Saturday, August 23, 2008

Critics!!!

"I am sometimes disillusioned with the critics of any literary work. Sometimes it seems they lack an inherent taste and are incapable of recognising beauty. Criticism is mostly surrounded around writing styles and formats and a good piece of writing according to this school, is expected to be a testament to the style that traditionalists endorse.

But shouldn't writing be all about freedom, freedom to nonchalantly express our deepest thoughts, in a tempest of emotions, in the seemingly unnoticeable corner of our hearts? Thus, it is only when the writer exudes the confidence to break the shackles that tradition adorns one with, can true beauty be associated with the literary work, a work that is coruscating with the resplendence of a timeless classic, for history shows that as far time is concerned there is nothing more fickle than tradition."

I felt so while reading a few reviews of Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. There were even comments like through the book he has tried to convert a thesaurus into a literary piece. But come on give the guy a break. He wrote this book from prison. This was his way to experience freedom while being all locked up. So why care if he has used many rare English words, why care if the book has more melodrama making it novel-ish, contrary to claims that it is a real life story? Understand the context in which he is writing the book and you must be one heck of a perfectionist to claim that Shantaram is not a nice read.

9 comments:

Dan* said...

100% agree with you :)

b/w i didnt know he wrote the book in prison :o

D@RK PR!NCE said...

i agree with ya...
Criticism can be of different types na. There are somethings that need to be looked upto sometimes. But criticisms on writing style and all is simply absurd.. "Sargathmigamaya" aaya writing style should be accepted. Ese what is the whole point in different people writing

"Criticism" need to be just suggestions. And good ones are really hard to find. but you need be ready to acccept that too..

;)

Aditya Nair said...

I agree with what you say...but I dont necessarily think we are right.
It depends on what you are looking for when you read a book.It is obvious that you and I are reading a book just for enoymant and not to study the style in which it is written.However,a person studying literature would want to study the style and see if there is some flaw in the writing.Agreed,with an awesome book like SHANTARAM,one would tend to overlook certain classical mistakes in writing styles.But doesn't it also mean that if it was written in a better manner it may have been a much better read.After all,that is what criticism is all about,isn't it?

Cyclops said...

@aditya

once again being a better read or not is a matter of perspective. person A may like one author's writing style while person B may not. Then how does actually a literary student define a good writing style?
All I was saying is that, whether you like a book or not, based on that saying that the author is bad is not justified...

e X o D u S said...

well said...but its all depend on the individual how one take criticism..and one has to be prudent enough to understand n rectify critics establishment..if you can do this..criticism is not a problem for you..take it with a smile..

Cyclops said...

@exodus

once again being a better read or not is a matter of perspective. person A may like one author's writing style while person B may not.

All I was saying is that, whether you like a book or not, based on that saying that the author is bad is not justified...but ya you have a point when you say, positive criticism should be taken in the right sense.

Shantharam Shenoy K said...

Hey this is Shantharam here...interesting isnt it?? i havent heard of the book...but now you have mentioned..will see if i can get my hands on it....

Sampath said...

i totally agree i am a short story writer too...there should a freedom of expression in wat we write...
btw i dint know that the book was written in a prison..thanks for enlightening me...

Dr. Internet said...

good job!