Sunday, November 20, 2011

Writings of Andre Dubus II:

All these truths and quasi-truths…about publishing are finally ephemeral…What is demanding and fulfilling is writing a single word, trying to write le mote juste, as Flaubert said; writing several of them, which become a sentence.

When a writer does that, day after day, working alone with litter encouragement, often with discouragement flowing in the writer’s own blood, and with an occasional rush of excitement... the treasure is on the desk. 

If the manuscript itself, mailed out to the world, where other truths prevail, is never published, the writer will suffer bitterness, sorrow, anger, and more dangerously, despair… 

But the writer who endures and keeps working will finally know that writing the book was something hard and glorious, for at the desk a writer must try to be free of prejudice, and hatred,; strive to be a better human being than the writer normally is, and to do this through concentration on a single word, and then another, and another.

This is splendid work, as worthy and demanding as any, and the will and resilience to do it are good for the writer’s soul.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

My First Novel

I just finished writing my first novel named, "The Monk Who Changed My Life..." will be published by Mahaveer publishers in near future. It was nice experience to talk with the character in the Novel.

I do hope that the publishers will do their part of editing, proofreading, structure, and cross-checking appropriately.

I don't know when the book will be available and when they will finalize it but I know for sure that they should publish it.

So thumps up for finishing my first novel. I do hope that my readers will enjoy reading this novel. Let us see how this journey follows.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Weep not for me

Do not weep for me when I no longer dwell
among the wonders of the earth; for my larger
self is free, and my soul rejoices on the other
side of pain…on the other side of darkness.
Do not weep for me, for I am a ray of sunshine
that touches your skin, a tropical breeze
upon your face, the hush of joy within your heart
and the innocence of babes in mothers arms.
I am the hope in a darkened night. And, in your
hour of need, I will be there to comfort you.
I will share your tears, your joys, your fears,
your disappointments and your triumphs.
Do not weep for me, for I am cradled
in the arms of God. I walk with the angels,
and hear the music beyond the stars.
Do not weep for me, for I am within you;
I am peace, love, I am a soft wind that caresses
the flowers. I am the calm that follows a
raging storm. I am an autumns leaf that floats
among the garden of God, and I am pure
white snow that softly falls upon your hand.
Do not weep for me, for I shall never die,
as long as you remember me…
with a smile and a sigh.

iRIP to Steve

Couple of weeks ago, I was reading the biography about Steve. Forget about couple of weeks ago, I was just checking steve’s biography in itunes store for pre-order and after just some 7 hours, I hear this sad news that steve is no more. 

Today is great day not for his death. This is the day when biggest festival is observed in Hindu called, Dashain and on today’s day, one of the greatest iconic figure of computer world is dead. He has reserved his place in the heaven, right from the beginning of his era. A great showman in geeky world, a genius in innovation and informatics, if you will

A man who will not only be remembered for his mind boggling innovation such as, iPod, iTunes, iTouch, iPhone, iPad, iDeath, and iRIP.

Everybody born has to die someday and steve said it right when he said, 

"Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything -- all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure -- these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart."

Good bye Steve, hope to catch you someday…


Friday, September 30, 2011

Earthquake Disaster—Prevention or cure

I am really sorry for all those people who have been severely affected from the very recent 6.8 quake that hit in the capital, as well as in northern Nepal- India border. As, we are all aware from the world news that natural disaster (for example, tsunami in Japan, volcanoes in Iceland, tornadoes in America and whatnot) is happening all over the world.  Millions of people all over the world have been affected with the natural disaster. The bad news is that we cannot do anything about them. But, the good news is that we can take steps to reduce the casualties and injuries caused by them. 

Earthquake does not necessarily cause damages. It is just a shifting of plates beneath the surface of the earth.  What causes damage are the objects that are build on the top of it, and the ways in which, they are designed or build.  The damage is more severe when people start to feel fear and lose their night’s sleep.
In Kathmandu, we have build houses like stray dogs. There are no empty places even for pedestrians. The scattered arrangement of houses and buildings can be best seen from the window of a domestic airliner. Anywhere you go, you can find just materialistic buildings, ranging from small hut to big bungalows. There are old, traditional houses that are not repaired for several hundred years. 

One thing that worries me little is the influx of people from different parts of remote villages to the capital, is rapidly growing daily. We have started to live more, with the less, and there can be great debate on this topic on our expectations from the city, or from Kathmandu-ties living morality. 

Another thing that worries me little is about the recent news on “the end of the world” in 2012. But the NASA scientists based on their scientific facts and understanding has clearly reported that earth will not end in 2012 so we can firmly believe them.  However, scientific knowledge is always limited and we cannot make righteous prediction on the Nature or, the happenings caused by the mother earth.

To minimize casualties of natural disaster is not easy. Since we have limited scientific instruments, and we are lot busy in our own political quagmire—a change in political leaders, an indecisive meetings, providing zero outcome, war of various ideologies, ethnicity and dogmas among different political leaders and pundits. If only we have knowledge prior to natural disaster (e.g. earthquake prediction system) then we can minimize casualties and moreover, we can prepare for it, well-in-advance. 

Some wise man has rightly said that “prevention is better than a cure”. Therefore, being a cyberpunk and reporting a casualty in social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, and Google+) is important, what is more important is, to take measures to reduce casualties by making appropriate decision while designing or building your sweet homes.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Center for Internet Addiction: Internet Addiction Among College Students: 10 Star...

Center for Internet Addiction: Internet Addiction Among College Students: 10 Star...: It would be difficult, if not impossible, to find a college campus that doesn’t have Internet. College students use the Internet for resea...

The Broken Heart

The good news for Nepal and Nepalese is that we have recruited new PM—again, this time an intellectual PM with a doctoral degree. The bad news is that only three months of extension is given to our new PM to draft a constitution of federal democratic of Nepal.  Like many ordinary Nepalese, I am, too, hopeful that Dr. Baburam Bhattarai will live-up to the people’s expectation. 

In the midst of political quagmire, I am writing this for all the broken heart people who fall in trap of being in love and later are heartbroken. According to one simple belief, everybody falls in love once in their life-time.  Some fall in love with politics, other fall in love with religion. Some may also fall in love with literature and some may just never fall in love, like me.

It seems that falling in love is quite easy. But, to remain falling entire life-time, is difficult. Pardon me for my not-so-open feelings on love. It is extremely hard to remain in love for longer period of time. Scientific experiments on large number of couples have demonstrated that a stronger relationship may not last more than two years of time.  Like just-living, just being in relationship is not enough. Why? Simply because if you are just being in relationship then there is higher chance that your relationship will break at some point in time.

The current data suggests that majority of the people get divorce in later part of their lives, especially in West. The same fact is trending in our developing world, as well. People are starting to live independently. One person loss is another person’s gain and another person who is gaining popularity these days are self-help authors. Thousands of self-help books are sold on happiness, love, relationship, sadness, despair, anxiety, addiction, and dog-mantra and sex guru. However, not everything that is written is based on scientific merit and truthfulness, not everything that we trust can be trusted in our modern tech-savvy society. As our present day activity swings from Facebooking, Tweeing, and YouTubing , every passing seconds many relationships mode is changing from “In a Relationship” to “Single” and vice-versa. 

Many news-makers have written on heartbreak, they all report that “escapism” is the good way to deal with the problems of broken relationship but, I don’t agree. Based on my personal experiences, I feel that the problem with the broken-heart lies not merely on psychological level but also on neurological level resulting in depression, anger, frustration, anxiety, stress, suicidal-thoughts, hatred, anguish, loathing etc. 

If your heart is broken once, you can try fixing by loving with another person. But if your heart breaks, repeatedly, what solutions do you suggest? Live, die, commit suicide, try more, forget it. Unlike romantic love and heartbreak, in our national politics also, many PM have broken our heart by not drafting the constitution on time, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai is yet another hope, hopefully not the last.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hope you will come back soon...

