Thursday, January 03, 2013

Diary of an Iraqi Cosmopolitan Citizen

"As Syria descends deeper into chaos, knives are being sharpened and battle lines being drawn in Iraq." says an article last December in Foreign Policy.

That was an enough dose of "foreign" policy to me so I switched the internet navigation to more "internal" affairs of this big world and the best story that appealed to me was Depardieu's. The french actor Gerard Depardieu, says an article, was granted the Russian nationality and passport. Depardieu wanted to get rid of the high taxes for the high salaries in France. As an Iraqi, living in Baghdad, I understand him!

They say that chronic stress can cause, among other things, numbness of emotions. I am avoiding news about Iraq and Syria and the areas around.

In found an article about the return of Genevieve, a french 16 years old adolescent, to her mother after one month of escaping.  BB wrote a letter to the president of France to help saving two elephants in danger. Every time they mention the president of France I remember that they said he rides bicycle to his place of working.

I felt that the news were so silly.

I turned the T.V. one and a movie started in TV5 Maghrib-Orient and it was named: "Papy fait de la resistance." Its start was interesting since it talks about the Nazi's invasion of France in the 40s but it started to turn into a very silly comedy. The brother of Hitler came to live in the house of the French opera singer "La Bourdelle" who had sang for us the silliest harmonies.

 Hitler's brother suddenly started singing "Je n'ai pas change" of Julio Iglisias and I said THAT THAT'S ENOUGH for today.

It was such an important day for me, the poor Iraqi.

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Eclipse of the Memory

What is the benefit of reading poetry for example? And to make the question more answerless we can add "since you will forget most of what you have read?"

Lately I found a movie which was issued back in the 90s, "Total Eclipse: Rimbaud and Verlaine". I was estranged to the emotional unrest of Rimbaud and Verlaine. Back in the 90s a friend lent me a book about Rimbaud, a book that I liked to a degree that I photocopied it. And since not more than 2 months I have bought a new book about the life and poetry of Rimbaud. But when I saw the movie it seemed that I am getting to know Rimbaud for the first time in my life.

When I reached the scene where Verlaine shot Rimbaud's hand with a gun I stopped watching the movie and thought that it is more fictional than real and went to the book that I bought since 2 months and found, to my surprise, that I have underlined the phrase which talks about that same incident: "Verlaine had shot Rimbaud's hand with a gun". I have even put an exclamation mark in front of the phrase.

While seeing the movie I get interested in one of Rimbaud's peoms named: "Sensations". I have googled it and read it gain and again. When I was consulting the book I read before 2 months I found that the same poem is present in the book and that I have added notes to it and put circles and lines around some of the lines.

It is evident that while reading the same poem, just 2 months after, I have no any recollection of any of its parts.

So again, why we read things like poetry? Not only that, why we do read since we will forget?

Is it about the pleasure of the moment? Does it leave a non-specific trace, for example, an emotional tone, an unconsious emotional tone toward somethings? Does it affect our Amygdala, for example?

More seriously, reading an autobiography, is meant to add to our experience of life, but since I am forgetting the autobiographies I read, what should I continue?

I think I am forgetting the details and getting some generalizations. Some concepts that I find difficult to underline here in this post. Rimbaud is ventilating my tendecy of rebellion in my inhibited society. Does Rimbaud's autobiography is an answer to the experience of rebelion?

No question about it, reading an important book once sometimes is not sufficient. No question about it reading a book as a must do thing trying to finnish it as fast as possible is a bad practice. Reading a book, for me, should be slower, since I seem to read so fast, and superficiously.