Monday, September 26, 2005

Satire - Is it worth the Effort?

“Satire, it is said is the food of the intellectuals. He who does it with élan is fit to be called the king of writers”. I believe that if you want to be a good satirist, you should be extremely sensitive to the societal issues and take a strong view on the matters. One might then think that these are the matters of the heart but it is the head which has to conjure up the trick which can captivate the audience. One of the notable features of a successful satirist, I believe, is to throw an unsuspecting character in the midst of the various social happenings. This enables the writer to play up his imagination to an extent where the character is vexed with the system which he himself may have devised.

Such can be appreciably seen in one of Mark Twain’s famous satire “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court”. A 19th century Yankee from Connecticut is magically transported into King Arthur’s time. In this utopian court, he comes face to face with issues which he might have left unnoticed in his time. A sort of shock-therapy, I guess. The subtlety of Mark Twain in constructing his characters in a utopian society into which he could plant the social stigmas of his time is something which differentiates him from other writers of his time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Finally done with "To Kill Mockingbird". Critically acclaimed and winner of the Pulitzer prize - well in most cases that suffices to make it a bestseller. As a regular reader though, its the theme and the writing style which attract me to a book. Well, you would say: Which other way can you assess a book you have never read other than by the fame preceding it? A very simple way would be to give a glance at the back cover which presents you with a summary what you could find in the book. You could again say that wouldnt that be made to present a rosy picture. Well, for records sake let me tell you that it has worked for me in most cases. "Critic reviews" and "Authors own thoughts", which are available on the net also provide one with a sense of what to expect from the book.

Well, now coming back to my latest book. Definetely met expectations. My usual mode of selecting the book once again paid dividends. The book sensitively dealt with topics like adolescence, social issues and more importantly the contradictions one faces while growing up. Things which one would have taken for granted when they were kids and the truths one has to face up to in adolescence have been well dealt with. Deals with expectations from oneself and from people around you and how they change; how relationships work (blood as well as societal). Overall it does present one with a perspective of life albeit from a small town's perspective.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Man - To Be or not To Be.

Perhaps one of the most inspiring writer, I have ever had a chance to read of is Ayn Rand. Her philosophy which infact defends capitalism during an age when capitalists and industrialists were shunned as being too selfish and anti-social. Her novels and her philosophy come in an all-pervading way to their rescue. She daredly came up with her unique philosophy of "Objectivism", which places man at the center of the universe with the power of the creator in him. She goes on to give meaning to human existence and marvels at man's ability to transform nature at will. He is considered a fertile organism with an overwhelming and unrelenting drive to succeed and produce with all his might and talent. Her protagonist is someone who cannot take which is not rightfully his and cannot live the life of a parasite, feeding off others talents.

She can be said to have restored pride in human existence. Her novels "We the living", "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" are not just fictional novels to be read and forgotten but are inspiring in a way which could transform human life from the current depths of tragic and gloomy existence.

Hence by posting these thoughts I exhort every one to atleast attempt reading her. Its worth more than you can ever imagine.