Since you are gone, my world is black; I can see only grey
how can human be killed by her heart?
I don't feel like crying, I don't need to pray,
because I don't believe in Jesus or God, and I never will
Everyone got their problems, mine is so far away
how she can still be so close on me?
I miss you, but only for a while
I have felt lot of pain and sorrow,
maybe I'll become numb tomorrow,
'cause there shouldn't be so much feelings.
I've seen these spoiled souls, around me,
but you were never one of those
you don't need to bring me Mountains,
gifts or anything
Just bring yourself back to my arms,
that is more than enough, my only love, my soul
where are you gone all these days?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

David Foster Wallace commencement speech

There are these two young fish swimming along, and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning, boys, how's the water?" And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?"
If you're worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise old fish explaining what water is, please don't be. I am not the wise old fish. The immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude - but the fact is that, in the day-to-day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have life-or-death importance. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. So let's get concrete ...
A huge percentage of the stuff that I tend to be automatically certain of is, it turns out, totally wrong and deluded. Here's one example of the utter wrongness of something I tend to be automatically sure of: everything in my own immediate experience supports my deep belief that I am the absolute centre of the universe, the realest, most vivid and important person in existence. We rarely talk about this sort of natural, basic self-centredness, because it's so socially repulsive, but it's pretty much the same for all of us, deep down. It is our default setting, hard-wired into our boards at birth. Think about it: there is no experience you've had that you were not at the absolute centre of. The world as you experience it is right there in front of you, or behind you, to the left or right of you, on your TV, or your monitor, or whatever. Other people's thoughts and feelings have to be communicated to you somehow, but your own are so immediate, urgent, real - you get the idea. But please don't worry that I'm getting ready to preach to you about compassion or other-directedness or the so-called "virtues". This is not a matter of virtue - it's a matter of my choosing to do the work of somehow altering or getting free of my natural, hard-wired default setting, which is to be deeply and literally self-centred, and to see and interpret everything through this lens of self.
By way of example, let's say it's an average day, and you get up in the morning, go to your challenging job, and you work hard for nine or ten hours, and at the end of the day you're tired, and you're stressed out, and all you want is to go home and have a good supper and maybe unwind for a couple of hours and then hit the rack early because you have to get up the next day and do it all again. But then you remember there's no food at home - you haven't had time to shop this week, because of your challenging job - and so now, after work, you have to get in your car and drive to the supermarket. It's the end of the workday, and the traffic's very bad, so getting to the store takes way longer than it should, and when you finally get there the supermarket is very crowded, because of course it's the time of day when all the other people with jobs also try to squeeze in some grocery shopping, and the store's hideously, fluorescently lit, and infused with soul-killing Muzak or corporate pop, and it's pretty much the last place you want to be, but you can't just get in and quickly out: you have to wander all over the huge, overlit store's crowded aisles to find the stuff you want, and you have to manoeuvre your junky cart through all these other tired, hurried people with carts, and of course there are also the glacially slow old people and the spacey people and the kids who all block the aisle and you have to grit your teeth and try to be polite as you ask them to let you by, and eventually, finally, you get all your supper supplies, except now it turns out there aren't enough checkout lanes open even though it's the end-of-the-day rush, so the checkout line is incredibly long, which is stupid and infuriating, but you can't take your fury out on the frantic lady working the register.
Anyway, you finally get to the checkout line's front, and pay for your food, and wait to get your cheque or card authenticated by a machine, and then get told to "Have a nice day" in a voice that is the absolute voice of death, and then you have to take your creepy flimsy plastic bags of groceries in your cart through the crowded, bumpy, littery parking lot, and try to load the bags in your car in such a way that everything doesn't fall out of the bags and roll around in the trunk on the way home, and then you have to drive all the way home through slow, heavy, SUV-intensive rush-hour traffic, etc, etc.
The point is that petty, frustrating crap like this is exactly where the work of choosing comes in. Because the traffic jams and crowded aisles and long checkout lines give me time to think, and if I don't make a conscious decision about how to think and what to pay attention to, I'm going to be pissed and miserable every time I have to food-shop, because my natural default setting is the certainty that situations like this are really all about me, about my hungriness and my fatigue and my desire to just get home, and it's going to seem, for all the world, like everybody else is just in my way, and who are all these people in my way? And look at how repulsive most of them are and how stupid and cow-like and dead-eyed and nonhuman they seem here in the checkout line, or at how annoying and rude it is that people are talking loudly on cell phones in the middle of the line, and look at how deeply unfair this is: I've worked really hard all day and I'm starved and tired and I can't even get home to eat and unwind because of all these stupid goddamn people.
Or if I'm in a more socially conscious form of my default setting, I can spend time in the end-of-the-day traffic jam being angry and disgusted at all the huge, stupid, lane-blocking SUVs and Hummers and V12 pickup trucks burning their wasteful, selfish, 40-gallon tanks of gas, and I can dwell on the fact that the patriotic or religious bumper stickers always seem to be on the biggest, most disgustingly selfish vehicles driven by the ugliest, most inconsiderate and aggressive drivers, who are usually talking on cell phones as they cut people off in order to get just 20 stupid feet ahead in a traffic jam, and I can think about how our children's children will despise us for wasting all the future's fuel and probably screwing up the climate, and how spoiled and stupid and disgusting we all are, and how it all just sucks ...
If I choose to think this way, fine, lots of us do - except that thinking this way tends to be so easy and automatic it doesn't have to be a choice. Thinking this way is my natural default setting. It's the automatic, unconscious way that I experience the boring, frustrating, crowded parts of adult life when I'm operating on the automatic, unconscious belief that I am the centre of the world and that my immediate needs and feelings are what should determine the world's priorities. The thing is that there are obviously different ways to think about these kinds of situations. In this traffic, all these vehicles stuck and idling in my way: it's not impossible that some of these people in SUVs have been in horrible car accidents in the past and now find driving so traumatic that their therapist has all but ordered them to get a huge, heavy SUV so they can feel safe enough to drive; or that the Hummer that just cut me off is maybe being driven by a father whose little child is hurt or sick in the seat next to him, and he's trying to rush to the hospital, and he's in a much bigger, more legitimate hurry than I am - it is actually I who am in his way.
Again, please don't think that I'm giving you moral advice, or that I'm saying you're "supposed to" think this way, or that anyone expects you to just automatically do it, because it's hard, it takes will and mental effort, and if you're like me, some days you won't be able to do it, or you just flat-out won't want to. But most days, if you're aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her little child in the checkout line - maybe she's not usually like this; maybe she's been up three straight nights holding the hand of her husband who's dying of bone cancer, or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the Motor Vehicles Dept who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a nightmarish red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness. Of course, none of this is likely, but it's also not impossible - it just depends on what you want to consider. If you're automatically sure that you know what reality is and who and what is really important - if you want to operate on your default setting - then you, like me, will not consider possibilities that aren't pointless and annoying. But if you've really learned how to think, how to pay attention, then you will know you have other options. It will be within your power to experience a crowded, loud, slow, consumer-hell-type situation as not only meaningful but sacred, on fire with the same force that lit the stars - compassion, love, the sub-surface unity of all things. Not that that mystical stuff's necessarily true: the only thing that's capital-T True is that you get to decide how you're going to try to see it. You get to consciously decide what has meaning and what doesn't. You get to decide what to worship.
Because here's something else that's true. In the day-to-day trenches of adult life, there is no such thing as atheism. There is no such thing as not worshipping. Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And an outstanding reason for choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship - be it JC or Allah, be it Yahweh or the Wiccan mother-goddess or the Four Noble Truths or some infrangible set of ethical principles - is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive. If you worship money and things - if they are where you tap real meaning in life - then you will never have enough. Never feel you have enough. It's the truth. Worship your own body and beauty and sexual allure and you will always feel ugly, and when time and age start showing, you will die a million deaths before they finally plant you. On one level, we all know this stuff already - it's been codified as myths, proverbs, clichés, bromides, epigrams, parables: the skeleton of every great story. The trick is keeping the truth up front in daily consciousness. Worship power - you will feel weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to keep the fear at bay. Worship your intellect, being seen as smart - you will end up feeling stupid, a fraud, always on the verge of being found out.
The insidious thing about these forms of worship is not that they're evil or sinful; it is that they are unconscious. They are default settings. They're the kind of worship you just gradually slip into, day after day, getting more and more selective about what you see and how you measure value without ever being fully aware that that's what you're doing. And the world will not discourage you from operating on your default settings, because the world of men and money and power hums along quite nicely on the fuel of fear and contempt and frustration and craving and the worship of self. Our own present culture has harnessed these forces in ways that have yielded extraordinary wealth and comfort and personal freedom. The freedom to be lords of our own tiny skull-sized kingdoms, alone at the centre of all creation. This kind of freedom has much to recommend it. But there are all different kinds of freedom, and the kind that is most precious you will not hear much talked about in the great outside world of winning and achieving and displaying. The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. That is real freedom. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the "rat race" - the constant gnawing sense of having had and lost some infinite thing.
I know that this stuff probably doesn't sound fun and breezy or grandly inspirational. What it is, so far as I can see, is the truth with a whole lot of rhetorical bullshit pared away. Obviously, you can think of it whatever you wish. But please don't dismiss it as some finger-wagging Dr Laura sermon. None of this is about morality, or religion, or dogma, or big fancy questions of life after death. The capital-T Truth is about life before death. It is about making it to 30, or maybe 50, without wanting to shoot yourself in the head. It is about simple awareness - awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, that we have to keep reminding ourselves, over and over: "This is water, this is water."
· Adapted from the commencement speech the author gave to a graduating class at Kenyon College, Ohio

