Friday, August 24, 2007

Some News, The Blues, and Elementary, My Dear Watson




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I just enabled linebreaks for my Blogger account. For the longest time, I preferred using the break html tags to generate the paragraph breaks in my entries, but since I started feeding the content of The Zeppelin's Mezzanine to Multiply, the result's been a little bit fugly, at best. So at the cost of seeing badly-spaced previous posts here at Blogger, I've ensured that in the future, both accounts will be formatted properly from now on.



Meanwhile, I've hit what is popularly known as a slump. There was an episode wherein one my siblings thought that I was a bipolar individual (she suspects that plenty of people she hangs out with may be suffering from the psychological ailment - it isn't much of a coincidence that most of the people she's with are artists). While I don't think I'm anywhere near the precipice of going overboard, there might be some truth to what she suspects.

Wikipedia (every technophile's friend) states that bipolar individuals tend to have experiences that ". . . ranges from debilitating depression to unbridled mania. Individuals suffering from bipolar disorder typically experience fluid states of mania, hypomania or what is referred to as a mixed state in conjunction with depressive episodes . . . " There's also a part there that goes at length to explore the possibilities of self-mutilation and suicide, but if indeed I were bipolar, I thank the gods that I were squeamish and that I share my other sister's unbridled aversion for blood (She faints at the sight of blood; I don't, as far as I know, but I'm not willing to make sure).

Since I don't think I'm in any form of anti-epiphanic upheaval (what's the opposite of epiphany?), I'd like to go on to state that I am, for all intents and purposes, suffering from the blues. Something that, as most people who know me can confirm, can be a very trying episode involving me withdrawing from all kinds of worldly interactions and generally vegetating into a hobo state (a hobo with a home, but a hobo nonetheless).



To try and clear myself from this blues-filled state, I've been reading the books that my family was kind enough to weigh down my luggage with on my way back to the hovel mountain that is my home. Also, I've been loading up on multitudes of manga - I've been reading those as well.

What's curious here is the fact that everything I've been reading starting from three weeks ago is interconnected by one striking fact: all of them were whodunits.

Case in point: during my first week back, wherein I suffered from a fever that had me hallucinating during my first night, I clawed through around six books from The Cat Who . . . series, which are a series of mystery novels whose protagonists are James Qwilleran, journalist, Kao K'o Kung, nicknamed Koko, a sentient Siamese cat, and Yum Yum, also a Siamese cat. These stories, while highly formulaic, are highly enjoyable novels that only enforced my wish that I had a cat to accompany me during the remainder of my stay here in the ends of the earth.

When I finished through the series, I began downloading what could possibly be one of the few mangas that could challenge Dragon Ball in terms of sheer length. I speak of Detective Conan, a series drawn by the same manga-ka who did Yaiba, which was a hands-down favorite of mine way, way back. The title of Detective Conan (in America, it was redone as Case Closed, in the habit of most audacious American business entities to mutate a series into something it could call its own) itself gives it away as a detective shonen series, with little to light fanservice, bad scanlating (really, some of the chapters were lost causes), and a very interesting plot with intelligent writing that still shone through despite the badly scanned pages, horrid pinyin English translations, and the fact that my eyes were bugging out due to way too much gamma radiation.

And finally, at my bedside or in the bathroom, you would find one of Umberto Eco's most infamous books, called The Name of the Rose. I first heard about this book from an ex-girlfriend, who technically all but told me that Eco, in all his erudite glory, had managed to create the printed word edition of the ultimate mindfuck - so much so that it could be deemed as both orgasmic and crazy all at once.

Thing is, I was always one for a good mindfuck, and first chance I got, I read a book by Eco and discovered that, while his style didn't match Robert Heinlein's own when it came to screwing with the natural senses of the human body, his manner of writing was a measuring stick of excellence, and that he made a whole lot of sense. It wasn't that all-out mindfuck that left you reeling with the sheer force of absolute grandeur and audacity, but it's there all right, lurking in the corners, waiting to chew on your brain as if it were made of meatloaf and noodles.

Suffice to say that I needed to get myself a copy of The Name of the Rose.

So I went and did, and so far, it hasn't let me down at all. The Name of the Rose is a rather startling mystery novel - startling because the setting is, I'm guessing, just a couple of decades or so after the death of St. Francis of Assisi. The protagonist is described as a man whose logic stemmed from the methodology that could be gained from reading too much of Thomas Aquinas, Aristotle, and Roger Bacon. In short, while it isn't exactly a historical novel, it is a mystery story set way beyond the time of Conan Doyle, way beyond the techniques for checking for fingerprints were even first used - hell, the book even considers spectacles and lenses to be a rather enterprising piece of witchcraft. Orgasmic? Why, yes indeed.

6 comments:

  1. I loved The Name of the Rose.

    And you suck.

    Hahahhahahahahahahahhaahhaahhahahahahaahhahaah!

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  2. Not very well. I suck better.

    Sorry, dude.

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  3. you do know my dad reads this blog, don't you?

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  4. That's nice. I'm sure he has a very flattering impression of me by now.

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  5. i'm sure. :D haha! oks lang tsong.

    ReplyDelete