Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some books simply overpower us!

"If you say that only what lasts is worthwhile, then nothing is valuable, because everything passes. Isn't it enough that something should have existed, just once? Don't you think it continues to exist in some world where the pettiness of time is not so important? An eternity that is more than just time without ending. A place where time runs in a different way." - Mary says in 'On Green Dolphin Street', a novel of remarkable beauty and exploration of human emotions by Sebastian Faulks.

After a long time, reading a novel of such intensity in a prose that should at best be termed as superior, not to exaggerate, I felt overpowered. Some books evoke in us such feelings of utter helplessness and fleeting moments of total incomprehension that gradually and without realization turn to the most sublime clarity. In one moment, we think we don't get it, the next moment is one of profound joy as what we read sinks in and gets digested.

Books can indeed be a person's true friends. Some command a degree of authority breaking which we struggle to extricate ourselves till we complete them. In that brief period, we forget to breathe, we get overwhelmed by a passion so strong that it seems untrammeled and without shackles of any kind.

Days spent in a haze, in vivid imagination of our favorite characters' plight as they are followed by spies, as they conquer their lives, as they experience emotions that we yearn and pine for, as they endure agonies that we wouldn't have imagined in our wildest dreams are ones of boundless joy and self-discovery. We discover different shades of ourselves as we journey in the paths of our favorite heroes and heroines.

Its a world that doesn't tie our imagination. Indeed as a person remarked in the shuttle today, the difference between novels and their movie adaptation is very simple: One is our perception where we are bound only by the limits of our imagination, the other is another person's perception that limits our freedom to think wild. How true! To me, any day a book by a cozy setting than any acclaimed movie!

What books can do to shape a man's character and a nation's intellect can be little matched by any other medium.

To quote my father who remembers a speech written for him by his geography teacher:
"The literature of future India would speak about the ordeal of the society born out of the interaction between beautifully wise and dangerously silly, generous beyond measure and mean beyond all examples." How true again! We need more good books and plenty of hungry readers for that to happen...we need to be overpowered by the good world of books and their wisdom!!!

3 comments:

The Layman said...

"we need to be overpowered by the good world of books and their wisdom!!!"

Well, I completely agree when you say that reading books enhances one's knowledge and perspective.. But don't you think that to be overpowered by books is to let our minds be influenced by the thoughts of someone else?? What about our thoughts.. Our ideologies?

Just like your comparison of a novel and its movie adaptation..
"One is our perception where we are bound only by the limits of our imagination, the other is another person's perception that limits our freedom to think wild."
don't you think it's equally important not to be overpowered by any single book or books as such?

I too have this habit of being influenced by the books I read.. but then sometimes I try not to let the thoughts of the author influence me..

For eg; Ayn Rand (objectivism).. I was a die hard fan of it until some time back I renounced it completely..

I'm not saying one should not imbibe the good thoughts or principles which the characters or the situations in a book stands for..
But I think we should judge for ourselves whether the book is worth being influential! :-)

Your thoughts..

shiva said...

"I'm not saying one should not imbibe the good thoughts or principles which the characters or the situations in a book stands for..
But I think we should judge for ourselves whether the book is worth being influential! :-)
"

Yes. Right!

I have never read Ayn Rand for fear of getting influenced.

I mean that some really good books make you feel helpless and without our effort, some influence gets to us...!

Choosing is most important..

The Layman said...

I agree with you there..
Some books influence you no matter what..

lol..For me it was alchemist..

"if you really want... the whole universe.."

I know it's kinda stupid.. but it really makes you optimistic man..:-)