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Living on the Edge


There's something wrong with the world today
I don't know what it is
Something's wrong with our eyes

We're seeing things in a different way
And God knows it ain't His
It sure ain't no surprise

We're livin' on the edge
We're livin' on the edge
We're livin' on the edge
We're livin' on the edge

There's someting wrong with the world today
The lightbulb's gettin' dimmed
There's meltdown in the sky

If you can judge a wise man
By the color of his skin
Then mister, you're a better man than I

We're Livin' on the edge
You can't help yourself from fallin'
Livin' on the edge
You can't help yourself at aaaaaaaall!
Livin' on the edge
You can't stop yourself from faaaaaaaallin'
Livin' on the edge

Tell me what you think about our sit-u-a-tion
Complication - aggravation
Is getting to you

If chicken little tells you that the sky is fallin'
Even if it wasn't would you still come crawling
Back again - I bet you would my friend
Again & Again & Again & Again & Again

Tell me what you think about our situation
Complication - aggravation
Is getting to you

If chicken little tells you that the sky is fallin'
Even if it was would you still come crawling
Back again - I bet you would my friend
Again & Again & Again & Again

Something right with the world today
And everybody knows it's wrong
But we can tell 'em no
Or we could let it go
But I would rather be a hanging on

yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

(Repeat Chorus)

Monday, July 25, 2011

The destructive male by Elizabeth Cady Stanton

I urge a sixteenth amendment, because 'manhood suffrage,' or a man's government, is civil, religious, and social disorganization. The male element is a destructive force, stern, selfish, aggrandizing, loving war, violence, conquest, acquisition, breeding in the material and moral world alike discord, disorder, disease, and death. See what a record of blood and cruelty the pages of history reveal! Through what slavery, slaughter, and sacrifice, through what inquisitions and imprisonments, pains and persecutions, black codes and gloomy creeds, the soul of humanity has struggled for the centuries, while mercy has veiled her face and all hearts have been dead alike to love and hope!
The male element has held high carnival thus far; it has fairly run riot from the beginning, overpowering the feminine element everywhere, crushing out all the diviner qualities in human nature, until we know but little of true manhood and womanhood, of the latter comparatively nothing, for it has scarce been recognized as a power until within the last century. Society is but the reflection of man himself, untempered by woman's thought; the hard iron rule we feel alike in the church, the state, and the home. No one need wonder at the disorganization, at the fragmentary condition of everything, when we remember that man, who represents but half a complete being, with but half an idea on every subject, has undertaken the absolute control of all sublunary matters.
People object to the demands of those whom they choose to call the strong-minded, because they say 'the right of suffrage will make the women masculine.' That is just the difficulty in which we are involved today. Though disfranchised, we have few women in the best sense; we have simply so many reflections, varieties, and dilutions of the masculine gender. The strong, natural characteristics of womanhood are repressed and ignored in dependence, for so long as man feeds woman she will try to please the giver and adapt herself to his condition. To keep a foothold in society, woman must be as near like man as possible, reflect his ideas, opinions, virtues, motives, prejudices, and vices. She must respect his statutes, though they strip her of every inalienable right, and conflict with that higher law written by the finger of God on her own soul.
She must look at everything from its dollar-and-cent point of view, or she is a mere romancer. She must accept things as they are and make the best of them. To mourn over the miseries of others, the poverty of the poor, their hardships in jails, prisons, asylums, the horrors of war, cruelty, and brutality in every form, all this would be mere sentimentalizing. To protest against the intrigue, bribery, and corruption of public life, to desire that her sons might follow some business that did not involve lying, cheating, and a hard, grinding selfishness, would be arrant nonsense.
In this way man has been molding woman to his ideas by direct and positive influences, while she, if not a negation, has used indirect means to control him, and in most cases developed the very characteristics both in him and herself that needed repression. And now man himself stands appalled at the results of his own excesses, and mourns in bitterness that falsehood, selfishness, and violence are the law of life. The need of this hour is not territory, gold mines, railroads, or specie payments but a new evangel of womanhood, to exalt purity, virtue, morality, true religion, to lift man up into the higher realms of thought and action.
We ask woman's enfranchisement, as the first step toward the recognition of that essential element in government that can only secure the health, strength, and prosperity of the nation. Whatever is done to lift woman to her true position will help to usher in a new day of peace and perfection for the race.
In speaking of the masculine element, I do not wish to be understood to say that all men are hard, selfish, and brutal, for many of the most beautiful spirits the world has known have been clothed with manhood; but I refer to those characteristics, though often marked in woman, that distinguish what is called the stronger sex. For example, the love of acquisition and conquest, the very pioneers of civilization, when expended on the earth, the sea, the elements, the riches and forces of nature, are powers of destruction when used to subjugate one man to another or to sacrifice nations to ambition.
Here that great conservator of woman's love, if permitted to assert itself, as it naturally would in freedom against oppression, violence, and war, would hold all these destructive forces in check, for woman knows the cost of life better than man does, and not with her consent would one drop of blood ever be shed, one life sacrificed in vain.
With violence and disturbance in the natural world, we see a constant effort to maintain an equilibrium of forces. Nature, like a loving mother, is ever trying to keep land and sea, mountain and valley, each in its place, to hush the angry winds and waves, balance the extremes of heat and cold, of rain and drought, that peace, harmony, and beauty may reign supreme. There is a striking analogy between matter and mind, and the present disorganization of society warns us that in the dethronement of woman we have let loose the elements of violence and ruin that she only has the power to curb. If the civilization of the age calls for an extension of the suffrage, surely a government of the most virtuous educated men and women would better represent the whole and protect the interests of all than could the representation of either sex alone.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton - 1868

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reflections on the lost cell-phone

My wife recently lost her newly purchased Nokia mobile handset, while using the public transport. But, what is the fuss? Every day, people either lose something or gain

something, and for my wife it was no different — she just lost a mobile handset of about 50k, which I had gifted on her birthday.

No, I am not upset about it; neither had I scolded her as any semi-intelligent husband might have done in such a situation. All right, the big worry is that I am waiting for the lost mobile set to return. As if any wise husband would do, I am waiting for the person who might have found the mobile handset, to return it. It has been a long wait already, and I am still wondering, why the woman operator after dialling into her number says, “the number you have dialled is switched off”. Maybe, the lost mobile phone has been by someone, I mean some human (not monkey), who has voluntarily switched off the mobile phone.

