Saturday, April 23, 2011

The giants before us.

I've travelled a few roads in my seventy years. Here in the West, all over the U.S., and in Europe.  I've read works from all over the world.A few decades ago I could read in four different languages. Now, I can't seem to find the stamina to finish anything.  My eyes get tired; my body dozes off to sleep. Oh well, these are things  to be explored another day.

The books and authors I feature on this blog heading appeared in front of me the day I designed this blog.I remember the hullabaloo around Rushdie's  publication of Satanic Verses.  Now, if you a religious conservative, you probably did not pick up a copy and read it.  Most people were upset about Rushdie's treatment of religion. Had he appeared around the time I attended  catholic schools, his name would be anathema to me.

But, I read him in my mature years, and compared his situation to those of poor Galileo and Leonardo and the problems they had with the Church. Writers and artists and scientists have to wait years before anyone bothers to look carefully at their contributions.

In East, West, Mr Rushdie is more approachable. Less controversial. If you never questioned your own sensibilities, your point of view, your cultural biases, this book pricks you here and there.

Pirandello,- not known by many people either, though I found this collection written in English-questions our veracity, our very ability to speak the truth, as characters on a stage with an audience, as characters in our living room with our mate.
We construct reality as we speak, wearing masks with every situation.

I read Milan Kundera when I was young, and the story in The Umbearable Lightness of Being seemed to be talking to me, exposing me, stripping me down to the essence of what men and  women feel.  It was his message at the end, the motif throughout that I remember best: The burden of being human.

And then, Chomsky. If you want to know about communication, language, cognition, his works are germinal.

These are giants before us.
They are not alone.  You have works and people who have provided you with knowledge and insights.  Who are they?   

4 comments:

  1. My dear Rosaria, you are far more intellectual than I. The last really thought-provoking works I've read were Ayn Rand's Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged...and I don't even remember the thoughts they provoked!

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  2. Eva, you taught math; I, English. You panicked that the youngsters didn't remember how to do basic functions; I panicked that they couldn't spell.

    It turns out that concentrating on their spelling was the least important element of communication. Yet, it was quite important then, before typewriters became computers, and computers had programs to support more than spelling.

    No. I'm not more intellectual. I'm just concerned with communication and with storytelling.

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  3. Welcome to my blog


    http://my-way-here.blogspot.com/

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  4. albert camus stopped me in my tracks, ee cummings made me an eternal romantic in love with words big and small, and maya angelou helped me see there were so many nontraditional paths to follow and not worry about where anyone else was...

    ps - beautiful words on your blog.

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