Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Literature You Love

Please discuss any work(s) of literature you really LOVE here - or respond to your favourite literary work in a creative way (e.g. by translating it into a drawing or by writing a poem or story about it/ that involves it).

If you refer to literary works that people might not be familiar with, please add your sources so that everybody can find and read your chosen piece.




  1. Poem in response to "Death of a Salesman" by Arthur Miller

    Willy Loman, was a self-proclaimed salesman,
    But we all know, that a salesman that doesn't sell, is no salesman.
    He was a father, a provider,
    Caught in the web, of a capitalist spider.
    The dream, the American Dream.
    Is happiness, so it seems.

    Willy had a modest home, two kids, and a wife,
    Living each day, life hung on by the knife.
    With no way out, and always contemplating suicide,
    He could do nothing, to rid his suffering, on the inside.
    In a capitalistic society, the tough gets harder, the bar gets higher.
    Bones tire, minds collapse, fall down, hear the choir.

    Willy, he had big hopes, a dream, the American Dream,
    Filled with fame, gold, silver, and riches of the same theme.
    Biff, his pride, his son,
    Always pushing him to be the one.
    Wanting him to imitate his salesman pep,
    Following in his father's footsteps.

    Expectations... be a big shot, ask for that business loan.
    Hold it, shut down, not even close to being well known.
    Bill Oliver, didn't even bat an eye,
    Only one question came to his mind, 'who is this guy?'

    False hopes, who is he kidding?
    Expecting everyone around him, to do his bidding?
    Defeat, face his father, with nothing but failure,
    Time to realize that Biff, is no saviour.

    Willy, faced with disappointment, trying to see things untrue,
    Such unrealistic ideals, can't be lived up to.

    Accept the toughest of realities,
    Life is full of abnormalities.
    Riddled with technicalities,
    Ideals are nothing but unneeded formalities.

    Quit blurring out life, living a lie,
    Live, let learn and try.

  2. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami is a novel that I will always love and read every year or so. There are so many different perspectives and ideas that fill the book and only a few can drain into your head from time to time, when you are living certain parts of your life and experiencing different feelings. Whether I am happy, isolated, angry, heartbroken; I can always relate to at least one character of this novel and understand to greater extents the situations that occur. It's a book that I highly suggest everyone to read for its complexity and wholesomeness, for its simplicity and brokenness, for its heartache and everything that it is. At any point in your life, you may find different parts of the novel to reflect you or affect you, and it'll always be a truth that you uncover.

    1. Hi Jackie,

      I've always wanted to read one of Haruki Murakami's books. Perhaps I'll start with Norwegian Wood! I've only read his quotes before- but judging from that, I also find them relatable to our personal lives and applicable in most situations.

      Some of my favourite quotes by him:

      “I sometimes think that people’s hearts are like deep wells. Nobody knows what’s at the bottom. All you can do is imagine by what comes floating to the surface every once in a while.”

      “If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

      “Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”

      A longer one but I love his comparison of fate to a storm:

      “Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn't something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you. This storm is you. Something inside of you. So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn't get in, and walk through it, step by step. There's no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That's the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

      An you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You'll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

      And once the storm is over you won't remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won't even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm you won't be the same person who walked in. That's what this storm's all about.”

  3. "The Way of Shadows" by Brent Weeks is an amazing novel!!! Weeks is a genius when he describes the adventures of Kylar Stern through the fictional fantasy world Weeks has created. A lot of events that occur in the story parallel events that occur in real life which in its own unique way, add a sense of realism to the novel even thought the setting is fictional. The story is dark yet subtly humorous and it connects with readers in a deep way as readers sympathize with the protagonist as he is growing up from a poor boy to become an assassin. The life changes that he goes through and the lives that he changes makes the reader not only love him but also hate him. This duality of feeling is what makes the main protagonist human and what allows the reader to truly sympathize with him as like all of us, he also makes mistakes and deals with those consequences. Weeks does a brilliant job with bringing such a character to life that can be related to and memorable.