Mobile technology has progressed vastly in recent years. It has been upgraded with performance, battery life, operating system, child safety, camera and what not. Nevertheless, it still lacks traceable technology (suitable enough to find it) when a person loses it involuntarily. On the other hand, consumers do not always necessarily record their phone’s IMEI number —which is a unique manufactured number given for each handset. If this number is known, one might possibly track their expensive handset. I put “possibly” because I am no mobile expert and this in surely not my domain of research.

Some mobile operators also give special services to their customer when they lose their SIM card. After this bitter mobile losing experience, I found that one could visit the mobile service operator’s office and ask for the same SIM card. How can I not bring forth philosophical ideologies of Buddha and our Nepalese stereotype in this context? Why are you saying that you are a Nepalese, if you do not obey the teachings of Buddha? Some of his moral attributes: honesty, loyalty and bravery are three pillars of our Nepalese individualism.

Meanwhile, I do want to make a point on honesty and loyalty. People lose their belongings daily, and those who find them would never like to return them. Why? Never mind, I have to re-consider buying her a new handset.

Published: The Himalayan Times
Editorial section: Topics

Added At:  2011-07-05 10:25 PM
Last Updated At: 2011-07-06 10:25 PM

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Intellectual dishonesty

This refers to Mr. Biswas Baral's The plagiarist (June 30).

Plagiarism is a real issue of the world. I do not mean to be disrespectful toward the writer but the truth is that ideas and words are not the same. Ideas are bigger concepts derived from intellectual insight that does not need any words. It can be discussed, revised and recorded in any forms whatsoever. On the contrary, words are always naked.

Having taken bits-and-pieces from some source and naming them does not impair the originality of article, Yet, by simply giving credits to other authors, the writer seems to be valuing himself. Intellectualism comes from accepting and realizing the fact that there are bigger ideas and better individuals working on the tings you would ever have imagined.

Santosh Kalwar


Published: Letter to Editor

Friday, June 24, 2011

TB or not TB

This stage in my life is called “taking drugs”. I am taking drugs, not illegal drugs, but medicinal drugs that are vital to eradicate tuberculosis. Wow, good for you, mate, that is what smoking can cause you.

On the one hand, we can always enjoy smoking cigarettes and a number of other drugs like marijuana and other illegal pills and drugs; but on the other hand, this causes severe lung damage.

So be it.

According to my highly acclaimed Finnish doctor, I am now at a stage where my lungs have been infected by bacteria known as Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The good old doctor suggests that the bacteria can be contracted in several ways, not only by smoking fancy cigarettes. You can get it by coming into contact with air droplets from sneezing and coughing by infected people. Despite many causes, I can only point my finger at smoking because that one has lasted for 18 good years. And I know many folks out here who do it for fun and to share the enjoyment or to pass the time. Although I want to recommend stopping or reducing smoking, I fear you will not because I did not too.

Some years ago, I wrote an article in the Post Platform entitled, “I used to smoke”. In the article, I clearly mentioned the ups and downs of smoking; but I think many things have changed since then. Everyday, people smoke, and cigarette companies are bringing out new brands of cigarettes with skillful marketing.

A majority of the people got into the smoking habit at a very young age. When I started, I was just seven or eight years old. Later on, it became an everyday habit (addiction, I would say) with friends admiring the techniques and the beautiful ways in which the smoke would come out of the mouth. Adults too find it rather fascinating when they see Bollywood or Hollywood actors smoking in a movie.

As I can see for myself, mind you, smoking is, was and will be never cool. There is a good old saying in Nepali, “Ki parera janinchha, ki padhera janinchha” (one learns by doing or by reading). I hope that you will learn from my bitter experience that smoking gives more pain in the long term than it does in the short enjoyment of a puff. Our government has also introduced a new regulation banning smoking in several public places that is highly appreciated. Although many pundits would argue about that issue, I personally appreciate the government’s move to ban smoking in public places.

Life teaches us many lessons we need to survive. Among many other lessons, one lesson I have learnt and can never forget wholly is “never smoke again, during my poor and painful lifespan”.

Posted on: 2011-06-24 08:23

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A poem

Ding dong the bell !
I have come to tell,
Life is, love is, friendship is,
God is, poet is, ...

Like a passing along of clouds,
While my window opens up, and speaks, aloud
Think passion, and soul searching
Ding dong, not the hell!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

She is weeping, and I don't know, what to say,

She is weeping
and I don't know what to say,
she is not talking
and I don't know what to hear,

She stopped loving
and I don't know how to react,
she hates me now,
and I don't know to fight back,

she is sad,
and I don't know why,

family problems are harder to solve,
relationship are most difficult puzzle,
love cannot always treat love

and I don't know what to say,

Should I try trying,
by understanding root cause of
The Problem

Or, should I giver her some space,
As I lay dying in the bed,

I don't know
and I think these women creatures are
never meant to be understood
and never can be ever understood

Maybe, I should just lay dying in the bed
and wish, she will find
lovely, new, humble, problem-free, ever-happy,
laughing, caring and insufferable soul.

But, right now,
She is weeping,
and I don't  know, what to say,

Monday, May 30, 2011

Santosh Kalwar's Sixteenth Book, Entitled "Adventus," is Published

In his latest book, entitled, "Adventus," a young Nepalese writer from Chitwan, Nepal has published collection of poems.

Lappeenranta, Finland, May 29, 2011 --( Lulu Press, Inc. is proud to present "Adventus" by Santosh Kalwar from Lappeenranta, Finland.

Adventus is a collection of forty-three randomly crafted poems. The masterly Nepalese poet spins from Rocky Mountains to personal relationships, rich in every human detail through his musings. "…I discovered that I am two steps behind Buddha. If I can overcome love then surely I can overcome suffering. As it was neither she, nor me who decided to go against," says the poet to her beloved. A galaxy of startling poems entitled, "poem of my love," "In America," "journey," "a never-ending song" and many more.

Santosh Kalwar (born September 7, 1982) works as a poet, writer, and young researcher.

Kalwar is an author of fifteen published books, entitled, "Nature God (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2008), Human behavior on the Internet (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2009), A Very First Book of Poems (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2009), ...109 Quotes, 07 Poems, and a song of despair (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2009)..., 20 Love Poems and Economy Crisis (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2009), 25 Sexy Poems (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2009), Yet another book of Poems (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2009), Happening: Poems (Lulu Press, Inc. 2010), I Am Dead Man Alive (PublishAmerica Inc., 2010), You Can (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2010), An Aphrodisiac (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2010), The Warrior (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2010), Obscurity (Lulu Press, Inc. , 2010) and The Vandana and Other Poems (, 2010), Quote Me Everyday (Lulu Press, Inc., 2010).

ISBN 978-1-4477-2907-5

To place orders for the book, contact: Lulu Press, Inc.

URL: adventus/15840834


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Press releases: Adventus by Santosh Kalwar

Today, A free press released has been written on title, “Adventus”.
The book is the collection of forty-three poems and you can easily download the book from the The book has been written for all audience and all backgrounds.

The theme of the book contains many different attributes. There is  love poems, adventurous poems, sad poems, despair poems, personal relationship poems and educational poems among others.
You are free to download or buy it in paperback format.
Here is the PR
Mybheja Congratulates the Author.

Purchase link:

Download link:

YouTube link:

"Adventus" by Santosh Kalwar (Book Promo 01)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Save children

Citing news reports, Bisika Thapa makes a significant point on the sexual abuse of street children (“Stranger than fiction,” May 19, Page 7). Although the front -line media in Nepal usually ignores such issues it has been a common reality for city dwellers for some time now. Street children generally are impoverished, lack proper care and education. However, several agencies are working for their benefit and one can only hope that their hard work will bear fruit soon. But judging from the fact that many of these organisations have been in operation for so long and their situation has only marginally improved, if at all, more needs to be done. Also, isn’t it also the state’s responsibility to undertake some action to assist street children in Nepal? Many of these kids also end up being sold or trafficked.

I am also a little disheartened by the fact that the author, an expert in the field herself is shocked by the prevalence of rape among young boys.

