Friday, July 18, 2008

Painters and Writers.

"Suppose you have been invited to a private view of a painting wherein the artist has chosen to join to a human head the neck of a horse, and gone on to collect some odds and ends of arms and legs and plaster the surface with feathers of differing colors, so that what began as a lovely woman at the top tapered off into a slimy, discolored fish – could you keep from laughing my friends?
Believe me dear, paintings like these look a lot like the book of a writer whose weird conceptions are just like a sick man’s dreams, so that neither the head nor the foot can be made to apply to a single uniform shape. “But painters and poets have always been equally free to try anything”. We writers know and insist that such a license be ours and in turn extend it to others but not to the extent of mating the wild with mild, so that snakes be paired with birds and lions with lambs."

When i read this letter written by Horace, it seemed to me, almost immediately that he had read Ben Okri's story of AZARO, the spirit child...but Hor wrote these letters B.C., he probably knew Ben Okri was going to write these two books.

I 'struggled' to read this books and make meaning of the story. I am a die hard fan of Nigerian writers, when I found the first part, i was impressed that he'd won the Booker Prize in 1991, so i just grabbed it and then the lady at the shop told me there's a sequel, so i bought the two.
I tried and tried to finish the first part, i gathered strength upon strength to turn it page by page. i kept saying to myself, 'i should be able to read and enjoy these books, is something wrong with me? he won the booker prize afterall', even my sister who doesn't ever read novels unless it's hyped picked the first one, finished it and then picked the sequel BUT decided she'd had enough when she got half way.

Maybe it's just me, maybe nothing is wrong with the book...i just didn't like it, i'm talking about The Famished Road cuz i wasn't even interested in the sequel.

I will keep on struggling to finish these books, it's the hardest book i've had to read.


rayo said...

1st, yipee... books that r hard to finish 'soyinka, the interpreters and a host of odas... was hopin to read the famished road, i'll judge afta i have

NaijaBabe said...

Gosh I thought it was just me.
I have both books and half read!

I found the sequel somewhere and couldnt be bothered to look for the first part so I started reading it. When I found the first part half way through the sequel, I abandoned it and started with the first.
Never finished it.

Wow..that book is very creative but damn its hard work.

Ive been getting books from my local library but I find that I lose interest in them quite quickly so I have resorted to sticking to my Nigerian authors so they can lift me out of this phase!

Woomie O! said...

@Naijababe: don't you wonder what the f**k goes on in Ben Okri's mind...'I' would have just given him the Booker Prize too if I were in charge...of it meant that i didn't necessarily have to finish the!!!

bdw, thanks for stipping by.

dScR?Be said...

rumor has it that he won the booker prize b/c the oyibo pple cud not understand wat he was writing, lol..

i read it though, like 3yrs ago, it is a really creepy book