“The thought process can never be complete without articulation.”
— Stephen King (The Stand, 885)
Reading that line immediately brought to mind a particular English teacher of mine (if you’re reading this, Hi Mrs.White!). Hands down, the past two years, being in her class I’ve learned the most in the ways of writing and thinking than I ever have with any other teacher. One of the reasons was because she really hammed home the fact that writing was an expression of thought, and that good writing come from good thought and good thought comes from good writing? Wait what … so to write you need to think and to think you need to write.
It took me a while to wrap my head around this concept but I think it’s finally starting to click. I find it hard sometimes to stick words down coherently on a page, to have it make sense and properly convey what I mean. A lot of people have told me that since I love to read, then by extension I must be good at writing as well. If only that was the case. In all honesty a blank page terrifies me. It stares at me, taunting me to put my jumble of ideas down, to make the electrical impulses that fire in my brain make sense on paper. Writing is not like a math equation, where you can put down variables and everyone will understand what you’re saying because you can solve for x and everyone’s x’s will turn out the same. In writing, x for me could stand for books but to you x could mean the overburdening weight of textbooks. I guess this is my fear. I fear that if I were to write “I love reading” that someone somewhere will misinterpret it and think I said “I love downing in words”. Practice makes perfect right? So I guess that’s why I’m still blogging, to spit out thoughts on the page and hope that my writing accurately reflects them or at least to an extent that no one is going to read this and think “Hmmm … this girl likes cheese.”
Imagine your bedroom. A room you’re familiar with, a room which filled with you-ness, just the way you like it. Now imagine you walk into your room, but instead of viewing your room through your eyes, you suddenly are looking at it from the point of view of an ant. Same room, yet at the same time, completely different. Nothing about the room has changed, only your perspective of the room.
To me this is what it feel like to read Klein’s novel, Ophelia. Diving back into 17th century Denmark felt good, but the world which I stepped back into seemed so different. Same place, yet at the same time, completely different. There were points in the novel where my mind would leap up in outrage thinking “That’s not what happened!” or “you can’t do that!” Prior knowledge of the storyline killed my experience reading the novel. My mind already had set in stone what was supposed to happen and looking at things from a new angle was made the story alien. It deviated from my thoughts and expectations. The shift in perspective the novel provided, however, made me realize how little we actually know about Ophelia in the play. We know almost nothing about her upbringing, her mannerisms, what she likes, what she dislikes. I guess that was Klein’s point. She really highlights the strength of women and she also made me realize how every character within a novel, no matter how small a role he/she plays, has a backstory of their own.
“‘Bigend told everyone to afford you full human status.'”
Full. Human. Status. Three words that chilled my mind. Three words that really show the extent of business hierarchy and corruption. Three words that really showed the controlling nature of Bigend and his perception of his company.
I can’t say I was unaware that Milgrim was being used throughout the novel. In fact I think Milgrim himself was fully aware he was being used, caught in a position he didn’t ask for, and yet that single line still brings horrors to my mind. Milgrim being Milgrim just let the remark slide, but I’m not like that. That line bothers me like an itch that refuses to remain unscratched. How can a person go to such lengths to intentionally use someone as though they were an object of possession, as though there were nothing more than a disposable tool. If this were to happen to me I don’t think I would have had the same reaction as Milgrim. I guess I would have reacted more like Hollis, with annoyance at being used and possibly anger at not having the guts to change my situation. Thank goodness I’m not a sci-fi book character.
Caught red handed. Okay so I’m procrastinating but hey, in my defense writing scholarship essays isn’t exactly the most exciting things ever, plus it’s Saturday (and don’t you have other things you currently need to be doing rather than reading a rant of post, if you’re in my English class then never mind congratulations you’re actually doing what you’re supposed to be)! It’s weird how I’ve come to refer to my laptop as the “distractomachine” (for obvious reasons) and so far the score is 5 billion distromachine – Maryam 0. Technology, Y U So Distracting! It’s got me thinking though, about how easily technology has taken over our lives.
Take this image, for example. There was a point in time were I would have said, without any hesitation, that I would be that lonely guy doing the book sniffing and fondling but now I’m not so sure. While I’d still go with books over iPad’s any day (as I’m not big on Apple products) but give me an Android tablet or an e-reader and suddenly I’m not so sure. Not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line, I drifted into the world of e-books and digital libraries. I mean it’s so convenient to just carry a full library of books all stuffed into a tiny electrical circuit, ready to open a new book at my will (especially handy for someone like me who for some bizarre reason is always reading at least 3 books at once).
Then again e-reading has its disadvantages as well. Oh look the battery died! Oh look a new YouTube video I never knew I needed to watch but suddenly now I do! Oh look someone messaged me, better reply! All these distractions, it’s a wonder I get anything done. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who’s distracted by the call of the internet. Milgrim, in William Gibson’s Zero History does the same as well one night, sitting on a bed, refreshing his Twitter feed instead of sleeping. Interesting how the pull of technology and the internet overrides our needs of sleep. Self-control? Seems like that’s something I lack.