Hic Sunt Dracones

the smylere with the knyf under the cloke

Posts Tagged ‘literature

Readers ‘From Out-er Space’ at Readings@Seksan

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I was at Readings@Seksan yesterday evening. This must be my 5th time. The most eventful date would be; during its 5th Anniversary; and readings by Awang Goneng (Wan Hulaimi) and Dina Zaman.

There’s a new sound system for the Readings@Seksan — better audio for the hearing-challenge (not impaired) like me.

Met Amir Muhammad for the umpteenth time. I said hi, yet didn’t bother to start a small-talk, since I don’t know what to start with; then I remember how cool his collection of short fiction is at British Council Malaysia: A City of Shared Stories – Kuala Lumpur — which I don’t even try to bring it up. The hot weather must have mired my brain signals. Catch-up with his short fiction at @amirmu.

On hindsight, maybe I should have brought up the story about how my past ex-gf, Ebb (not Sue, she ‘likes’ him) hated — or is it hates — you. Or at least the character of the Malaysian Linguistic Association (MALAS), the overly censorious Ambi Mohan. Satire is a fine art, Malaysian in overall are easily duped (even with an overtly mainstream propaganda). Just google Ambi Mohan, you get what I mean.

Alright, back to Readings. Here’s the February readers:

Damyanti Ghosh — wonderful rendering of her writing;

Chaizani Mohd Shamsudin — read an excerpt from her book: From Out-er Space. Bottoms up for ‘What Happened to Your Bottom?’. Bought her book, didn’t manage to get this USM English Lecturer’s autograph. She’s already left during the second part.

Jamie Khoo — on self-discovery, excerpt from her book: PARIS — as in “I want to be like PARIS HILTON!”;

David Lai — on his autobiography, which I found the bit about mudra a little ‘monotonous’;

Datuk Dr. Shanmugalingam — instant favourite on his short fiction of a blonde boy in kampung village during the Japanese occupation of Malaya. Amusing, yet the end is a tragic story — in a very humourous way;

Eeleen Lee — read an excerpt from her unpublished book.

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Readings@Seksan as always — good ambiance, despite the hot weather.

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I love what Lydia Chai did to the February Readings poster. Negative-positive tone on blue and yellow.

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After asar prayer at Masjid in Bangsar, I went to Rock Corner at The Gardens for my 65daysofstatic and Placebo ticket. And that very day 65daysofstatic announced its asia-pacific tour cancellation. Bummer.

The ‘Cut Out’ design magazine is a local publication. Good found at Basheer Graphic Books, The Borders. I was searching for I.D. Magazine last issue, but found that magazine instead.

I.D. (1954-2009) was the oldest product design magazine in the country. The oldest design magazine in the country would be Print, which has been in publication continuously since 1940. The January/February issue of I.D. will be its last; subscribers to I.D. will receive Print magazine for the balance of their subscription.

Read more at: I.D. Magazine, a Design Icon, Folds After 55 Years in Print

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Readings@Seksan: 5th Anniversary

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Belated entry of the event last Saturday on 30th January 2010 — because I got down with a fever on that day, and procrastinating ever since.

A good crowd of readers that day: Elaine Foster, Jo Kukathas, O Thiam Chin, Kam Raslan, Bernice Chauly and Rahmat Haron.

Sharon Bakar reciting the ‘piglet’ poem about the piglet canvas, which used to be the backdrop of Readings.

Elaine Foster stomping with poetry slam — Revolution Will Not Be Televised.

Jo Kukathas and Bernice Chauly narrating a chronicle of yesteryear life in Malaya.

O Thiam Chin reading a piece from his book — Never Been Better.

Kam Raslan amused us with a piece of his sequel to Confessions of an Old Boy: The Dato’ Hamid Adventures — of perfume and the lingering nostalgia with every waft of bergamot, citrus and musk.

Rahmat Haron — mat bunga dari selambak hapak, sampah seni — with his ‘non-rebel’ art form of soundscape and ‘critical’ poetry.

And lastly, Umapagan Ampikaipakan announced BFM 89.9 Book Club akin to Oprah’s Book Club. First book to discuss: Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.

I’ll reupload Rahmat Haron’s Keranamu Malaysia youtube video — the audio is out of sync due to codec issue. This old laptop can’t render 1080p, less it crash. Even after resizing it into 720p and 360p.

Happy 5th anniversary Readings. I enjoy the cake, the ‘giant’ curry puff and the jovial atmosphere. Cheers!

On the Road, On the Map

The work of Stefanie Posavec during the On the Map exhibition. Her pieces focused on On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (New York Times: “the most beautifully executed, the clearest and most important utterance” during the Beat Generation).

