I evolved my writing style from that of Henry Miller, Garcia Marques, Upton Sinclair, Kafka, Muriell Spark, A.K Ramanujan, G Nagarajan, Sujatha and all others I’m providing as excerpts here..humility from Vayyapuri Pillai, NMVenkatasami Nadar..this is my thanksgiving to them all
Lord of headlines,
help us read the small print.
Lord of the sixth sense,
give us back our five senses.
Lord of solutions,
teach us to dissolve and not to drown
#AKRamanujan : Prayers to Lord Murugan
The other houses of the street, conscious of decent lives within them, gazed at one another with brown imperturbable faces. The former tenant of our house, a priest, had died in. the back drawing-room. Air, musty from having been long enclosed,hung in all the rooms
அகவன் மகளே யகவன் மகளே
மனவுக்கோப் பன்ன நன்னெடுங் கூந்தல்
அகவன் மகளே பாடுக பாட்டே
இன்னும் பாடுக பாட்டே,
அவர் நன்னெடுங் குன்றம் பாடிய பாட்டே
The river has water enough
to be poetic about
only once a year
and then it carries away
in the first half-hour
three village houses,
a couple of cows
and one pregnant woman
expecting identical twins
with no moles on their bodies,
to tell them apart.
the Kerr sisters were fairly craven; and above all, Miss Brodie was easily the equal of both sisters together, she was the square on the hypotenuse of a right-angled triangle and they were only the squares on the other two sides
Muriel Spark :The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie 1961
What did the onion juice do? It did what the world and the sorrows of the world could not do: it brought forth a round, human tear. It made them cry. At last they could cry again. To cry properly, to cry like mad. The tears flowed and washed everything away
ஸல்மான் ருஷ்டியைப் பற்றித் தவிர்க்க முடியாத கேள்வி வந்தபோது தாமஸ் டிஷ்ஷின் பதில் மிகவும் சிந்திக்க வைத்தது – “எந்தப் புத்தகமும், அது கொஞ்சமாவது நல்ல புத்தகமாக இருந்தால், யாரையாவது அவமதித்தே தீரும்”
Each day, as the autumn grew colder, insects died on the floor of his room. A bee walked a little and collapsed, walked a little and collapsed. Looking closely, Shimamura could see that the legs and feelers were trembling in the struggle to live.
#Yasunari Kawabata :Snow Country
The story begun in Bombay continues in the lowlands of Palanpur, pauses for a night and a day at the stone gate of Bikanir, narrates the death of a blind astrologer in a cesspool in Benares, conspires in the multiform palace at Katmandu
Zarathustra answered: “I am bringing gifts unto men.” “Give them nothing,” said the saint. “Take rather part of their load, and carry it along with them— that will be most agreeable unto them: if only it be agreeable unto thee!
#Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche. Thus Spake Zarathustra
It was exalting to search,create, commensurate ..dredge up events from my memory .. describe with the least clutter.Paradoxically, my baggage of atrocious memories became a wealth, a seed; it seemed to me that by writing, I was growing like a plant.
#PRIMO LEVI:THE PERIODIC TABLE
As GREGOR SAMSA awoke one morning he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard, as it were armor-plated, back and when he lifted his head a little he could see his domelike brown belly divided into stiff arched segments.
The chief make-up man made the chief actors and actresses ugly, his senior assistant the ‘second’ hero and heroine, the junior assistant the main comedian, and so forth. The players who played the crowd were the responsibility of the office boy.
#Asokamithran:My Years With Boss
He used to carry cans on a long pole; and he’d drink a little out of each can, and one day he drank too much, and fell asleep in a corner, and got locked up in the place all night. When they found him the rats had killed him and eaten him nearly all up
#Upton Sinclair: The Jungle
How I wish Sinclair were alive in Trump’s USA!
One day Durham advertised in the paper for two hundred men to cut ice; and all that day the homeless and starving of the city came trudging through the snow from all over its two hundred square miles. That night forty score of them crowded into the station house of the stockyards district— they filled the rooms, sleeping in each other’s laps, toboggan fashion, and they piled on top of each other in the corridors, till the police shut the doors and left some to freeze outside. On the morrow, before daybreak, there were three thousand at Durham’s, and the police reserves had to be sent for to quell the riot. Then Durham’s bosses picked out twenty of the biggest; the “two hundred” proved to have been a printer’s error.
#Upton Sinclair. The Jungle
ஜ்யோந்திரநாத் தாகூரின் படைப்புகளைப் பார்த்துக் கொண்டிருந்தபோது சுபிர் ஹிந்தியில் கேட்டான்.
