you can chart the decline of human civilisation quite nicely in what a generation thinks necessary to teach. goodbye iliad + nash equilibrium, hello elbows off the table + don't pick your nose in public.
we're turning back into monkeys, and cambridge knows it.
so, a question i'd like to pose here: how monkey-nised are we, malaysians?
well, i don't know, you tell me.
i bought this book out of curiousity, over the weekend. londonstani is the debut novel of gautam malkani, a 30-year old not bad looking editor at london's financial times.
and most importantly, the back cover of the book went to describe, "no matter how much jas tries, though, it isn't enough to sleep with (wait for the ayat penting) seriously fit *cough* Samira ..."
maka ... terpaksa beli buku tersebut.
it is necessary to begin with a declaration of biases: je deteste sms shorthand.
it makes me shudder, even when i see it on the screen of a mobile phone (i'll go on a shooting rampage if anyone start sending shorthand texts). i reckon different vernaculars are best conveyed by capturing the choice of diction rather than through spelling words phonetically to convey accents.
so, opening a book to find sentences such as "your glasses r so smashed up u can't count? shud've gone 2 specsavers, innit. how many a us bredren b here?" sets off shrill alarm bells in my head.
londonstani tells a story about certain myths of masculinity that both attract and weigh upon young men, warping their relationship with the world. the novel takes a shotgun approach, blending cultures and aphorisms and pop references at digital speed. the trouble with dumping so many things in a book is that it fractures the reading experience.
nonetheless, i have a sneaking suspicion that londonstani makes a fine novel - for younger male readers, who are familiar with the cockney accent. give this book to 17-year-olds who think novels are musty entities with no bearing on their lives, and you may well find them responding with huge enthusiasm.
in many ways, londonstani is audacious. however, the bloke-ish novel didn't work for me; londonstani makes a good sleeping pill.
sapa nak pinjam?
+ update 22.06.2007+
i feel like posting a song, so here's 'perpisahan' by anuar zain ... cik pms would know the reason behind that song choice
have a good weekend, y'all!