Skip to main content

Tales from the Down Under: #10- Rain Drops Keep Muddle with My Head

Passed the scaffolded History department while nipping to my class. A strong desire of barging into that dilapidated building welled up in me. Ever since I had the fortune of visiting that building every week for one of my class last year, I have deemed it my favorite spot in the campus. The interior of the History department is an unsolvable arithmetic question itself. Corridors coming out of nowhere, leading to nowhere, and rooms with mysterious doors that are inexplicably sealed. The building is also pungent with the smell of rotten wood, the smell that I could still catch its whiff under a drizzling day.

I went to the History department every week to attend the sexual history class, a class with which I still lament of my inadequacy of delving more into. I happened to come across a Martin Price’s literary criticism in which he tries to draw a resemblance between reading a fictitious character and staring at a nude model. His theory is thus: a fictitious character can be as tangible as a nude model positioning deliberately in front of you, lustfully, yet distant as well, since once you want to get more intimate with that character, you are touching the model’s cold skin, unable to pore into his/her psyche. I will not call it a mechanism of disguising but more objectively, a backfire of one’s effusive desirability.

Full, effusive, voluminous, lustful, voluptuous, buxom, profuse, brimful…terms to describe an oozing desire are multiple, and none of them verge on humbleness. But only one word proffers the premonition of an insidious subversion, that is, brimful. For a cup brimming with liquid is merely an ephemeral ideal since, even if the plain the cup is based upon has no risks of quaking unalarmingly, dribs and drabs of drop of liquid will still vaporize into the thin air.

The aforesaid not only sums up the cliché of why a person is suggestive to always be half-emptied, but also explains my physical fatigue of these previous days. For my aim of studying voraciously is always frenetic, if my eyes were not occasionally glazed over. My deductive, pseudo-inventive theory seems to tend to a way which bears an image of a person robbed of everything, living in a four-walled. Lesser is better.

And there I veer into the music realm again. Since youtube disciplinarily forbidden in these days of internet hardship, I can only post some songs via list:

Syd Barret, Baby Lemonade
Ray Charles, Drown in My Tears
Caravan, Love Song with Flute
Harry Belafonte, Sylvie

I can hardly settle the fact that my binge listening is now reduced to some poor selections like Fleetwood Mac and the post-Syd Pink Floyd. An evidence for lesser makes the heart grow fonder.


Popular posts from this blog

Honore Daumier

“If you shut up truth and bury it under ground, it will but grow, and gather to itself such explosive power that the day it bursts through it will blow up everything in its way.”- Émile Zola
Exited Honoré Victorin Daumier, 10 February 1879, in an impoverishment that many of his contemporaries, especially his foes, would have thought was his long overdue retribution- the painter was blind, heavily in debt, and later relegated to a pauper’s grave. His friends, upon visiting his resting place, would, I imagine, see it a chance to admonish their children: “Now that’s a lesson for you cheeky devils whose tongues rattle off things that should better stay unspoken.” But Daumier devoted his life in revealing those “unspoken things.” His lithography ink proved sharper than most writers’ pens. He vented his rage and stigmatised others’ infamy in his satirical and, oftentimes, side-splitting cartoons. The tone was relentlessly acerbic but only because Daumier was exposing truths that, in the time…

Review: Late Spring (1949)

As a storyteller, Yasujiro Ozu insists on an implausibly objective stance that refrains from direct commentary or criticism; his camera customarily assumes the role of a detached observer, to whom the characters in the film, staring or talking straight to the camera, occasionally address, with an intimacy akin to that between a host and his guest, a closeness that is underpinned by a mutual recognition of the psychological distance that separates the two. The audience, whose perspective, in this case, conflates the camera’s (the director’s), an invisible character’s in the film (to whom the other characters address) and their own, is thus situated amidst this spatial complexity which, as a rule, every work of art necessarily creates.
In Late Spring (1948), the camera serves in part as an underlying comment to the story, which is noted by its economy of details. A prolonged shot of a departing train, on which the father and daughter travel to the city for a one-day excursion, prefigures…

Review: Breathless (1960)

Jean Luc Godard’s first feature feels oddly like a swansong: in many respects the film seems a self-mockery of what it ostensibly celebrates – the new, the bold, the reckless; the 60s zeitgeist that resurrects the anguished ghosts of the 1920s, who, according to F. Scott Fitzgerald, grow up to “find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faith in man shaken.” For the children of the ‘60s, their wars are of a kind in which the opponents constantly change roles: sometimes they are the unmerciful authorities bent on making miserable lives out of their inferiors; in other times they are the society at large, weeding out in its insidious and devious way the errant law-breakers. They all seem to be donning the same masks, through which the warriors recognise themselves.
This fight with one’s inner demon necessarily evokes concerns of mortality and death - timeless concerns that acquire an added pungency in the 1960s: would a dangerous, unheeding spell of hedonism finally defy life’s incontrove…