Zen of Fishing With Santiago and the Marlin

Book Title:  The Old Man and the Sea

Author: Ernest Hemingway

Translator:  N/A

Rating:  4 of 5 Stars

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A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Ernest Hemingway as a storyteller is really intense and precise. All forms and types of storytellers have their own way of building the story. Hemingway has a way of getting into my mind space.

I have read his other works but his best work is “The Old Man and the Sea.” The novelette holds the readers’ interest and retains them with just a few human characters whose conversations are crisply done.

Story in a Nutshell:

The story revolves around a fisherman’s life. The story is a snapshot of lives of fishermen who happen to be on coastal space and where the main source of income comes from the fishing industry.

The build up of Santiago’s experience provides insight into his thought process. Santiago, an elderly fisherman’s work-life balance, is well drawn out in this novelette.

The story progresses from a defeated work day and the next day of success. But when he returns all that remain with him is the skeleton of the Marlin that he had caught. It almost parallels with life in general. The leftover of a life would be the prized catch of the day.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

I like the fact that most of the major conversations happen in the mind of Santiago during his fishing alone in the sea. There is great power in those scenes, which are well portrayed in the novelette.

I enjoyed the fact that the internal thoughts and life’s lesson is beautifully intertwined.  There was a sense of balance and nobility in the struggle between Santiago and the Marlin. Both the main characters are created to perfection and beautifully rendered.

My Opinion

Life is all about struggles that one undergoes. Santiago’s fishing experience can be matched up with any of the life situation and the outcome of which becomes the catharsis of a human soul.

The strife between the man and nature is given an upper hand, when the man wins; but eventually he is left with the carcass. Both of them, had to do what they had to do, in the given situation.

It is a question of survival for both of them and that is beautifully portrayed in the novelette. It is an excellent re-readable book and has many levels of interpretation to span across.

Magical World in Opium Induced State | Kubla Khan

The background loop song for this piece is Aayat song from Bajirao Mastani movie by Sanjay Leela Bansali. I am trying to explore the world of Kubla Khan of Sameul Taylor Coleridge within the space of this musical piece.

In a way, I have memorized Kubla Khan much like a prayer and the magic of having first encountered this particular poetry remains with me to this day. I was in my 9th grade when I read this poem. At that age, I had just begun to write my own couplets and I was fascinated by the wildness of the poem.

My personal experience with the poem “Kubla Khan” is unique for the fact that my over imaginative mind was captured and encouraged to dream on. Much after the poem finished my mind would reel out images of on-going verses that Coleridge has missed out.

Alph river from its origin to its meandering down to the sea is such an exclusive experience for a dreamer like me. I usually see poems as visual effects. Even now when I think of my project for the Animation course, which was Kubla Khan poem’s visual representation; but sadly it didn’t come anywhere near what I was seeing in my mind.

That way I must say that nature part of the poem was extremely mesmerizing for my mind. I would be lost in the rhythm of the river in its course and the vibrancy of the river is such a wonderful moment to capture within my mind. The flash of images have been played into each counter points giving it the special touch.

I did try to intoxicate myself to write a poem so ethereal but failed miserably. My intoxication was a leftover wine bottle just put me to sleep and I failed capture any ethereal verses in the process. I am pretty clean person and don’t do substance abuse and I gave up after that total failure of intoxicating myself to write a poem.

But I am quite aware of the semi-aware state of consciousness. Given there is much past medicinal dose which had left me sleepy and half-aware, I was no stranger to being drugged.

Yet, when I learned that Coleridge got himself opium sedated for writing this poem, I was surprised that one needed to do drugs to be able to explore poetry. This poem in many ways explored my understanding at various levels.

I enjoyed the mystic nature playing subtle influences in the interpretation of the poem. The woman who is in love with a demon lover becomes an attraction factor which clearly defined the pitched mood for the poem.

The Woman with the Dulcimer is a magical touch that it mingles with the loop song that I am listening to in the present. The poem is combination of past memories and impressions.

Each time, I read this poem there is magic happening within me. I am looking at the cruel ruler who also has a woman who longs for him. The eeriness of the situation seems to give the poem an added flavor of uniqueness that beyond marvelous.

There was much in the poem that seems to have not been disclosed. I still think of the animation flick that I create was half-baked attempt to capture a poem which is completely a visual magic.

Magic of Fairy Tales a Lifetime’s Pleasure!

Book Title: Fairy Tales From Around the World

Author: Andrew Lang

Translator: N/A

Rating:  4 of 5 Stars

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A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

Andrew Lang was a poet and a journalist who through his works gifted book readers with so many well-known and unknown fairy tales. The author of these fairy tales worked more as a recorder of the stories taken from the available sources. His childhood influence for outdoors and topics connected with his interest areas have greatly influenced his works.

Story in a Nutshell:

Fairy Tales from Around the World have stories picked from his Color coded Fairy Tales books. It covers stories from Arabian Nights, Scotland, and other countries, thus giving it a rounded feel for stories about fairies and magic.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

It is really hard to like or dislike a book. I love fairy tales and given that I love to read stories that involve magic, this book was a treasure trove. Oral storytelling is really interesting to explore because all my childhood had been filled with some family member telling a story. All forms of moral at home was disguised in a story. So, it is not surprising that oral storytelling has become my greatest influence in my life. There was nothing to dislike in this collection thought now that I know there are lot more fairy tales written by Andrew Lang, there is a desire to read it all.

