December 30, 2014

"He Loves Me, Just Not In The way I Want To Be Loved!"

My high school friend married a man who abuses her often. Once that man (is he really a "man"?) even tossed her over the steps from second floor, just because the dinner was not made as he wished. And that's the second day my friend had abortion, for God's sake! Years ago during a conversation with this friend of mine, I somehow started my sentence as such: "Since he doesn't love you..." She immediately interrupted me: "he loves me!" I was surprised. I turned around, looked at her in the eyes and I saw fear. "He LOVES ME, just not in the way I wanted to be loved", she said those words with raised voice and reddened face, and continued staring at me for a length of time, as if saying: can't you understand?

December 29, 2014

Is Suicide Selfish?

My Suicide
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The logic reason that some people believe suicide is selfish is because they think survivors' grief is greater than the dead (suicide) ones' suffering. Truth is, if you never grieved enough to kill yourself, you never know how much those who took their own lives suffered, or how it feels like to suffer so much that even life is no longer bearable.

Is Suicide A Selfish Act?

Compassion

English: Sunset at Porto Covo, west coast of P...
English: Sunset at Porto Covo, west coast of Portugal (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Compassion - caring for others' suffering - is the highest form of love.

December 28, 2014

The Sickness Of This World

A leading member of the Skagen artists
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The sickness of this world is like sickness of our bodies, won't go away just because we ignore its existence.

Freewill & Selfishness

Detail of The School of Athens by Raffaello Sa...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To believe that anyone can help themselves absolutely in any conditions, or in other words, that we all have "absolute freewill" - under which indifference becomes virtue, is nothing but selfishness in the guise of intellectual concept.

December 25, 2014

A Spoiler Ruins My Reading!

I'm reading Dostoyevsky's The Idiot. Quite enjoy it by far. Being a little confused about characters so I searched online and found a characters list for this book. But this list not only tells your who is who, also briefs what happen to them later in the book! Now I know what happens to the main characters (by just one sentence, caught me off guard!) and probably it is the most important story plot of this book. Terrible! But I will go ahead finish reading nonetheless.

Holiday Kindness And My Gratitude

English: Hot Pot. Magyar: Hot pot ├ęs az alapan...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been complaining about how much misunderstanding a chronic illness sufferer would receive in her/his daily life, which is true, but, still, there are plenty of understanding out there, to which I am not blind. The incidence of last night was one of them.

Yesterday (Christmas Eve) I was invited by a parent of my student to a Christmas dinner party. It was a joined family parties by at least 3 families, which I know them all. I thought I was in good condition so I happily agreed to come. So late afternoon, I went to bought some presents, and arrived their house a little after 5pm.

December 24, 2014

Gandhi's "Pacifist" View On War

English: Gandhi during the Salt March, March 1...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have never liked Gandhi, not only because I didn't like what I saw from photos, also some stories I read about his life convinced me that he was not the person people believe he was. And recently, one of George Orwell's essays again echoes my impression of this popular figure.

In George Orwell's essay Reflections On Gandhi, he mentioned that he never heard a (extreme) pacifist answering the question regarding to WWII:
"How about the Jews? Are you prepared to see them exterminated? If not, how do you propose to save them without resorting war?" Gandhi's answer to this question was that German Jews ought to commit collective suicide, which "would have arouse the world and people in Germany to Hitler's violence".

December 23, 2014

Sign Of Narrow Mindedness

Artist's impression of Twenty Major
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are many signs of narrow mindedness, adhering to first impressions (of persons or things) is certainly one of them.

December 14, 2014

Can Therapy "Fix" Homosexuality? - See What It Did To Highsmith

I have been off and on a bio of Highsmith: Beautiful Shadow - A Life Of Patricia Highsmith, by Andrew Wilson, in which there is an anecdote of Highsmith that I could not get over it:

During her late 20s, Highsmith was troubled by her sexuality and she sincerely wanted to fix it, because she wanted to marry a man who deeply loved her. So she underwent a therapy, believed it would eventually convert her to heterosexual. Since the therapy was extremely expensive, she had to take another job in a toy store to catch up with bills. It was in that store she met a female customer, who inspired her to write her second novel Price Of Salt (also published as Carol in later editions) - one of (or the only one) greatest romance books about lesbians relationship, or any love relationship!