Santosh  Kalwar

Tandi, Chit

Published: The Kathmandu Post
Letter to the Editor

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Comment on: Many With New College Degree Find the Job Market Humbling

A comment on article entitled, Many With New College Degree Find the Job Market Humbling at nytimes was written. This is my first comment that gets highlighted by them. Anyways, You may read it from here:

It is never easy. The world has become more competitive, every passing days. Indeed, the major course is important but putting food on table and paying college debts is also very important.

One way to reduce burden from the students is by "free policy" on education and health-sector. This would be rather most difficult operation for US government than finding OBL.

The future is always bleak with students but they are the founding pillars of any great nation. If you want to invest in your nation, invest in them.

Thank you !

Published: Nytimes
Readers Comment

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


We live in a culture dominated by men. The majority of people at the workplaces are men (e.g. in government offices, private institutions and social workplaces). However, men’s dominance only cannot bring forth a real change in the society. Being a woman comes with severe and several restrictions. Many a times, she cannot make her own decisions. She cannot travel alone. She cannot participate in any healthy discussions or, even if she does, her arguments are ignored. Some countries and cultures are very good at promoting women’s participation at different levels of their society. For example, in Sweden and Finland, you will hardly see her male counterpart in private-public offices. Whichever governmental or non-governmental offices you visit, you will see women’s participation in a substantial manner. One can also say that women dominate most of

European culture. However, it is not only about the dominance of men or women but also about openness.

If one can know how good a city is by its smell, one should know how good a society is by the women’s status. Thus, women’s position is vital in many ways. In our country, women have less say than their male counterparts, and it is important to love women equally as men, simply because they go through

different sensitive emotional phases. Just imagine a world when people will stop giving birth to girls.

Santosh Kalwar, Chitwan

Published: The Himalayan Times
Letter to the Editor

Monday, May 16, 2011

Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

"She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow, [emphasis added]
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing."
 — Macbeth (Act 5, Scene 5, lines 17-28)

William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12 Interviewed by Jean Stein

William Faulkner was born in 1897 in New Albany, Mississippi, where his father was then working as a conductor on the railroad built by the novelist's great-grandfather, Colonel William Falkner (without the “u”), author of The White Rose of Memphis. Soon the family moved to Oxford, thirty-five miles away, where young Faulkner, although he was a voracious reader, failed to earn enough credits to be graduated from the local high school. In 1918 he enlisted as a student flyer in the Royal Canadian Air Force. He spent a little more than a year as a special student at the state university, Ole Miss, and later worked as postmaster at the university station until he was fired for reading on the job.
Encouraged by Sherwood Anderson, he wrote Soldier's Pay (1926). His first widely read book was Sanctuary (1931), a sensational novel which he says that he wrote for money after his previous books—including Mosquitoes (1927), Sartoris (1929), The Sound and the Fury(1929), and As I Lay Dying (1930)—had failed to earn enough royalties to support a family.
A steady succession of novels followed, most of them related to what has come to be called the Yoknapatawpha saga: Light in August (1932), Pylon (1935), Absalom, Absalom! (1936), The Unvanquished (1938), The Wild Palms (1939), The Hamlet (1940), and Go Down, Moses, and Other Stories (1941). Since World War II his principal works have beenIntruder in the Dust (1948), A Fable (1954), and The Town (1957). His Collected Storiesreceived the National Book Award in 1951, as did A Fable in 1955. In 1949 Faulkner was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Recently, though shy and retiring, Faulkner has traveled widely, lecturing for the United States Information Service. This conversation took place in New York City, early in 1956.

