Thursday, 13 October 2016

Author Quotes: Henning Mankell Quote on How Big is the World...

Sailing Boat, Mozambique

Henning Mankell (1948-2015), the Swedish crime writer, narrated this incident at a literary festival. I happen to have a documented, undated magazine cutting of the same, paraphrased below.  

Mankell was apparently interacting with an audience at Inhaca, Mozambique once. On an unexpected tangent, some curious teenagers, inadvertently infused a twist into the proceedings. It was an inquiry posed with utmost seriousness. Baffling as it may seem, the query was probably more surprising than all the ingenious plot deviations of  any crime thriller: When a boy and girl kiss each other, who is the one that must close their eyes? 

Sometimes a question can glint with a hundred radiant answers. Mankell discovered that kissing played no part in lovemaking on the island. They just didn't know it. All attempts at kissing were an imitation sourced from movies and magazines. There are people in the world that do not know what we do in our part of the world at all. Mankell ended his story with the following quote.   

"Many people say the world of today is so small. I say no.The world of today is really as big as it really is. If you are young today, go out in the world, and search to see how big is the world, not how small is the world. This story I give you as a present." 
-  Henning Mankell

(Article by Snehith Kumbla)

Henning Mankell

Monday, 3 October 2016

Poetry Reads: I Like You to be Still by Pablo Neruda

Sometimes, a book finds you. Like it wanted to be found.Pablo Neruda's second collection of poetry lay furtively read and untouched in my bookshelf for over a year. Yesterday night, as if in a haze I picked it up and discovered in euphoric shock what I had missed. Its like I were asleep in my waking hours and suddenly, blessedly discovered vision. For the wavering reader, it is probably better to read less then, but in intense, still fervour.

Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair was published when Neruda was all of 19.The Chilean poet wrote in Spanish.I do not know to what degree the English translation mitigates/alters the original.An elusive scent emanates from the words. A rare, elevating feeling for a reader of poetry.

I Like For You To Be Still 
by Pablo Neruda

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth
As all things are filled with my soul
You emerge from the things
Filled with my soul
You are like my soul
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still
And you seem far away
It sounds as though you are lamenting
A butterfly cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away
And my voice does not reach you
Let me come to be still in your silence
And let me talk to you with your silence
That is bright as a lamp
Simple, as a ring
You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid

I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent
Distant and full of sorrow
So you would've died
One word then, One smile is enough
And I'm happy;
Happy that it's not true

(Article by Snehith Kumbla)