“நீங்கள் ரவீந்திரநாத் தாகூர் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட பொருட்களைச் சேகரிக்கிறீர்களோ?”
“அது பொழுது போகாத பெங்காலிகள் மட்டும் செய்யும் வேலை”.
“You are right. என்னுடைய மாமா ஒருவரின் வரவேற்பு அறையில் ரவீந்திரரின் கணுக்கால் எலும்பு வெல்வெட் பெட்டி ஒன்றில் வைக்கப் பட்டிருந்தது”.
“நீ பொய் சொல்கிறாய்”.
”இல்லை ரமேஷ். ரவீந்திரர் எரிக்கப்பட்ட போது அவர் முழுவதும் எரிதற்கு முன்னாலேயே பலர் பாய்ந்து கையில் அகப்பட்ட எலும்புத் துண்டுகளை அள்ளிக்கொண்டு சென்று விட்டார்கள்”.
#பி.ஏ.கிருஷ்ணன் : கலங்கிய நதி
The story begun in Bombay continues in the lowlands of Palanpur, pauses for a night and a day at the stone gate of Bikanir, narrates the death of a blind astrologer in a cesspool in Benares, conspires in the multiform palace at Katmandu, prays and fornicates in the pestilential stench of the Machua bazaar in Calcutta, watches the day being born out of the sea from a scribe’s stool in Madras, watches the evening decline into the sea from a balcony in the state of Travancor, gutters and dies in Hindapur, and closes its circle of leagues and years in Bombay again, a few steps from the garden of those “mooncoloured” hounds. The plot itself is this: A man (the unbelieving, fleeing law student we have met) falls among people of the lowest, vilest sort and accommodates himself to them, in a kind of contest of iniquity.
#Jorge Luis Borges : Ficciones
I was referring to H.W.Fowler’s Modern English Usage Dictionary (Oxford) for use of ‘pedantic humour’ and came across this gem, on writing in general :
We spend much of our childhood picking up a vocabulary; we like to air our latest finds ; we discover that our elders are tickled when we come out with a new name that they thought beyond us; we devote some pains to tickling them further; and there we are, pedants and polysyllabists all. The impulse is healthy for children, and nearly universal—which is just why warning is necessary; for among so many there will always be some who fail to realize that the clever habit applauded at home will make them insufferable abroad. Most of those who are capable of writing well enough to find readers do learn sooner or later that playful use of long or learned words is a one-sided game boring the reader more than it pleases the writer, that the impulse to it is a danger-signal—for there must be something wrong with what they are saying if it needs recommending by such puerilities—and that yielding to the impulse is a confession of failure.
But now and then even an able writer will go on believing that the incongruity between simple things to be said and out-of-the-way words to say them in has a perennial charm. Perhaps it has for the reader who never outgrows hobbledehoyhood; but for the rest of us it is dreary indeed. It is possible that acquaintance with such labels as pedantic and polysyllabic humour may help to shorten the time that it takes to cure a weakness incident to youth. An elementary example or two should be given. The words homoeopathic (small or minute), sartorial (of clothes), interregnum (gap), are familiar ones, or were so in their day ; the popularity of such conceits is short. To introduce ”Lords of Parliament* in such homoeopathic doses as to leave a preponderating power in the hands of those who enjoy a merely hereditary title. / While we were motoring out to the station I took stock of his sartorial aspect, which had changed somewhat since we parted. / In his vehement action his breeches fall down and his waistcoat runs up, so that there is a great interregnum.
வாழ்க்கை’ வேறு ; ‘உயிர் வாழ்தல்’ வேறு. வாழ்க்கை ஓரனுபவம். சிலர் உலகம் முழுவதையுமே சாப்பாட்டுக்கடையாக மதித்து விடுகிறார்கள்
#புதுமைப்பித்தன் #இலைக் குணம்
I came in when the goddam stage show was on. The Rockettes were kicking their heads off, the way they do when they’re all in line with their arms around each other’s waist. The audience applauded like mad, and some guy behind me kept saying to his wife, “You know what that is? That’s precision.” He killed me. Then, after the Rockettes, a guy came out in a tuxedo and roller skates on, and started skating under a bunch of little tables, and telling jokes while he did it. He was a very good skater and all, but I couldn’t enjoy it much because I kept picturing him practicing to be a guy that roller-skates on the stage. It seemed so stupid.
#J.D.Salinger : The Catcher in the Rye