Mr. Faulkner, you were saying a while ago that you don't like interviews.
The reason I don't like interviews is that I seem to react violently to personal questions. If the questions are about the work, I try to answer them. When they are about me, I may answer or I may not, but even if I do, if the same question is asked tomorrow, the answer may be different.
How about yourself as a writer?
If I had not existed, someone else would have written me, Hemingway, Dostoyevsky, all of us. Proof of that is that there are about three candidates for the authorship of Shakespeare's plays. But what is important is Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, not who wrote them, but that somebody did. The artist is of no importance. Only what he creates is important, since there is nothing new to be said. Shakespeare, Balzac, Homer have all written about the same things, and if they had lived one thousand or two thousand years longer, the publishers wouldn't have needed anyone since.
But even if there seems nothing more to be said, isn't perhaps the individuality of the writer important?
Very important to himself. Everybody else should be too busy with the work to care about the individuality.
And your contemporaries?
All of us failed to match our dream of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible. In my opinion, if I could write all my work again, I am convinced that I would do it better, which is the healthiest condition for an artist. That's why he keeps on working, trying again; he believes each time that this time he will do it, bring it off. Of course he won't, which is why this condition is healthy. Once he did it, once he matched the work to the image, the dream, nothing would remain but to cut his throat, jump off the other side of that pinnacle of perfection into suicide. I'm a failed poet. Maybe every novelist wants to write poetry first, finds he can't, and then tries the short story, which is the most demanding form after poetry. And, failing at that, only then does he take up novel writing.
Is there any possible formula to follow in order to be a good novelist?
Ninety-nine percent talent . . . ninety-nine percent discipline . . . ninety-nine percent work. He must never be satisfied with what he does. It never is as good as it can be done. Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself. An artist is a creature driven by demons. He don't know why they choose him and he's usually too busy to wonder why. He is completely amoral in that he will rob, borrow, beg, or steal from anybody and everybody to get the work done.
Do you mean the writer should be completely ruthless?
The writer's only responsibility is to his art. He will be completely ruthless if he is a good one. He has a dream. It anguishes him so much he must get rid of it. He has no peace until then. Everything goes by the board: honor, pride, decency, security, happiness, all, to get the book written. If a writer has to rob his mother, he will not hesitate; the “Ode on a Grecian Urn” is worth any number of old ladies.
Then could the lack of security, happiness, honor, be an important factor in the artist's creativity?
No. They are important only to his peace and contentment, and art has no concern with peace and contentment.
Then what would be the best environment for a writer?
Art is not concerned with environment either; it doesn't care where it is. If you mean me, the best job that was ever offered to me was to become a landlord in a brothel. In my opinion it's the perfect milieu for an artist to work in. It gives him perfect economic freedom; he's free of fear and hunger; he has a roof over his head and nothing whatever to do except keep a few simple accounts and to go once every month and pay off the local police. The place is quiet during the morning hours, which is the best time of the day to work. There's enough social life in the evening, if he wishes to participate, to keep him from being bored; it gives him a certain standing in his society; he has nothing to do because the madam keeps the books; all the inmates of the house are females and would defer to him and call him “sir.” All the bootleggers in the neighborhood would call him “sir.” And he could call the police by their first names.
So the only environment the artist needs is whatever peace, whatever solitude, and whatever pleasure he can get at not too high a cost. All the wrong environment will do is run his blood pressure up; he will spend more time being frustrated or outraged. My own experience has been that the tools I need for my trade are paper, tobacco, food, and a little whiskey.
Bourbon, you mean?
No, I ain't that particular. Between Scotch and nothing, I'll take Scotch.
You mentioned economic freedom. Does the writer need it?
No. The writer doesn't need economic freedom. All he needs is a pencil and some paper. I've never known anything good in writing to come from having accepted any free gift of money. The good writer never applies to a foundation. He's too busy writing something. If he isn't first rate he fools himself by saying he hasn't got time or economic freedom. Good art can come out of thieves, bootleggers, or horse swipes. People really are afraid to find out just how much hardship and poverty they can stand. They are afraid to find out how tough they are. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death. Good ones don't have time to bother with success or getting rich. Success is feminine and like a woman; if you cringe before her, she will override you. So the way to treat her is to show her the back of your hand. Then maybe she will do the crawling.
Can working for the movies hurt your own writing?
Nothing can injure a man's writing if he's a first-rate writer. If a man is not a first-rate writer, there's not anything can help it much. The problem does not apply if he is not first rate because he has already sold his soul for a swimming pool.
Does a writer compromise in writing for the movies?
Always, because a moving picture is by its nature a collaboration, and any collaboration is compromise because that is what the word means—to give and to take.
Which actors do you like to work with most?
Humphrey Bogart is the one I've worked with best. He and I worked together in To Have and Have Not and The Big Sleep.
Would you like to make another movie?
Yes, I would like to make one of George Orwell's 1984. I have an idea for an ending which would prove the thesis I'm always hammering at: that man is indestructible because of his simple will to freedom.
How do you get the best results in working for the movies?
The moving-picture work of my own which seemed best to me was done by the actors and the writer throwing the script away and inventing the scene in actual rehearsal just before the camera turned on. If I didn't take, or feel I was capable of taking, motion-picture work seriously, out of simple honesty to motion pictures and myself too, I would not have tried. But I know now that I will never be a good motion-picture writer; so that work will never have the urgency for me which my own medium has.
Would you comment on that legendary Hollywood experience you were involved in?
I had just completed a contract at MGM and was about to return home. The director I had worked with said, “If you would like another job here, just let me know and I will speak to the studio about a new contract.” I thanked him and came home. About six months later I wired my director friend that I would like another job. Shortly after that I received a letter from my Hollywood agent enclosing my first week's paycheck. I was surprised because I had expected first to get an official notice or recall and a contract from the studio. I thought to myself, the contract is delayed and will arrive in the next mail. Instead, a week later I got another letter from the agent, enclosing my second week's paycheck. That began in November 1932 and continued until May 1933. Then I received a telegram from the studio. It said: “William Faulkner, Oxford, Miss. Where are you? MGM Studio.”
I wrote out a telegram: “MGM Studio, Culver City, California. William Faulkner.”
The young lady operator said, “Where is the message, Mr. Faulkner?” I said, “That's it.” She said, “The rule book says that I can't send it without a message, you have to say something.” So we went through her samples and selected I forget which one—one of the canned anniversary-greeting messages. I sent that. Next was a long-distance telephone call from the studio directing me to get on the first airplane, go to New Orleans, and report to Director Browning. I could have got on a train in Oxford and been in New Orleans eight hours later. But I obeyed the studio and went to Memphis, where an airplane did occasionally go to New Orleans. Three days later, one did.
I arrived at Mr. Browning's hotel about six p.m. and reported to him. A party was going on. He told me to get a good night's sleep and be ready for an early start in the morning. I asked him about the story. He said, “Oh, yes. Go to room so-and-so. That's the continuity writer. He'll tell you what the story is.”
I went to the room as directed. The continuity writer was sitting in there alone. I told him who I was and asked him about the story. He said, “When you have written the dialogue I'll let you see the story.” I went back to Browning's room and told him what had happened. “Go back,” he said, “and tell that so-and-so—. Never mind, you get a good night's sleep so we can get an early start in the morning.”
So the next morning in a very smart rented launch all of us except the continuity writer sailed down to Grand Isle, about a hundred miles away, where the picture was to be shot, reaching there just in time to eat lunch and have time to run the hundred miles back to New Orleans before dark.
That went on for three weeks. Now and then I would worry a little about the story, but Browning always said, “Stop worrying. Get a good night's sleep so we can get an early start tomorrow morning.”
One evening on our return I had barely entered my room when the telephone rang. It was Browning. He told me to come to his room at once. I did so. He had a telegram. It said: “Faulkner is fired. MGM Studio.” “Don't worry,” Browning said. “I'll call that so-and-so up this minute and not only make him put you back on the payroll but send you a written apology.” There was a knock on the door. It was a page with another telegram. This one said: “Browning is fired. MGM Studio.” So I came back home. I presume Browning went somewhere too. I imagine that continuity writer is still sitting in a room somewhere with his weekly salary check clutched tightly in his hand. They never did finish the film. But they did build a shrimp village—a long platform on piles in the water with sheds built on it—something like a wharf. The studio could have bought dozens of them for forty or fifty dollars apiece. Instead, they built one of their own, a false one. That is, a platform with a single wall on it, so that when you opened the door and stepped through it, you stepped right off onto the ocean itself. As they built it, on the first day, the Cajun fisherman paddled up in his narrow, tricky pirogue made out of a hollow log. He would sit in it all day long in the broiling sun watching the strange white folks building this strange imitation platform. The next day he was back in the pirogue with his whole family, his wife nursing the baby, the other children, and the mother-in-law, all to sit all that day in the broiling sun to watch this foolish and incomprehensible activity. I was in New Orleans two or three years later and heard that the Cajun people were still coming in for miles to look at that imitation shrimp platform which a lot of white people had rushed in and built and then abandoned.
You say that the writer must compromise in working for the motion pictures. How about his writing? Is he under any obligation to his reader?
His obligation is to get the work done the best he can do it; whatever obligation he has left over after that he can spend any way he likes. I myself am too busy to care about the public. I have no time to wonder who is reading me. I don't care about John Doe's opinion on my or anyone else's work. Mine is the standard which has to be met, which is when the work makes me feel the way I do when I read La Tentation de Saint Antoine, or the Old Testament. They make me feel good. So does watching a bird make me feel good. You know that if I were reincarnated, I'd want to come back a buzzard. Nothing hates him or envies him or wants him or needs him. He is never bothered or in danger, and he can eat anything.
