Archive for January, 2017

Writing, for who?

Posted in Autobiography, education, Poetry, Stories and reviews, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2017 by kathydasilva
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Albert Camus: writer of A Happy Death; Exiles and the Kingdom

I hope eventually that the novels, that I continue to write, might finally have their own independent voice. I have read over  a lifetime, so many books and quite a few from a previous century. The style of writing, in the Victorian era, which is described as the Romanticist period,  and a bit before the gothic/romantic Mary Shelley, included, held quite a few marvels, that seem forever, to be taught, and remain, subject for study, at university level at least. In my mother’s era, they as children, were given George Elliot’s Silas Marner at school, but, by the time, I came to do my final O Levels, the main study novel was indeed, the very famous To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. The American’s had usurped the English novelists, in importance! The consolation was Shakespeare for a playwriter, Romeo and Juliet, and still this was backed up with a visit to the local cinema to see Franco Zeffirelli’s, version of the famous tragedy. I am saying ‘backed’, because even by the time, that I came along, in the mid seventies, for O Level study, television, and the newly growing Hollywood film industry, had already made its dent, in the call for an attentive audience. In the fast growing technology of the TV playscreen, from black and white to Technicolor, there was an obvious demand for screenplay writers, and the need would have had many an aspiring, author in its clench. I consider myself lucky to have witnessed the replays of black and white movies, the early movies of Tennessee Williams’ screen play talent. There was a great sense of classicism, in the story lines, and emotional outpourings of the  characters,  who became iconic, to the next generation of would be actors and starlets. Great screenplays, added to great acting and directing, was bound to create diversion, and in the same breath,  an addictive pastime. I think the arguments for ‘where the great novel’ went, is thoroughly, embedded, in this call for time on everyone’s leisure moments. Hedonism, was with us from at least the post war era onward. However, it is true, that great novels, have been written that then have been made into films. But, it is also true, that not every novel, of our modern era, makes the same impact as something like, Wuthering Heights, or Gone With the Wind. And between the original novel, and the screenplay, there exists, a transformation, which does not always translate the greatness of the original text. I am mindful of something I recently, watched, but, mainly for the actors, and some of the ‘romance’, element of the story, the novelist Nicholas Sparks, who wrote Message in a Bottle, did not get to write the screenplay which is by,Gerald di Pego. I kept wondering throughout, about the flimsiness of the characters, and, so, yes, what could have been, an awesome, and, deep statement about bereavement, fell a little flat. Grief is a very complex, state of being, and my heart wanted to feel, something for the man who had lost his wife, Catherine. I could not create in  my own, head any more connection, with the entertainment of the film, than just letting the wash of the sea that eventually consumes the ‘hero’, wash over me by the finish.

Novels, That Last the Test of Time.. is that a better heading? Well I suppose the film industry is never really going to run out of great classics, as there are plenty of ghost stories and Tolkien went down a storm! Will that make people read the original novel. Well in my case, when they filmed,  Thomas Hardy’s, Jude the Obscure, I directly went out to Waterstones in Brighton and bought the book.

‘In it I argued that the novel was losing its cultural centrality due to the digitization of print.’ (Will Self)

Saving the Great British Novel? Well I am not worried too much about the novel, and whether to write it or not, as there is a market albeit for electronically transferred data, thankfully, long train journeys and commuter traffic will ensure, some readership, and a growing population of retired people, which is on the increase. I am not sure whether to rely on Will Self, as a ‘weatherman’ for trends, over literature, but, I guess, given, that the classical element of some high-end writing, meaning literature, might well be suffering, some lack of recognition for the modern-day author of works of a more aesthetical nature. My thoughts are in this sense, in the days of the writer, James Joyce, who married and kept his family, not only by the means of his authoring of books, but, also by whatever job, including teaching English to foreigners, in Switzerland, and working in clerical positions of government, still kept to his goal of breaking the mould, and experimenting with poetry in the prose form.

 

Will, himself is probably way out in the frontier zone, with abstraction, and by that meaning psychological realism, to the full brunt of interactive text. With all of the content of ‘Shark’, in mind, the social comment, and the whole drama of events described vividly, throughout the story, I found myself battling with the text, and surprisingly, ending up with quite a lot of memorable scenes to describe, after laying the book down.I am intending to write a bit more in due course, but, perhaps, in the past authors, did not  have the privilege of knowing what kind of response their work would create. My question perhaps, instead of why it is suggested that society is evolving away from story telling, is it not the case that much of what is life, repeats itself, even between centuries. Science creates new subject, and new subject will always inspire more story telling. Star Wars, and Star Trecking included! And there we have that wonderful tale, Hitch Hicker’s Guide to the Galaxy. My theory too, is eventually any true intellectual, will become bored fairly soon, with the tittle-tattle of new fandango gadgets, and plump right back to a source of enduring quality writing. Remembrance of Things Past (Marcel Proust) included!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Present World We Live In..

Posted in Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva on January 16, 2017 by kathydasilva

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I was looking at an article, and remembering the news item, about a British man who was a human rights activist, who had got shot for, defending the rights of a child, playing, and it seems that in all the centuries of human life and growing civilization, we seem to always manage to have these ‘conflicts’, that result in death. Some would call this ‘feuding’, and perhaps we will never learn to stop, as politics, are about status, money and wealth, and owning land. I was appalled recently to come across an article which had shown a future world, managing the population count, as clearly science has shown that the human race is expanding, but, the planet is not. I guess that could worry some people,  I mean, having to share ‘land’. I think obviously we should have by now found ways to explore space for other planets, that could be inhabited, and or, also decided on controlling in gentle ways, the population growth. Yes it is possible to use contraception, and legal means to reduce family size, I think China has already tried to do this. When faced with bleak prospects, this perhaps is the only solution. But, I would hate to think, that any bourgeoise class of persons might think they are ultimately more important, than the rest. I never forget the film Zardof. It stars Sean Connery, and is set in the future.

https://palsolidarity.org/2017/01/in-memory-of-tom-hurndall/

‘Hurndall was wearing a fluorescent vest so he would not be mistaken for a combatant.’

