Recent Reading

It’s been seven months since I started Roland Barthes’ A Lover’s Discourse and I am not done with it yet. I’d like to think it’s because I juggle it with J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye and Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, but truth is, I have not dedicated hours and days to reading anymore.

It’s a shame I haven’t given as much time to novels. These days I’d rather spend the entire day at the office getting exhausted of Social Media matters which Forbes recently deemed, not an actual career. Sucks, I know. And on weekends, I do errands like grocery shopping, walking my pet to the park, girlfriend duties, etc.

I miss the luxury of laying down in bed, leafing through the pages, meeting characters, and getting immense sympathy for them to the point of investing emotions and bawling in tears at their expense. I can only recall how much I loved Salinger’s detailed conversations in Franny and Zooey that I actually played the scene on my mind the moment I was reading it. I can only remember the feelings the unnamed characters endured in David Levithan’s  A Lover’s Dictionary in order for them to keep the relationship. I can only recollect becoming victorious and infinite with Charlie in Stephen Chbosky’s Perks of Being a Wallflower. With Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, I find joy in picturing Holden Caufield and his relationships and conversations with schoolmates which reminds me of my years studying far from home and not being somewhat aloof to the new people. Yes, I have not yet moved from that part of the book.

As for philosophical reads, I take more time to digest them as compared to fiction. I try to relate and ponder at every chapter and identify myself with the text. Yes, I recall instances of my life and compare and relate to what I have read. Think: Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince, Blaise Pascal’s On Human Happiness, and letters and writings of Kahlil Gibran. These are the kind of books that are not just as easy to read. I mean, I always feel like reading into them means more than reading into them, like there is a whole lot of message you need to understand.

And right now, I take the same particularity in reading Barthes. You see, the problem with reading his text is that, knowing he is a semiologist, I tend to read, let’s say a paragraph, all over again thinking he embedded somewhere between words some sort of sign. It is kind of confusing how familiarity brings about complexity in reading. Or, am I just being too critical? Ugh.

Oh well. Bottomline, I need a time off and save a date for a date with these books lined up on my bedside table.

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Root of Romanticism

Dear Love, we’re in a poetry book I’ve read innumerable yesterdays ago

This is an image taken by Jenno, my latest addition to my “Favorite People” list, during our random trip to Intramuros one bipolar-weathered afternoon.

I would be lying if I say this is not of utter beauty, sans the bias that it’s my boyfriend and I in the portrait. I did not actually think our picture would turn out this way since we never planned of taking nice photos anyway. We just wanted a trip to the National Museum, an Intramuros walking tour, and an illegal tag along of Carlos Celdran’s tour.

I would say this image is too beautiful for me to judge aka apply art/photography criticism to. But as far as resonance and wonder is concerned, I would give a million words for a praise.

I found this photo rather dear to me. It reminded me of photographs found in Rolando Carbonell’s Beyond Forgetting. It’s one of the earliest poetry books I’ve read. My grandfather gave it to me in grade school because of my penchant with novels and poetry as early as then. It was about love – found and lost. It was about waiting – its toils and pains and triumph. It was about our souls – torn, broken, crashed. It was about emotions – kept and subdued, professed and demonstrated. The images spoke the same. They breathed every printed word. They pierced thoughts, induced thinking, leading to reverie. Even an innocent 10-year old’s heart was tugged. I might even consider this one of the foundations of my tendency to romanticize. (Mark this entry as Exhibit A)

Later on I found out, the author was my grandfather’s high school friend. It felt like I actually met him.

The book is still with me as to the moment I write. I browsed through the pages after seeing image above. The book may have aged, leaves brown and crisp. But its words are still intact, its images radiated as before.