What technique do you use to arrive at your standard?
Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut. The young writer would be a fool to follow a theory. Teach yourself by your own mistakes; people learn only by error. The good artist believes that nobody is good enough to give him advice. He has supreme vanity. No matter how much he admires the old writer, he wants to beat him.
Then would you deny the validity of technique?
By no means. Sometimes technique charges in and takes command of the dream before the writer himself can get his hands on it. That is tour de force and the finished work is simply a matter of fitting bricks neatly together, since the writer knows probably every single word right to the end before he puts the first one down. This happened with As I Lay Dying. It was not easy. No honest work is. It was simple in that all the material was already at hand. It took me just about six weeks in the spare time from a twelve-hour-a-day job at manual labor. I simply imagined a group of people and subjected them to the simple universal natural catastrophes, which are flood and fire, with a simple natural motive to give direction to their progress. But then, when technique does not intervene, in another sense writing is easier too. Because with me there is always a point in the book where the characters themselves rise up and take charge and finish the job—say somewhere about page 275. Of course I don't know what would happen if I finished the book on page 274. The quality an artist must have is objectivity in judging his work, plus the honesty and courage not to kid himself about it. Since none of my work has met my own standards, I must judge it on the basis of that one which caused me the most grief and anguish, as the mother loves the child who became the thief or murderer more than the one who became the priest.
What work is that?
The Sound and the Fury. I wrote it five separate times, trying to tell the story, to rid myself of the dream which would continue to anguish me until I did. It's a tragedy of two lost women: Caddy and her daughter. Dilsey is one of my own favorite characters, because she is brave, courageous, generous, gentle, and honest. She's much more brave and honest and generous than me.
How did The Sound and the Fury begin?
It began with a mental picture. I didn't realize at the time it was symbolical. The picture was of the muddy seat of a little girl's drawers in a pear tree, where she could see through a window where her grandmother's funeral was taking place and report what was happening to her brothers on the ground below. By the time I explained who they were and what they were doing and how her pants got muddy, I realized it would be impossible to get all of it into a short story and that it would have to be a book. And then I realized the symbolism of the soiled pants, and that image was replaced by the one of the fatherless and motherless girl climbing down the drainpipe to escape from the only home she had, where she had never been offered love or affection or understanding.
I had already begun to tell the story through the eyes of the idiot child, since I felt that it would be more effective as told by someone capable only of knowing what happened but not why. I saw that I had not told the story that time. I tried to tell it again, the same story through the eyes of another brother. That was still not it. I told it for the third time through the eyes of the third brother. That was still not it. I tried to gather the pieces together and fill in the gaps by making myself the spokesman. It was still not complete, not until fifteen years after the book was published, when I wrote as an appendix to another book the final effort to get the story told and off my mind, so that I myself could have some peace from it. It's the book I feel tenderest toward. I couldn't leave it alone, and I never could tell it right, though I tried hard and would like to try again, though I'd probably fail again.
What emotion does Benjy arouse in you?
The only emotion I can have for Benjy is grief and pity for all mankind. You can't feel anything for Benjy because he doesn't feel anything. The only thing I can feel about him personally is concern as to whether he is believable as I created him. He was a prologue, like the gravedigger in the Elizabethan dramas. He serves his purpose and is gone. Benjy is incapable of good and evil because he had no knowledge of good and evil.
Could Benjy feel love?
Benjy wasn't rational enough even to be selfish. He was an animal. He recognized tenderness and love though he could not have named them, and it was the threat to tenderness and love that caused him to bellow when he felt the change in Caddy. He no longer had Caddy; being an idiot he was not even aware that Caddy was missing. He knew only that something was wrong, which left a vacuum in which he grieved. He tried to fill that vacuum. The only thing he had was one of Caddy's discarded slippers. The slipper was his tenderness and love, which he could not have named, but he knew only that it was missing. He was dirty because he couldn't coordinate and because dirt meant nothing to him. He could no more distinguish between dirt and cleanliness than between good and evil. The slipper gave him comfort even though he no longer remembered the person to whom it had once belonged, any more than he could remember why he grieved. If Caddy had reappeared he probably would not have known her.
Does the narcissus given to Benjy have some significance?
The narcissus was given to Benjy to distract his attention. It was simply a flower which happened to be handy that fifth of April. It was not deliberate.
Are there any artistic advantages in casting the novel in the form of an allegory, as the Christian allegory you used in A Fable?
Same advantage the carpenter finds in building square corners in order to build a square house. In A Fable, the Christian allegory was the right allegory to use in that particular story, like an oblong, square corner is the right corner with which to build an oblong, rectangular house.
Does that mean an artist can use Christianity simply as just another tool, as a carpenter would borrow a hammer?
The carpenter we are speaking of never lacks that hammer. No one is without Christianity, if we agree on what we mean by the word. It is every individual's individual code of behavior, by means of which he makes himself a better human being than his nature wants to be, if he followed his nature only. Whatever its symbol—cross or crescent or whatever—that symbol is man's reminder of his duty inside the human race. Its various allegories are the charts against which he measures himself and learns to know what he is. It cannot teach man to be good as the textbook teaches him mathematics. It shows him how to discover himself, evolve for himself a moral code and standard within his capacities and aspirations, by giving him a matchless example of suffering and sacrifice and the promise of hope. Writers have always drawn, and always will draw, upon the allegories of moral consciousness, for the reason that the allegories are matchless—the three men in Moby Dick, who represent the trinity of conscience: knowing nothing, knowing but not caring, knowing and caring. The same trinity is represented in A Fable by the young Jewish pilot officer, who said, “This is terrible. I refuse to accept it, even if I must refuse life to do so”; the old French Quartermaster General, who said, “This is terrible, but we can weep and bear it”; and the English battalion runner, who said, “This is terrible, I'm going to do something about it.”
Are the two unrelated themes in The Wild Palms brought together in one book for any symbolic purpose? Is it, as certain critics intimate, a kind of aesthetic counterpoint, or is it merely haphazard?
No, no. That was one story—the story of Charlotte Rittenmeyer and Harry Wilbourne, who sacrificed everything for love and then lost that. I did not know it would be two separate stories until after I had started the book. When I reached the end of what is now the first section of The Wild Palms, I realized suddenly that something was missing, it needed emphasis, something to lift it like counterpoint in music. So I wrote on the “Old Man” story until “The Wild Palms” story rose back to pitch. Then I stopped the “Old Man” story at what is now its first section and took up “The Wild Palms” story until it began again to sag. Then I raised it to pitch again with another section of its antithesis, which is the story of a man who got his love and spent the rest of the book fleeing from it, even to the extent of voluntarily going back to jail where he would be safe. They are only two stories by chance, perhaps necessity. The story is that of Charlotte and Wilbourne.
How much of your writing is based on personal experience?
I can't say. I never counted up. Because “how much” is not important. A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination—any two of which, at times any one of which—can supply the lack of the others. With me, a story usually begins with a single idea or memory or mental picture. The writing of the story is simply a matter of working up to that moment, to explain why it happened or what it caused to follow. A writer is trying to create believable people in credible moving situations in the most moving way he can. Obviously he must use as one of his tools the environment which he knows. I would say that music is the easiest means in which to express, since it came first in man's experience and history. But since words are my talent, I must try to express clumsily in words what the pure music would have done better. That is, music would express better and simpler, but I prefer to use words, as I prefer to read rather than listen. I prefer silence to sound, and the image produced by words occurs in silence. That is, the thunder and the music of the prose take place in silence.
Some people say they can't understand your writing, even after they read it two or three times. What approach would you suggest for them?
Read it four times.
You mentioned experience, observation, and imagination as being important for the writer. Would you include inspiration?
I don't know anything about inspiration because I don't know what inspiration is—I've heard about it, but I never saw it.
As a writer you are said to be obsessed with violence.
That's like saying the carpenter is obsessed with his hammer. Violence is simply one of the carpenter's tools. The writer can no more build with one tool than the carpenter can.
Can you say how you started as a writer?
I was living in New Orleans, doing whatever kind of work was necessary to earn a little money now and then. I met Sherwood Anderson. We would walk about the city in the afternoon and talk to people. In the evenings we would meet again and sit over a bottle or two while he talked and I listened. In the forenoon I would never see him. He was secluded, working. The next day we would repeat. I decided that if that was the life of a writer, then becoming a writer was the thing for me. So I began to write my first book. At once I found that writing was fun. I even forgot that I hadn't seen Mr. Anderson for three weeks until he walked in my door, the first time he ever came to see me, and said, “What's wrong? Are you mad at me?” I told him I was writing a book. He said, “My God,” and walked out. When I finished the book—it was Soldier's Pay—I met Mrs. Anderson on the street. She asked how the book was going, and I said I'd finished it. She said, “Sherwood says that he will make a trade with you. If he doesn't have to read your manuscript he will tell his publisher to accept it.” I said, “Done,” and that's how I became a writer.
What were the kinds of work you were doing to earn that “little money now and then”?
