Human Acts by Han Kang 


   Han Kang’s way of story telling is not a conventional one. She explores different perspectives, but agreeably collective agony that only individuals in that particular situation can truly express; thus after reading it made me feel the forlorn, the torment that each had experienced.  

   With interconnected characters I found empathy; Searching for a friend; the love with a shadow of guilt over the death of their young brother; the human being trying to master her demons that made her detached of people, of men, and to the mother whose heart had shattered into pieces longing for her child, reliving the moments that they both shared until her death. You will feel compassionate with the characters, be it fiction or real people. 
   Absolutely, Human Acts’ setting, Gwangju cannot be compared to any other story of a nation or a city under a siege, or to that of classical frame of tyranny, of dictatorship. For every civilization, long before the tanks have been invented, there had been countless loss of human beings, and each and every human souls got stories to tell, wanting to be heard. 
   Her descriptions. Her intellectual way of conveying the pain is plausible and would even make one think: it could be worse in real life, what more to encounter if this is happening, right now around us. Unimaginable. 
   Han Kang’s Human Acts may ignite deep introspection, if the reader would read it with an open mind. Painfully, life goes on, even to those who are left behind by their loved ones. Humans survive, though without utter peace, somehow they manage to remain alive carrying haunted memories that they try so hard not to remember. 

Recommendations

DO NOT READ – if you find serious topic not your kind, because it might affect you, drain you in a way. If your are expecting an easy read, I discourage you. Obviously not for YA fans. 
READ – if Historical fiction is your cup of tea. If you are ready to be heartbroken by gruesome description of war depicting emotions, harrowing pinches in your heart. Go ahead. 

On Losing

   “I often wondered: is it some kind of a trade-off. Do others have to lose so we can win? – Zadie Smith, Swing Time.

   I love when a book strikes an uncomplicated statement that sparks a thought otherwise. Think about it, the paradox of it; the simplicity and its profoundness. On a day to day basis it happens, we lose, we win and it is a cycle: whether we like it or not.

   With experiences and countless treasures coated by what-I-thought-tragedies, in my back pack, winning and losing can be a disguise of either things that make you or break you. Now, it is difficult, Imagining myself without losing and all the winnings, would life still be worthwhile for me have I won about everything?

Paka to The Master and Margarita

Reading is by far my favorite thing to these days of Ramadan…
I was away from my habitat for few days and guilty as charged, the book I was meaning to finish in a week, took longer than I imagined. Anyway, just glad that it has finally concluded.  

The Master and Margarita is my first Russian literature (translated) and I would say that this is what you call literature! Though, admittedly, religiously aside, there might be a lot of contradictory belief might arises (atheism, etc) But that is not the whole point. By Mikhail Bulgakov’s words, you’d say he’d spent time creating this master piece. It was carefully drafted and no lapses. It is as if a beautiful embroidery that may look vague at first but you happen to witness how it turned out astonishingly beautiful. 

I can’t wait to share some blah blahs with my friend, who recommended it to me. 

Until then, I would choose either contemporary or non fiction, to lighten things up. 

Paka! 

I Finally Caught The “Catcher…”

Lately, coming-of-age movies and books seem to interest me more than the time when I was at the age where they were supposed to influence me.
I know how adulting consumes me in a way my inner child is sometimes throwing a fit, so I need that other ‘self’ to be in that shoes, again, a teen who has full of curiosity, full of spontaneity, experiencing the joys of being prohibited to do a thing but rebelliously do otherwise, the logic that are outrageously funny and annoying, and the discoveries of life’s teaching in a come-what-may way.

During my teen years, my exposure to literature about young adults were very limited. Even though, I have read some radical books I was told not to during my teen years, still, I engaged myself to read, and boy, never I regret, for I see things differently… But then again, they weren’t meant for young adults! That was the difference! 

You see, access to books like this, (that has cult following, YA) was quite challenging for my younger self. (Please do not ask me how, there could be a lot of factors why.) And for that, I am doing myself a favor…of discovering more authors, more book titles, and more stories that I just heard sporadically during my maturing years. Those classic and authentic young adult fictions!

So! Here’s to adult peers, who, like me, occasionally yearn to relive those almost forgotten moments, of our younger and adventurous self. Let us enjoy the opportunity of being able to buy our OWN books (being adult, having a decent job 😅) and build our own library. Salute! 

Have You Read The Outliers? 

“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.” — Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success
Aren’t we all musicians who dance our way to what we believe to the tempo of success? (Why do I weirdly associate this and the movie WHIPLASH?)

Malcolm Gladwell is a thought-provoking author. Yes, I do love novels, short stories, poems, and prose. However, as a personal thing, I do not cage myself in few specific genres. I love psychology, rediscovering things, and be enlighten by what seem to be obvious but somehow obscure. Take this, for example; the rule of 10,000 hours to master something, it is that deliberately, religiously, practicing to be considered master at any specific field! How easy to say but challenging to digest! 

How many stars does Outliers deserve? Any ideas?