The maps visually represent the rhythm and structure of Kerouac’s literary space, creating works that are not only gorgeous from the point of view of graphic design, but also exhibit scientific rigor and precision in their formulation: meticulous scouring the surface of the text, highlighting and noting sentence length, prosody and themes, Posavec’s approach to the text is not unlike that of a surveyor. And similarly, the act is near reverential in its approach and the results are stunning graphical displays of the nature of the subject. The literary organism, rhythm textures and sentence drawings are truly gorgeous pieces.

[Source: NOTCOT – Stefanie Posavec “On the Map”]

A map of uniformed visualisation out of the chaotic humanity, as observed by Jack Kerouac.

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Literary Organism
A visualisation of Part One of On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.

Stefanie-Posavec_On-the-Map_Jack-Kerouac_On-the-Road_Literary_Organism

Basic Structure
Each literary component can be divided into even smaller parts, the smallest in this diagram being words. The diagram is read clockwise, starting from the first chapter, paragraph, or sentence.

Part > Chapters > Paragraphs > Sentences > Words

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Rhythm Textures
Selected Quotes from On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.

Stefanie-Posavec_On-the-Map_Jack-Kerouac_On-the-Road_Rhythm-Textures

Basic Structure
Variations in punctuation and pauses in the sentence create individual patterned diagrams for each sentence.

Stefanie-Posavec_On-the-Map_Jack-Kerouac_On-the-Road_Rhythm-Textures_Basic-Structure

Diagram One
Beginning > italicized word > comma > semicolon > dashes > mid-sentence exclamation point > mid-sentence italicized word followed by an exclamation point > mid-sentence question mark > colon > parentheses > exclamation point.

Stefanie-Posavec_On-the-Map_Jack-Kerouac_On-the-Road_Rhythm-Textures_Chapter-One

Chapter One
Paragraph Fifteen
Sentence Seven

Besides, all my New York friends were in the negative, nightmare position of putting down society and giving their tired bookish or political or psychoanalytical reasons, but Dean just raced in society, eager for bread and love; he didn’t care one way or the other, “so long’s I can get that lil ole gal with that lil sumpin down there tween her legs, boy,” and “so long’s we can eat, son, y’ear me? I’m hungry, I’m starving, let’s eat right now!”—and off we’d rush to eat, whereof, as saith Ecclesiastes, “It is your portion under the sun.”

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Sentence Drawings
The entirety of On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

Stefanie-Posavec_On-the-Map_Jack-Kerouac_On-the-Road_Sentence-Drawings

Basic Structure
After each sentence, the line turns right, creating the drawing.

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Sentence Length
Every sentence in On the Road, by Jack Kerouac, organized by words per sentence.

Stefanie-Posavec_On-the-Map_Jack-Kerouac_On-the-Road_Sentence-Length

Colour Coding

Eleven thematic categories with colour coding for each theme.

  • Dean Moriarty (Protagonist)

An insight into the character of Dean Moriarty, the protagonist. Background into Dean’s life, his friends’ perception about him, Sal Paradise’s (the narrator) observation about his behaviour, and description of how he acts of speaks.

  • Bop & Jazz Music

Description of the bop music nights the circle of friends often attend, explanation of the history of bop or jazz in America, and vivid sketches of the music itself as well as the musicians who create it.

  • Social Events & Interaction

Relate to times when Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty are meeting and spending time with friends in various social settings.

  • Travel

Experiences had by Sal Paradise, Dean Moriarty, and the rest of their circle of friends while travelling.

  • Sketches of Regional Life

Sal Paradise, the narrator, uses words to sketch a picture of the places he travels through, creating vivid images of the environment and the people who love in the locations in the mind of the reader.

  • Parties, Drinking & Drugs

Detail the parties Sal, Dean, and their friends go to as well as scenes which involve drinking or drug-taking.

  • Work & Survival

Describe the characters’ jobs of their experiences while searching for money to survive in their daily life or travels.

  • Sal Paradise (Narrator)

Sal Paradise is the narrator of On The Road, describing his travel across the United States and Mexico as well as reflecting upon his friendship with Dean Moriarty, the main character. Sections of the novel that either give background into Sal’s character or his thoughts and beliefs about the people and places he meets on his travels.

  • Women, Sex & Relationships

Any section of the novel that deal with sex, women, relationships with women, or a character’s personal philosophy about women.

  • Illegal Activities & Encounters with the Police

Designate the passage within the novel where Sal and his friends commit illegal acts such as stealing food or cars; also, it designates the group ‘s encounters with the police or other self-imposed forms of law enforcement.

  • Character & Sketches

The term “character sketches” refers to the sections in the novel when Sal Paradise gives background information about specific character in the book (except Dean Moriarty, who is referenced by his own colour). This background information aids the reader in learning more about the personality of the character described.