My Opinion

This book makes an excellent bedtime read. The stories are in its rough and ready state which gives it the spice of pleasure in reading them. There is something more interest about this fairy tales and that the element of magic and unbelievable pushing of truth. I would rather believe the blatant lies than have the fire of truth extinguish the magic of the moment in these tales.

Image Source: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/fairy-tales-from-around-the-world-andrew-lang/1112044044#/

Dwelling in the Simple Minds of Religious Fractions

Book Title:  Silas Marner

Author: George Eliot

Translator:  N/A

Rating:  3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy:  N/A

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

George Eliot is the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, who was a popular novelist of the 19th century. As a writer, she was more inclined towards topics related to religion and she has explored the various interpretations; while holding a more radical view on the subject. Her novels play on plot events and its human reaction to religious rules that get violated or modified for individual use. Evans’ life was filled with not being accepted by her people and she gained some acceptance from her written works which was a small relief from the disowning she had faced for her belief system. As a radical writer, she comes out with some really appealing books that I enjoyed reading.

Story in a Nutshell:

Silas Marner was a weaver by profession with a dark past that has taken away his belief in a just God in his known world. His only activity was to weave and to sell his product with minimal human interaction. His aspiration after he had collected couple of gold coins was to increase it. He gets obsessed with the gold coins, that it to an exclusion of all other things. This Gold gets robbed, which shakes his sense of security and being subjected by God to an unjust second verdict on his life.

On New Year’s eve Silas finds an abandoned child in his home. He first mistakes it for his gold; but then, warmth of the golden curls of the child wakes his sense of being among the living. The girl child becomes his sole support and getting recognized as an agreeable person for the society around him. From the time of the Child’s presence in his life everything changes for Silas.

The story revolves around the various Characters struggling with their issues and belief systems. The religious thoughts that are found in two different places becomes a comparison grounds for religion based discourse through the characters’ thought process. How the issue of faith and questioning of it is handled by the author is the most enjoyable part of the novel. There is much that gets analyzed using the Characters as a main members contributing to the issue of faith.

Review

My Likes and Dislikes

The one thing that I liked about this novel, was the fact that, the author was willing to question practices that were not scientific. There are much radical thoughts, that get introduced in the process of the plot progress. I loved the fact that the author questions some of the thoughts held in the religious ground without stampeding the general accepted sensitivity of the age in which the author lived in and interacted. But given that, it was written in the early days of radical questioning days, I feel the novel is made of great stuffs for intellectual wondering even in the present day intellectualizing.

One thing that I disliked about this novel, was the fact that, the author didn’t have to raze the Lantern Yard to non-existence. It was an easy way out by removing the entire place and leaving just the prison alone. There was much that could be explored if the place had remained.

My Opinion

The plot seems deceivingly simple but it isn’t. Silas Marner is the central figure around whom the entire story revolves. Silas has epileptic attacks which leaves him in an unconscious state for some duration was a great place to explore. The author plays around the medical condition which was interpreted as an unnatural interference from the divine or the devil in varying degree of interpretation. This sets the stage for the entire novel in many ways. The odd practice of deciding using a lot was an actual practice was surprising; but quiet fresh understanding. As a radical read, I found this book very interesting to intellectualize in my mind.

Image Source: http://www.loyalbooks.com/book/silas-marner-by-george-eliot

A Well Spun 1001 Nights | Lifesaver Stories

Book Title: Tales from the Thousand and One Nights

Translator: N/A

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Get Your Copy: @Amazon | @Flipkart | @SnapDeal | @BookAdda

A Bird’s Eye View

About the Storyteller:

The storyteller of this book is a woman with a set agenda of saving her life. Each story is well woven to provide the right kind of interest and curiosity to know its conclusion. This gave the storyteller an additional day to live.

Story in a Nutshell:

The stories are set in a combination of betrayal, adventure, blood and gory details. They are well spun with an interesting closure which makes sure that the listener’s interest is sustained for another night. The Minister’s daughter marries the Shah to prevent untimely death of young women in her country. The Shah feeling cheated out by his betraying first wife decides illogically to get married to a young bride and have her executed on the very next day.

Scheherazade is the minister’s daughter who decides to keep the Shah from killing further young women due to a unfair conclusion that all women are unfaithful. The tales to pass the night becomes so interesting, that the Shah is willing to allow Scheherazade to live another night to complete the story. She spins the tales in such a way that she gets extra nights to live finish them. Until eventually, the Shah understands his folly in his assumption that all women are unfaithful and conniving personalities.

My Likes and Dislikes

The part that I really liked was the times, when the Genie used to appear in the story. Of course, the initial stories were really very dark. But later on there are slight changes in the stories told because it was becoming a little light-hearted and more humane. I could inference the fact, that the Shah’s view on women changes with each consecutive stories. This speaks for the storytelling capacity of Scheherazade. She spins the tale is such a way that it confirms the belief system of the Shah. With each turn in the listener’s mood the stories also change course.

One thing that I disliked about the stories were the presence of really dark details. The fact that the characters and setting where in and around the Middle East. The settings were not as clear as the characters motives for me. But within the limits of the storyteller’s intelligence in expanding the settings to outside world was achieved by resorting to limited setting description. Meaning to say that women were limited to their female quarters and Scheherazade was well read so she could keep her knowledge listener engaged with the stories.

My Opinion

This book would be an excellent read for grown up readers who are fascinated by well spun creative stories. The more edited and abridged version of the story is acceptable for young readers. The stories are well told to the specific listener’s need. The magic of Arabian night settings are exceptional given the limitation in the exposure of the storyteller to the outside world