August 2, 2012

My July According to Words

“I love reading books,” a certain Japanese answered the trivial getting-to-know-each-other question, “what are your hobbies?” though we both know to know was misplaced. I expected another bout of suspense thrillers since most Japanese find Haruki Murakami too baffling. “Do you know Kobo Abe?” The science of coincidence! My eyes widened because Kobo Abe’s The Woman in the Dunes was on my desk—to reacquaint myself to the ambiguousness of his sand for a travel essay. Rewriting is a painful process; it is an emotional and intellectual bloodshed. While rereading doubles the pleasure. Every read, another layer of meaning, understanding peels […]
April 25, 2011
Backpacking with a Book

Concluding Holy Week

Yesterday marked the last of Holy Week. I went home for three days, rendering this online home unattended, silent. Yesterday I had a regretful afternoon and sought refuge in halu-halo, late unlimited-rice lunch, and  J. M. Coetzee’s words. He continues to teach because it provides him with a livelihood; also because it teaches him humility, brings it home to him who he is in the world. The irony does not escape him: that the one who comes to teach learns the keenest of lessons, while those who come to learn learn nothing. —J. M. Coetzee, Disgrace