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Also, check out William Faulkner’s Intruder in the Dust (1948) and George Orwell’ Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) infographics.

The December Literati, The Lips [He] Tastes, The Auburn Neko and The Cheap Joint

Thank you for this bitter knowledge
Guardian angels who left me stranded
It was worth it, feeling abandoned
Makes one hardened but what has happened to love

Someone :) wrote this in Last.fm journal. (Oh yeah, I’m totally stalking her. Not.)

[…]

He gives his thanks, feels abandoned, looks at stars, vanishes into powder, suffers paranoia, bitter disappointment. My eyes close and I see a broken man with his back to Medusa, wanting nothing else but to turn back and look into her Gorgon eyes, over and over and over again, wanting to forget, choosing to throw it all away.

Only he doesn’t.

What has happened to love.

It’s repeated, but only as undertones. Not in the forefront, it isn’t a question burning with curiousity, sung with sparkling passion. It’s delivered with poignant echo, as if the answer, if it exists, isn’t really sought after at this point.

Go, or go ahead and surprise me. Say you’ve lead the way to a mirage.

When you’re on the edge, nothing’ll do the trick anymore.
What do you do when you’ve been lead to a mirage?
You drop your guide. You turn around.

[…]

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“Readings” December at Seksan was crowded with Awang Goneng a.k.a Wan A. Hulaimi fans (me included). I enjoyed the littoral sea creature shorts from Dina Zaman (with her parent). Patrick Teoh can-I-say-fuck?-I’ll-say-that-again-FUCK! read the column snippet from The Edge Daily — poking fun at the Malaysian Malaise, and truly, saying what is truth out of principle is such a bitch, niamah! — and talking about leaking rooftops in Putrajaya as I stand nearby a plate of stencil print that parodied the incident:

[Picture of Perdana Putra]
Got a rooftop leak?
Call 1-800-idunno

Ah, the irony.

Sharon Bakar preceded with a reading of an intro out of Awang Goneng’s Growing Up in Trengganu (GUiT) before the author took his seat. As he seat, he spoke of memories and recollections, rhythms and forms, nascent phonetization, and of course the idyllic Trengganu — T[e]rengganu that used to be. I can almost hear the susurration of the monsoon wind as vivid as the flickering DSLR and PS flash of the literati. The recital of the Arabic verses was heart warming and as AG said, it brought tears to the eyes and soul.

Amir Hafizi is the shit. This mofo having an autophilia-cum-autofellatio moment (a quickie, real quick) as he ejaculated to Jackie Chan crotch, lesbian, sex, gym, BMI, obesity, gigolo, prostitution, ass, tits and boo boo kitty fuck. Yes, he’s the Ω Malay α Male. Got to lap up to his shit, non-scatological that is.

Patrick TeohAmir HafiziA. Samad Said

Here’s Patrick Teoh, Amir Hafizi and A. Samad Said.

Irmy NatasyaLiyannaJane Doe

And Irmy Natasya, Liyana Yusof and Jane “Comel” Doe.

The Seksan Literati really love ’em DSLR and PS: Irmy Natasya (Natinski) with her Nikon D40, Liyana Yusof (Dizzyfirefly) with her Nikon Coolpix P5000; and a girl that frequently got molested with Sufian Abas‘s Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro. Oh, that’s all Suf flickr set by the way. Credits to his highly saturated post-processing on Adobe Photoshop CS3. And there’s more! The one with her Canon EOS 350D/Digital Rebel XT and a resident photographer (perhaps) with her Nikon D2X. And Panasonic’s Lumix. And Sony HDR-CX7 too, cool camcorder, might replace my old JVC with that one.

It’s a Seksan’s camera obscura picturesque kodak moment!

In retrospect, I should have bring along my Canon EOS 40D. Those Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS USM lens would make such a good topic of the conversation, if I ever own one.

Click! Click! Click! 6.5 fps baby!

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She got her red lips tasted and the hair dyed red. Good.

What has happened to love.

Sans me. [S]ad.

Go, or go ahead and surprise me. Say you’ve lead the way to a mirage.

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Countdown to New Year 2008

I’m off to “this one simple cheap but surprisingly lovely restaurant at the top of a hill.”

With some company.

Or just one.

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I really need that 3 month bonus so I can buy an Apple MacBook Pro after Steve Jobs’s keynote address at Macworld Expo 2008. Hopefully the new Intel’s Penryn processors [Intel® 45nm high-k (Hi-k) metal gate silicon technology with 45nm architecture] would be ready for the January upgrade.

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UPDATE:

Bibliobibuli – Readings Gets Respectable … Well Almost

Madcap Machinist – Jasmine at Seksan’s