Friday, June 13, 2008

Tagged - What I've been waiting for and dreading.

Sucharita tagged me. Thanks Such. Sar.

The book I've been reading for a year and a half is In The Castle Of My Skin. It was written in 1953 by George Lamming, an important Barbadian writer. I hope to finish one day. As a result, I've bought and put aside Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy and Becoming Abigail by Chris Abani. I refuse to touch them until I'm finished with Lamming's seminal West Indian novel.

The introduction over, here are the eagerly awaited 6th, 7th and 8th sentences on page 123:

"'...An' Jon wait, 'cause that wus the way he feel so he wait for such a long time they leave the church, an' up to then no man had so much as make his appearance. P'raps they should have stay a little longer.'"

"'But s'ppose,' Boy Blue went on, 'suppose Jon did see a man go in, an' there wus weddin', what would you say to that?"'

Commentary time. Well, I've been behaving like a hot and bothered imp in a jar with all my loud and subliminal statements. Apparently, I was the last one left to be enlightened on this book. I loved the idea of this book so much so that I had planned on doing my Masters' thesis on George Lamming.

Then I bought the book and started to read.

All I'll privilege myself to say is that some writers have a special quality - they are able to transcend centuries, ages, decades and connect with and reach readers from later times. Like one of my favourites, Charles Dickens. George Lamming, sadly, is not one such writer. The dialogue, the plot, the movement seems to drag like the thieves my great-grandfather tied to his horse's tail...unbearably.

I don't enjoy reading this book at all. But it's proclaimed as important. So, I won't treat it like Crime and Punishment (which I plan to get back to!). I am going to read this mother then light its ass up!

But before I go, basically the book is yet to get to its point (I'm at p.157) which is that Barbados is (was) an English colony with no identity apart from its mother country's.

Now who to tag? Hmmmmmmm.

Paul Bernard


Sucharita Sarkar said...

I know the feeling too, when reading the book is like an uphill journey...very heavy-going. You may kill me for this, but I found War and Peace similarly tough, though I did manage to finish it. I am slightly wary of thick books, unless they are by Dickens. Do remember to tell us all about this book when you do finish it. Sometimes the journey improves if you soldier on...

Paul Bernard said...

Thanks for the tag. I've never heard of your book.
Not sure where to put my tag post. Perhaps I should start a new blog?

jyotsana said...

hi jaq. couldnt thank u earlier as i was away from home. saw the comment and came here. thanx dear for tagging me and more so coz u thought of me and included me as a friend.