Kafez

Literary

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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Sunday, 2 December 2007

I have so savoured the art of reading in these last few months. First in London, Dublin and now Singapore.
My reformed engaging passion akins itself with the tying of hardy knots to the safe anchor that once clasped my happy childhood. A long season of colour and light made up from an assortment of picture books, still sparkles in the memory like a pendant.

That that infant bliss should rocket its way back to me, is exciting.

Yet, I still feel I haven't read anything at all and I wonder desperately if this stems from an unecessary guilt created from time lost; resulting in the last few years.

Yesterday, I finished reading another 360-odd page, multi-cultural novel in one sitting. Behind the Moon offers the sharp sting on the pursuit of a gay identity together with complicated emigrant settlement. The chunky book was written by vibrant historian and novelist, Hsu-Ming Teo and published in Australia in 2005. Hsu, a Malaysian, emigrated to Sydney with her parents in 1977 and it was her turn to take to the chair at the Singapore Writers' Festival. (But I'll be writing more about this later.)

I shall soon open another Wordpress blog which will be wholly literary - to describe impressions formed from the talks I went to and also to exercise a deeper clarity on books read. I feel an urgent need to capture essays and interviews with authors and also to feature my own work; fiction and the like in a deeper aspect then the language used here. It will probably command a different audience.

This blog feels more like a personal diary of a reader and writer and since I'm terribly bad at keeping notes and diaries of the most ordinary things at all, I'm pleased to find this discipline, functional and practical for me. I'm glad at last that I'm finding a focus even for my blogs so that they're purposeful and don't appear aimless.

Again, I must stress that most of the information given out at the writers' talks were not new to me and I am reminded as always that one author's thoughts, routine and discipline differs acutely from the other. However, up to this point, I did pick up refreshing insights as to how authors view books and writing and also powerful innovative ideas from Eli Amir, an author who excels in both Jewish and Arabic literature.

The festival also proved a splendid tonic to my wayfaring habits with pencil, paper and keyboard. It's been a confidence boost for me in the stories I want to tell and in being exposed to the works of others, am more sure now of my own attempts at characterisation and plot. I seem to know better the way I want to go.

So I'm having a wonderful time in Singapore. The food is delicious and the city fashionable especially with its celebrated street theatres and glamorous Christmas decorations but there are so many juggling thoughts in my head at the moment, that I'll write more later.

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