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Friday, March 20, 2009

Noise levels - in a book?

Books are like colofully lit magical boxes with beautiful or interesting thoughts floating inside them. Any book is meant to be lovingly held, cherished and opened, so that the one reading the book can bask in these lights and floating thoughts.

The above corny lines are mine, and I believe in them everytime I open a new book. That is why when a book disappoints me, it feels like I have been slapped hard by each floating thought, and blinded by excessive lighting.
The slapping and blinding happens when there is too much of noise in a book. Noise, in this case, is commonly termed as 'wordy'.


Theoretically, ( my theory that is), there can be two types of 'wordy' books:

  • Words-wordy:This is when simplicity simmers and whimpers everytime she is ignored. For example,the previous sentence is wordy. I could have said that ignoring simplicity is undesirable. Even if that sounds unappetizing, its simple. With patience and the right frame of mind, words-wordy books can be read and enjoyed. ( We all like Rushdie don't we?)
  • Wiki-Wordy:This results in a book full of irrelevant knowledge and facts, a classic symptom of a megalomaniac writer. I don't know what it takes to tolerate a wikipedia-type-wordy book.

Let me know tell you a story:

Once there lived an Indian Woman in a foreign land. She thought and made herself believe that she could write well. She took all the necessary courses and decided to make her debut with a collection of short stories. But she wanted to show how MUCH she knew, how rich her (cross) cultural knowledge is. So she ended up writing stories that could have been summed up in one line, but dragged on for 30-odd pages.

That is how, I ended up reading the story of a woman's survival after divorce. The author decided to take the seldom-used path, and covered the whole plathora of topics ranging from the protaganist's village, her husband's family, his work(which, for all of 5 pages, still remained a mystery), to the typical east-west divide, our cultural values, abortions, divorce and finally, her making out with another woman.

Most of the poets and writers are full of themselves and want to be in the spotlight in every forum and have maximum hits to their name in google. For example, when they are introduced to a person X with a "You know, X has written many short stories and has got herself published in so-and-so", these people go with, "Oh its a pleasure to meet you. You write stories? I understand, I myself have written more than you can even count, got more of my works published than you any-day, and can beat ou up in any contest, should it ever happen".

Beware of these specimen. They argue for the sake of arguing, do a lot of google to make their write-ups seem intelligent, and write stories, which can be easily renamed as "what's on wikipedia" or "Did you know? I do".

PS: I could have made this post shorter, but this post is a tribute to all the editors, who are scared to let the writers know that half of the book is a truckload of .. undigestable stuff. grrrr.

4 comments:

Kunal Chandra said...

I have this kind of experience (wiki -wory, dictionary wordy, "i have completed word-power made easy" - wordy ) experience with Arundhati Roy and sometimes with these Editorial Columns....

antbrain said...

Ahem! 3 book titles titles I expected to be named in the post is not there. Yeiyee! Let the argument of coffee vs toffee continue eternally :)


Psst Achan! You've named the book which triggered this post partially, in the tag list, in case you didn't notice ;)

rangarajaniyengar said...

noise in a book - hee hee, of coure its so true. i liked the label, aviyal!
:-( dont read my book whenever i publish it, i love wordy wiki abstracty and since u dont like honks, my book will be full of honks for u :-(

Archana said...

Hey kunal: Loved the new names.. dictionary wordy, "i have completed word-power made easy" - wordy!! I thought the post didn't convey its meaning well, looks like it did! glad to know!!!

Ashwin: We are always going to differ in that aspect. But I did like Rushdie except for Moor's last sigh! Uh-Oh did i name one of the three books?!!

Jiju: Thanks! I have read your short stories.. they weren't wordy wiki - maybe abstracty! You had balance. SOme people just lose their perspective and the core story!