Whatever came up. I could do a little of almost anything—run boats, paint houses, fly airplanes. I never needed much money because living was cheap in New Orleans then, and all I wanted was a place to sleep, a little food, tobacco, and whiskey. There were many things I could do for two or three days and earn enough money to live on for the rest of the month. By temperament I'm a vagabond and a tramp. I don't want money badly enough to work for it. In my opinion it's a shame that there is so much work in the world. One of the saddest things is that the only thing a man can do for eight hours a day, day after day, is work. You can't eat eight hours a day nor drink for eight hours a day nor make love for eight hours—all you can do for eight hours is work. Which is the reason why man makes himself and everybody else so miserable and unhappy.
You must feel indebted to Sherwood Anderson, but how do you regard him as a writer?
He was the father of my generation of American writers and the tradition of American writing which our successors will carry on. He has never received his proper evaluation. Dreiser is his older brother and Mark Twain the father of them both.
What about the European writers of that period?
The two great men in my time were Mann and Joyce. You should approach Joyce'sUlysses as the illiterate Baptist preacher approaches the Old Testament: with faith.
How did you get your background in the Bible?
My Great-Grandfather Murry was a kind and gentle man, to us children anyway. That is, although he was a Scot, he was (to us) neither especially pious nor stern either: he was simply a man of inflexible principles. One of them was everybody, children on up through all adults present, had to have a verse from the Bible ready and glib at tongue-tip when we gathered at the table for breakfast each morning; if you didn't have your scripture verse ready, you didn't have any breakfast; you would be excused long enough to leave the room and swot one up (there was a maiden aunt, a kind of sergeant-major for this duty, who retired with the culprit and gave him a brisk breezing which carried him over the jump next time).
It had to be an authentic, correct verse. While we were little, it could be the same one, once you had it down good, morning after morning, until you got a little older and bigger, when one morning (by this time you would be pretty glib at it, galloping through without even listening to yourself since you were already five or ten minutes ahead, already among the ham and steak and fried chicken and grits and sweet potatoes and two or three kinds of hot bread) you would suddenly find his eyes on you—very blue, very kind and gentle, and even now not stern so much as inflexible—and next morning you had a new verse. In a way, that was when you discovered that your childhood was over; you had outgrown it and entered the world.
Do you read your contemporaries?
No, the books I read are the ones I knew and loved when I was a young man and to which I return as you do to old friends: the Old Testament, Dickens, Conrad, Cervantes, Don Quixote—I read that every year, as some do the Bible. Flaubert, Balzac—he created an intact world of his own, a bloodstream running through twenty books—Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Shakespeare. I read Melville occasionally and, of the poets, Marlowe, Campion, Jonson, Herrick, Donne, Keats, and Shelley. I still read Housman. I've read these books so often that I don't always begin at page one and read on to the end. I just read one scene, or about one character, just as you'd meet and talk to a friend for a few minutes.
And Freud?
Everybody talked about Freud when I lived in New Orleans, but I have never read him. Neither did Shakespeare. I doubt if Melville did either, and I'm sure Moby Dick didn't.
Do you ever read mystery stories?
I read Simenon because he reminds me something of Chekhov.
What about your favorite characters?
My favorite characters are Sarah Gamp—a cruel, ruthless woman, a drunkard, opportunist, unreliable, most of her character was bad, but at least it was character; Mrs. Harris, Falstaff, Prince Hal, Don Quixote, and Sancho of course. Lady Macbeth I always admire. And Bottom, Ophelia, and Mercutio—both he and Mrs. Gamp coped with life, didn't ask any favors, never whined. Huck Finn, of course, and Jim. Tom Sawyer I never liked much—an awful prig. And then I like Sut Lovingood, from a book written by George Harris about 1840 or 1850 in the Tennessee mountains. He had no illusions about himself, did the best he could; at certain times he was a coward and knew it and wasn't ashamed; he never blamed his misfortunes on anyone and never cursed God for them.
Would you comment on the future of the novel?
I imagine as long as people will continue to read novels, people will continue to write them, or vice versa; unless of course the pictorial magazines and comic strips finally atrophy man's capacity to read, and literature really is on its way back to the picture writing in the Neanderthal cave.
And how about the function of the critics?
The artist doesn't have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don't have the time to read reviews. The critic too is trying to say “Kilroy was here.” His function is not directed toward the artist himself. The artist is a cut above the critic, for the artist is writing something which will move the critic. The critic is writing something which will move everybody but the artist.
So you never feel the need to discuss your work with anyone?
No, I am too busy writing it. It has got to please me and if it does I don't need to talk about it. If it doesn't please me, talking about it won't improve it, since the only thing to improve it is to work on it some more. I am not a literary man but only a writer. I don't get any pleasure from talking shop.
Critics claim that blood relationships are central in your novels.
That is an opinion and, as I have said, I don't read critics. I doubt that a man trying to write about people is any more interested in blood relationships than in the shape of their noses, unless they are necessary to help the story move. If the writer concentrates on what he does need to be interested in, which is the truth and the human heart, he won't have much time left for anything else, such as ideas and facts like the shape of noses or blood relationships, since in my opinion ideas and facts have very little connection with truth.
Critics also suggest that your characters never consciously choose between good and evil.
Life is not interested in good and evil. Don Quixote was constantly choosing between good and evil, but then he was choosing in his dream state. He was mad. He entered reality only when he was so busy trying to cope with people that he had no time to distinguish between good and evil. Since people exist only in life, they must devote their time simply to being alive. Life is motion, and motion is concerned with what makes man move—which is ambition, power, pleasure. What time a man can devote to morality, he must take by force from the motion of which he is a part. He is compelled to make choices between good and evil sooner or later, because moral conscience demands that from him in order that he can live with himself tomorrow. His moral conscience is the curse he had to accept from the gods in order to gain from them the right to dream.
Could you explain more what you mean by motion in relation to the artist?
The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life. Since man is mortal, the only immortality possible for him is to leave something behind him that is immortal since it will always move. This is the artist's way of scribbling “Kilroy was here” on the wall of the final and irrevocable oblivion through which he must someday pass.
It has been said by Malcolm Cowley that your characters carry a sense of submission to their fate.
That is his opinion. I would say that some of them do and some of them don't, like everybody else's characters. I would say that Lena Grove in Light in August coped pretty well with hers. It didn't really matter to her in her destiny whether her man was Lucas Burch or not. It was her destiny to have a husband and children and she knew it, and so she went out and attended to it without asking help from anyone. She was the captain of her soul. One of the calmest, sanest speeches I ever heard was when she said to Byron Bunch at the very instant of repulsing his final desperate and despairing attempt at rape, “Ain't you ashamed? You might have woke the baby.” She was never for one moment confused, frightened, alarmed. She did not even know that she didn't need pity. Her last speech for example: “Here I ain't been traveling but a month, and I'm already in Tennessee. My, my, a body does get around.”
The Bundren family in As I Lay Dying pretty well coped with theirs. The father having lost his wife would naturally need another one, so he got one. At one blow he not only replaced the family cook, he acquired a gramophone to give them all pleasure while they were resting. The pregnant daughter failed this time to undo her condition, but she was not discouraged. She intended to try again, and even if they all failed right up to the last, it wasn't anything but just another baby.
And Mr. Cowley says you find it hard to create characters between the ages of twenty and forty who are sympathetic.
People between twenty and forty are not sympathetic. The child has the capacity to do but it can't know. It only knows when it is no longer able to do—after forty. Between twenty and forty the will of the child to do gets stronger, more dangerous, but it has not begun to learn to know yet. Since his capacity to do is forced into channels of evil through environment and pressures, man is strong before he is moral. The world's anguish is caused by people between twenty and forty. The people around my home who have caused all the interracial tension— the Milams and the Bryants (in the Emmett Till murder) and the gangs of Negroes who grab a white woman and rape her in revenge, the Hitlers, Napoleons, Lenins—all these people are symbols of human suffering and anguish, all of them between twenty and forty.
You gave a statement to the papers at the time of the Emmett Till killing. Have you anything to add to it here?
No, only to repeat what I said before: that if we Americans are to survive it will have to be because we choose and elect and defend to be first of all Americans; to present to the world one homogeneous and unbroken front, whether of white Americans or black ones or purple or blue or green. Maybe the purpose of this sorry and tragic error committed in my native Mississippi by two white adults on an afflicted Negro child is to prove to us whether or not we deserve to survive. Because if we in America have reached that point in our desperate culture when we must murder children, no matter for what reason or what color, we don't deserve to survive, and probably won't.
What happened to you between Soldier's Pay and Sartoris—that is, what caused you to begin the Yoknapatawpha saga?
With Soldier's Pay I found out writing was fun. But I found out afterward not only that each book had to have a design but the whole output or sum of an artist's work had to have a design. With Soldier's Pay and Mosquitoes I wrote for the sake of writing because it was fun. Beginning with Sartoris I discovered that my own little postage stamp of native soil was worth writing about and that I would never live long enough to exhaust it, and that by sublimating the actual into the apocryphal I would have complete liberty to use whatever talent I might have to its absolute top. It opened up a gold mine of other people, so I created a cosmos of my own. I can move these people around like God, not only in space but in time too. The fact that I have moved my characters around in time successfully, at least in my own estimation, proves to me my own theory that time is a fluid condition which has no existence except in the momentary avatars of individual people. There is no such thing aswas—only is. If was existed, there would be no grief or sorrow. I like to think of the world I created as being a kind of keystone in the universe; that, small as that keystone is, if it were ever taken away the universe itself would collapse. My last book will be the Doomsday Book, the Golden Book, of Yoknapatawpha County. Then I shall break the pencil and I'll have to stop.