I was mindful, of all these aspects of human life, presenting themselves. I was mindful, because, of all the ‘secrecy’ that seems now to exist, almost adding additional layers of concern for anyone with a heart of gold, and some spiritual substance. I mean too, it will concern human rights activists, and perhaps those who are also driven by altruism. We need to do what is right, and for the right to be alright with the majority view. I have had a bad year. I have been involved as a pedestrian in a collision with a road vehicle. My ankle has been broken in two places, and my foot has been run over by the front tyre of the vehicle. At the time, it worried me, as I was scooped up and taken to hospital, as to whether the event was wholly accidental. I am still not right with the foot being very sore and having to get use to the disabling effect of this. The perpetrator of the collision was going down a one way street the wrong way, I was at a crossing about to trott across to the other side and be on my way. The car was an unmarked police vehicle.  I can see, with the death of a Labour MP Jo Cox, the growth of the white possibly fascist element here even in England. I would like to  be more ‘middle of the road’, but, have always voted for Labour as the country we are in seems inextricably, unable to run, with anything but a two party race for power.

I am writing this article today, because even our language over the last ten or so years, has begun to change, the way people address each other, the way, I use to be seen, by other people, has changed. I have only ever seen my art and writing, as an artistic endeavour, and would like to stay focused on that. I am writing partly from a spiritual viewpoint, but, I do accept, sometimes people will agree and disagree from time to time, over, anyone’s angle of argument, if it involves politics.

This word ‘combatant’, was used in the article above, with regard to the human rights activist Tom Hurndall, but, it makes me quite ‘freaked out’, if other people, start seeing human activists as ‘combatants’, as surely, actual combat, is something to do with a ‘military’ approach, not a point of view that could change say a vote in an election. The only other place I have heard this term used, recently, in the media was in a documentary set in the USA, on how the police work, when arresting drunk drivers, their procedures of lock up and what happens to the arrested person, what punishment is expected for example. In the documentary, the policeman, who has to tackle the drunk woman, finds her physically almost in altercation with him, as he strives to lock  her in a room to calm down.  On the door of the room, he sticks a sign, in large letters saying combatant behaviour. Probably to warn anyone entering, that she might be a bit physically aggressive. There seems now because of all the who har, about ‘terrorism’, some awful conclusions being made, in these areas of policing. I have never seen myself, in any other role than intellectual artist. I am less than five feet in height, to start with, it would be like elephant to mouse proportions to infact implicate me in any ‘combat’, element. It kind of makes me laugh out loud, if anyone should start thinking otherwise.  However, psychopaths excepted, I do not see myself in any ‘karate kid’ role whatsoever. I have grown upset and possibly bemused to find the kind of ‘language’ bandied about on the internet, which presumes, some kind of ‘combative’ strength, is this the result of too many martial arts movies being marketed?And I am thinking possibly of Uma Thurman ‘Kill Bill’ kind of movies. I hate to come over as a ‘Mary Whitehouse’ figure seeking some sort of correctional think tank, possibilities, or censorship..??? We after all at the end of the day, are like ‘monkies’ and copy behaviour we see, well some of the time we do do that. I so wish I had the kind of physical strength of the Kill Bill character, but, now with a wounded foot, cannot see any possibility of that kind of fitness or health even. However, never say die, as, I am trying to get back to my usual health. I have veered off the mark. I do hope, and that should probably be in capitals..HOPE… that the near Neanderthal  urges of some people to bash another’s head against the wall of a cave..in a animal like survival bid, never, ever, re-emerges. It worries me, that anyone could write a story like ‘The Hunger Games’, let alone the possibilities of such a world becoming a reality, in order to cull the grand masses.. who could have had that kind of imagination? I am against glorifying violence. I am after all, someone who sought a career in painting pictures, and writing stories. The archetypical library type, well nearly only, I in the same breath love dance…

The Wine Press

Posted in Poetry, Stories and reviews by Kathy Da Silva with tags , , , , , on January 1, 2017 by kathydasilva

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The winepress of God’s anger

Was created long ago

Our land our lives,  and now our living

Made the G_ A_ P grow

One night in the autumn in a  dark, dark dream

I saw the state of the present stream

The light over all things was grey like a cloud

The people in bondage the world in a shroud

In a shop down town, in the front of the store

I was like a  future bride  coming through the door

Escalators going up, were going to all floors

Well stocked and overflowing, the devil applauds

I couldn’t hear my footsteps, I couldn’t change the light,

There didn’t seem to be a way out  to join the BLESSED fight

I couldn’t find the exit

Which seemed miles away

I was praying for the dawn, I was praying for the Day

The clothes and carpet muffled every step

The giant padded cell,  that was playing with my head

And here’s the real mad house, not the way we’re led

If people can’t see the dark they are in

And turn away from their eternal sin

Stop all their magic, stop all the gain,

Start to live righteous, stop all the pain

Call in the debt the debt to Man

The God of Love can’t stop the plan.