December 13, 2014

Meet The Genius Highsmith On A Train!

I mentioned earlier in my blog that Edith Diary was my best pick among all Highsmith's books I had read, but now I found I was wrong, because after I finished Strangers On A Train, I had to put it on top of Edith Diary and The Talented Mr. Ripley. As matter of fact I was speechless! (As one of comments in Amazon put: "The only other experience I've had in life that was as ravaging as this book is sex.") I wish I read this book before I watched the movie, though the movie is significantly different from the book (except the first one third, which probably was the reason I did not continue reading the book last year. Also I must to say that the movie loses all profoundness of the book).

I would like to write a more comprehensive review on this masterpiece in future but right now, I need to vent out my owe!

December 6, 2014

"Carol In A Thousand Cities" --- More On "Price Of Salt"

Patricia Highsmith
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
After being so thrilled by the ending of Price of Salt, I could not help to go back reading it again, mainly the beginning, where I thought it was slow and boring. Oh it must be I who was slow and bored, because this time I found it enchanting and necessary, so necessary that only after we read all those passages could we be prepared properly for the arrival of Carol - "an amalgamation of all qualities Highsmith admired in a woman" (Beautiful Shadow - A Life Of Patricia Highsmith, Andrew Wilson).

December 4, 2014

Price Of Salt - Forbidden Love

 I found Highsmith's work is like an attractive person in unattractive outfits, the more you know this person, the more you find his/her irresistible charm. Usually I had to keep reading her books until quite late to find that "impossible to put down" feeling, and Price of Salt is especially the case. The first 10% doesn't even seem relevant to the story. I actually read 5% last year and quit. This time I decided to just "have a taste", ignore her "unattractive outfit" (yes, I skipped over lots of details), then, I found something that not only need to be tasted, but to be chewed, swallowed and digested.

The story is about a 19 year-old girl Therese, who come from a complicated family, a "newbie" in adult life and romance, falls in love with Carol, a woman who is over 10 years her senior, who is experienced, sophisticated and goddess-like. The beginning of book is very slow, but story picks its pace when Carol enters the scene. How they know each other and starts dating, how they fall in love, and how their love develops is totally absorbing (I had to go through that pain and sweetness all over again!). And the ending - what an unexpected sublimation!

December 2, 2014

Experience In Misery, Misfortune, Etc.

Misery (novel)
Misery (novel) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Experience or study in misery, misfortune, even perverted darkness of human psyche is not a necessity for our happiness, but a must for a good understanding of human nature. And without a good/comprehensive understanding of human nature, humanity would never progress.

"This Sweet Sickness" - This Sweet Pervertedness!

This Sweet Sickness
This Sweet Sickness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This Sweet Sickness is one of Patricia Highsmith's early books. The story is about a young intelligent scientist David Kelsey's obsession of a young woman, Annabelle. As Annabelle pushes him further and further, Kelsey's obsession gets more intense, until he finally traps in an inescapable corner of web woven by himself.

The first one third of book is very slow, I almost gave up, but I am glad I didn't, because the last one third is absolutely brilliant - as situation gets more pressing, Kelsey's hallucination gets more real, he becomes more confused about his true identity. This part of book reminds me The Talented Mr. Ripley, but only more emotionally thrilling (though overall I still like Rilpley more).

December 1, 2014

Talent Vs. Intelligence

Intelligence (journal)
Intelligence (journal) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Seeing so many people so easily and openly admit their lack of talent, yet so uneasily and reluctantly judge their intelligence, it can only make sense to me to conclude that no matter how much people venerate talent, it is intelligence that really matters to them.