Monday, February 28, 2011

Popping the speech bubble

"I type quickly - 90 words a minute, when I am happy, care free and in a good mood. I don't believe in fancy stuff. In my writing, there is no poetry, no complexity, no literary frills. Therefore, I need only to barrel along, saying whatever comes to mind, and waving cheerfully at people who happen to pass my type writer."
(Asimov Roving Mind 337)

This somewhat reminds me of my father, though what doesn't these days? He always said that when he had an essay to write, he would do it concisely and to the point. No frills or unnecessary artificialities (don't ask me what that word means; it's self-explanatory). The teacher would set the essay for two pages and for him and another classmate who wrote in the same way - one page.

Maybe that is what made me understand and assimilate most of his beliefs. He had a strong common-sense and was able to talk to me in a way that would reach out to me.

Now, I find myself in a strange situation. My writing varies wildly, depending on style, context and theme. My poetry is blurry, with a lot of visual and other sensory imagery. Years later, I sometimes read it again and marvel at it. There are never two alike and the moment is never the same after the poem was written.

In prose, things become clearer. There is a certain order and words have their proper meaning. There is little going on behind the curtains. Does that make it any less interesting?

Communication, in any form, is an art; it is the very essence of our society. I feel sad when only paintings are considered art. Literature is a valuable art - all writing is in a way. Discourse used to be a highly-appreciated form of art itself. It was taught in schools in the antiquity. Nowadays, all we get from school is empty information.

We learn to talk, but do we also learn how to communicate? How to say something worthwhile to a listening ear?

This has always been one of the most valued lessons I have learned from my father. At times, it is not what you say, but also how you say it, that matters.


  1. Once again, Lavi, you've 'hit the nail on the head!' Thank you for sharing your insights and for encouraging thought.

    You are a talented writer and that is why I am following you :) Keep it up, please!!

  2. Style and substance. Your father was wise. :-)

  3. I appreciate what you are saying in this post. You have a unique way of expressing yourself.


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