Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Book Review #29: Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

"Publisher X, whose advisers got so bored with Humbert that they never got beyond page 188, had the naivete to write me that Part Two was too long. Publisher Y regretted that there were no good people in the book. Publiser Z said if he printed Lolita, he and I would go to jail."

Completely ignorant to the reputation that precedes Lolita until early last year, I

When I first read the excerpt: it's a pedophilia novel. Fifty pages into the book: it's an erotic novel. To innocent bypassers: it's a chick-lit novel. All of these misconceptions are a gross injustice to this piece of literature.

In my first sitting, I had a sharp loathing for Humbert. The thought that there are men out there like Humbert... ooof, it's chilling. As I progressed, he appears less predatory. I found his blind adoration and manipulative tactics are quite pathetic. I wasn't as disgusted as some people are by him. In fact, he is the biggest joke there is.

I can't help but wonder what it will be like if Humbert's an ugly man. There is a kind of bias, a guy once said to me, that if a handsome man is crazy over a woman, the woman is flattered. If an ugly man is crazy over a woman, the woman brands him a stalker. The protagonist clearly takes pride in his physicality: "clean cut jaw, muscular hands, deep sonorous voice, broad shoulder". It's amusing -- Humbert seems such a catch but you can hardly call a pedophile or a "nymphet-lover" perfect.

Be honest with me if you've read the book, didn't the fact that he has "striking if somewhat brutal good looks" help you stomach (a little) his creeping hands and his torrential psyche? I wonder if Nabokov deliberately made him like this -- why not use a less appetising male?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

My exams are coming in about 2 weeks! How did I get here? I remember last year in January when this day to me was a little unimaginable. Here's a quote: 

"Even when a man is obliged to decide cases and to be a judge, still let him beware of the dangers to himself, lest by judging perversely and against the laws, through entreaties or for a price, he should purchase for himself the measureless sorrows of eternal damnation for the momentary enjoyment of a paltry gain" (Bracton, De legibus et consuetudinibus Angliae) 

This is damn good literature... Or textbook. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What Happens When You're a Tea Drinker

Yeah. The cover and a good 1/4 of the book is affected too. Black tea IS strong. I'll experiment with other teas another day when my stupidity seeks to accompany me again. 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

If I Was Stuck on an Island

I adore, adore, adore disaster or apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic movies -- or just generally, anything that requires the hero/heroine to survive. So, it's no surprise that I've always wondered what I would do if I was stuck somewhere like Tom Hanks in the classic Cast Away. 

What would I do if I was stuck on an island -- with no communication devices?

1. The first thing is, let's be real, my hair. My hair barely makes it through the second day without washing. It drives me up the wall when it's oily and itchy. So, what am I going to do about my hair?! What if I didn't bring my hair tie with me? Can coconut milk be used as a shampoo? I assume there's going to be lots of coconuts laying around in a desert island. The movies out there don't portray an ACTUAL representation of how women who don't wash their hair look like. They magically look flawlessly messy and oily.

2. The second scariest thing is THE SUN. If you know me, you'll know I abhor the sunlight. I know the sun keeps everything alive, but it's the EFFECT of the sunlight on my skin that I hate. Ain't nobody got time to be tanned. We need to address this issue, but I know, I know, it's hardly supposed to be an issue.

3.  Shelter. I've learned that it's best if you build your shelter above the ground, away from animals and whatnot. But WHAT ABOUT THE ANTS? I assume there'll be ants. There'll be plenty of palm trees around everywhere so let's just tie a hammock between palm trees. Now, don't go asking me about where to find a cloth to make a hammock..

4. Water. Now this is a tricky one. If it's a tropical island, there'll be rain, I'm sure(?) I get real cranky without water every 10 minutes. Remind me to take a spile with me every time I travel ala Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

5. Food. Well, Kenny said that if we get stranded on an island together, he'll catch and cook rabbits for me. WHAT? I'm not French, I refuse to eat lapin! I don't know if one can survive on coconuts. Or maybe some sort of seafood. I heard you can catch fish with strands of your hair. If I'm ever stranded with Kenny, I'll let him sort out this department.

6. Build some sort of SOS sign on the beach and light it up at night. But, what if that attracts dangerous animals? But then, I read in a "cerita panjang" in Doraemon, that if you hide behind a fire, dinosaurs wouldn't come near you. Not sure how credible Doraemon comics are, though..

I'm a reasonably tough cookie, in today's city girl standards (ahem). I've watched probably all the Man vs Wild episodes (not just because I have a man crush on Bear Grylls) and I think I've got all the basic rules planned out.

Not withstanding the fact that every time I have a disaster dream, I am always the one who saves everyone!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I locked the doors, looked at the clock, it was 12:02am.

I just got back home from college.

I plopped my bags and whatnot on my study table, and drank the cold bittergourd soup left for me on the kitchen table. It grated on my parched, sore throat. There were some cold mushrooms and cabbage which I swallowed, out of courtesy and guilt. I even ate some of my Mum's crazy native honey so the throat would feel better.

I am upstairs, in the shower. Wiped off my makeup. I thanked my little stars -- that I don't wear much because I can't be bothered with the taking off routine. But I really needed the concealer under my eye... my under eyes were darker than usual. For once, I worry about the lines that may emerge!

I always fake having 10-12 hours of sleep with my trusty concealer.

Whilst showering, I thought: WHY do I do this to myself? That was the question my moot coach asked herself before we went back. She's a full-time lawyer in a reputable firm and here she is, coaching us for our competition till 11pm.

I know the silver lining is there, I'm sure. But this sleeping late, semi-neglecting studies, frantically searching for the law for a competition that is 3 weeks away... well, and then I saw the RM700 worth of Banana Republic heels my parents got for me (be excited for me!!) and I can just feel the silver lining. Shoes. Mmmm.

All I can say is that I can't wait for my online shopping clothes to arrive!!

Pahaha. My brain is not working.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

I like to have breathers. It's usually after my shower, is when I generally have them. After showering, I'll wear my undies (ahem), and just sit there (or here, rather) and watch my Youtube videos, or Big Bang, or just generally be a (cleaned) sloth. I'll take almost up to an hour before I slowly start my skincare routine and body care. It's really insanely therapeutic. I get really peeved sometimes when I don't have time to do this routine leisurely. Sometimes, on a rare occasion, I'll plaster myself on the bed for a while -- is it embarrassing to say I flop myself on the bed? -- and soak onto the comforter, skin melting. Hmm. Life's odd pleasures.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.