passed since my reading of these books to allow me to honestly say I have an opinion of them, only that I had a reaction and this reaction has continued past the direct contact with the works.

Goodloe Byron--The Wraith

And though I at times will make direct reference to my remembered and my dwelled upon thought processes and personal feelings with regard to the material, I am in no way recommending for or against the reading of any-I believe there is an inherent value in the act of reading, the quality of the content irrelevant and so immaterial to these investigations.

***

Not to jump in entirely without context, though, I do want to briefly riff on some of the general lenses I read through, go over, so to speak, my "act in abstract" so that it is clearly understood I am not seeking to say anything Universal on the subject of reading, that I do not think there is anything universal except for the fact that the act must to each person be explicitly individual.

I feel opinion of a piece of literature is quite without value or relevance-if I read Saramago, Michaels, Topor, Chesterton it matters little if I have a fine or a low opinion of it, what matters is my being cognizant of my experience reading, my felt reaction to the thoughts I experienced, whether they touch on this or that novel in particular or no.

"What happened to me?" while I read X or Y, "What did the reading do and how did I interface or resist-what did I do while I read?"

Each essay will have a specific slant, I will bring out specifics with regard to things I think about most everything I read and even "reading in abstract", so I do not want undo emphasis to be placed on the filters, do not want to suggest "this is the primary thing" I thought about while reading the work in particular or even "this is the most interesting thing" I thought about with regard to the piece.

By this I mean to reiterate that the series is overall a whole-a single investigation of Act-and do not offer the subject of each essay as a suggested guide or codex for the works, in fact I would strongly recommend to anyone who reads the works I mention to do their very best to shut themselves of whatever I say (as far as such a thing is possible) and to approach them without the tethers of any specific referent.

***

Harlan Wilson--Peckinpah

In the order of the series, the authors and works I will be using, as well as the slant to each investigation, are as follow-Stephen Graham Jones, the Bird is Gone: a manifesto (Context); Caleb J. Ross, Stranger Will (Genre); Goodloe Byron, The Wraith (Subtext); Amelia Gray, AM/PM (Type); D. Harlan Wilson Peckinpah: an ultraviolent romance (Referent); Brian Olu, So You Know It's Me (Framing). While familiarity with the works has no bearing on what I investigate in the series, it also couldn't hurt-various excerpts, reactions, discussions can be found regarding all of these titles may places online. Additionally, I welcome any and all contact with regard to this series and will respond to all correspondence. I can be reach through unburiedcomments@gmail.com.

***

It is my sincere hope that this series will both be somewhat intriguing toward a further delving into the contemporary American Indie scene, and (moreso) that it will encourage a particular self-consciousness to reading which I believe is to be valued above all else, whether reading is done for leisure, study, or is merely dabbed at, incidentally.

 

EMAIL |   PRINTABLE VIEW | FEEDBACK

www.news.lk
www.defence.lk
Donate Now | defence.lk
www.apiwenuwenapi.co.uk
LANKAPUVATH - National News Agency of Sri Lanka
Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL)
www.army.lk
 

| News | Editorial | Finance | Features | Political | Security | Sports | Spectrum | Montage | Impact | World | Obituaries | Junior | Magazine |

 
 

Produced by Lake House Copyright 2011 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor