Saturday, 17 October 2009

What one sets out for

Image Hosted by
There are times when we meet certain people or have those experiences that make us question things we hold as true or set sharp lines between things we never saw the need to distinguish. I know a guy who in trying to stay true to his Dandy image of wanting to be among the elite, the higher class, tells these stories, that are beguiling at first, but after questioning them, one begins to see the incredulity and falseness of these stories. He knows that I see him as a bullshitter and that I wonder why he must keep telling these lies. But his defense and reply to what I felt was sort of profound. He said "Do we not have the right to lie? That it is in lies that we know who someone is, that it is in identifying our lies that we know what we truly want but conceal". I think that this guy, a friend I guess, wants me and people to believe that at the core of every lie he tells is truth. But there is the suspicion that he wants people to keep listening to his stories, regardless that they are mistrustful of it, until they begin to accept it as his truth. This man made me feel the strong need to separate the inventiveness and creativity in stories and books from deception.

When I was in elementary school, we would have these talent display shows at the end of the term. Some would whistle a hymn, sketch a Super-hero on the black board, but I was that big-headed, quiet and skinny kid who would go up to tell a story and transform into a different person. Most times I would retell a story my father told me and my other siblings in those evenings when NEPA usurped electricity from us. Other times, I would give my own version of an English book or Disney cartoon that I had previously seen. While telling these stories, I knew my classmates loved them and I saw my teacher's amused and sweet look. I saw how their faces changed at every twist and turn of the story and I would, sometimes, infuse my own twists to make these stories even more intriguing. Other short books that I wrote as a kid were meant to dazzle, whisk the reader out of the present into another world, an over-hanging sphere.

My father still reminds me, inadvertently embarrassing me, of the story The Chronicles of Lady Koi Koi that I wrote when I was thirteen. My story tried to give the origins of Lady Koi Koi as being a disturbed, high-heel wearing, morose and middle-aged matron, who was mistakenly killed by some students in an all-girl school. It described how the paranoia of these girls created in them a fear of the dead Matron-a fear which spread to other all-girl high schools in Nigeria. My stories, these days, are nothing like this. I think I now write, obliviously perhaps, with the idea that I need to reveal truths or shed from myself things that worry me. I don't think there is anything wrong with this only that this desire that hangs over my head, sometimes comes in the way of invention and lessens a beautiful story.

To tell a lie is to conceal truth, to try to dissimulate the real, and I do not think stories set out to do this. From what I hear from writers and what I feel, when writers begin to write a story, there is often the need to free from themselves a small, seed-like idea in their mind. As soon as this small idea is written,planted, it begins to grow on paper, quickly, other times slowly. But after that phase is over, what follows? What then does the writer set out for?
I felt different ways after reading Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss. My feelings bordered between awe and disappointment. The prose is brief and yet she still has these nice sentences like how she writes about "Opera houses where music molded entire audiences into a single grieving or celebrating heart, and where the applause rang like a downpour". Yet there is the narrative voice, pessimistic and bleak. One feels that she wrote the book, after a bout of severe guilt at her position in the scheme of things and also disappointment with the world. And the book is her way of setting out to reveal these sad things about the world, and maybe assuage her guilt. In the detached way the book is narrated, I did not feel the delight that I feel when I read sad stories. This is were my disappointment rose from.

Perhaps writers and storytellers reach a point where they feel that their fiction must have some semblance to truth, to the realities of the day. Maybe as we grow and life burdens us with more complexities and worries, we feel that it is not enough just to write dazzling stories. That we must infuse in them those things that tug within us. Regardless of whatever it is one becomes; a stoic ponderer of society, a lover of Esoteric Poetry, an award-winning novelist, I guess one should borrow from the storytelling of one's childhood. It was not lying then, it was something else.

I once hesitantly asked this friend of mine if he writes fiction. He doesn't, he has tried, but cannot write good fiction.


Jude Dibia said...

Interesting observation about Desai's Inheritance of Loss! I did not quite feel the same way when I read the book, however, there were portions that were indeed bleak. I loved her prose and I could relate to some of the characters.

I shall return to read some more from you!

NaijaBabe said...

A piece of your mind indeed.

To him, your friend that is, it's not a lie, it's what the media do best that he intends to follow: sensationalising. He does not know that alongside you, many others may see him as a bullshitter as well.

How are you though? Been quite a while

Afolabi said...

@ Jude Dibia: Hello, thanks for dropping by my blog. I read yours a lot. Is the book one of your favourites?

@ Naijababe- I'm not doing too badly, it's another semester for me and it's kind of boring- the sch work esp.
How's it going with you?

Anonymous said...

aio辣妺視訊 .辣妹視訊 聊天室.辣妹哈拉視訊聊天室.視訊美女聊天室.免費視訊辣妹愛情公寓.辣妹性愛文學.ut同志交友網.美女短片免費試看.utshow 視訊聊天.youtube 影片,無碼卡通.UT視訊美女交友.微風辣妹論壇短片區.免費av18禁影片.韓國小遊戲.777成人區.咆哮小老鼠論壇.視訊主播sex888movie.韓劇線上看.夢中情人情趣用品.美女視訊,自拍走光貼圖.080情人網,本土自拍貼圖.sex383線上娛樂場.辣妹貼圖a片天堂.免費視訊聊天室.咆哮小老鼠影片分享區.視訊交友高雄網.免費卡通影片線上觀看.正宗自拍美女 aooyy.成人夜色網.日本 avdvd 介紹免費觀賞.bt電影下載,aa 片.免費視訊交友.foxy下載.咆哮小老鼠論壇av.高雄視訊.辣妺視訊.性愛情小說.色咪咪情色網,視訊熱舞秀.情人視訊高雄網.sex888,sexy girl.xxx383美女寫真aa.線上 aa 片試看嘟嘟h.85cc免費影片a.台北視訊,免費a網.a 免費影片觀賞.免費視訊辣妹.彩虹頻道免費短片.小魔女免費影片.日本免費視訊.台北視訊.女生自衛a影片.小魔女自拍天堂.摸摸耳小遊戲.松島楓免費影片.avhigh.aa 片免費看.av104.咆哮小老鼠分享論壇.bt電影下載,免費成人片.影音視訊交友 .緯來電影台.av,偷拍,aa 片試看,情色短片

oakleyses said...

christian louboutin uk, cheap oakley sunglasses, prada outlet, ugg boots, longchamp outlet, burberry outlet, tiffany jewelry, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, polo ralph lauren outlet online, christian louboutin shoes, tiffany and co, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, michael kors outlet online, polo outlet, uggs outlet, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton, louis vuitton outlet, kate spade outlet, michael kors outlet, ugg boots, oakley sunglasses, nike free, prada handbags, burberry handbags, louis vuitton, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin outlet, louis vuitton outlet, uggs outlet, christian louboutin, oakley sunglasses wholesale, jordan shoes, uggs on sale, michael kors outlet online, nike air max, nike air max, nike outlet, ray ban sunglasses

oakleyses said...

timberland pas cher, north face, nike free run, coach outlet store online, polo lacoste, kate spade, sac vanessa bruno, mulberry uk, hollister uk, nike air max uk, true religion outlet, burberry pas cher, north face uk, polo ralph lauren, lululemon canada, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, hollister pas cher, coach purses, michael kors, nike roshe run uk, sac longchamp pas cher, nike tn, vans pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, ralph lauren uk, coach outlet, sac hermes, jordan pas cher, nike free uk, replica handbags, michael kors, true religion outlet, guess pas cher, true religion jeans, air max, nike air force, nike air max uk, new balance, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, abercrombie and fitch uk, true religion outlet, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, hogan outlet, louboutin pas cher

oakleyses said...

nike air max, s6 case, ralph lauren, instyler, nfl jerseys, vans outlet, soccer shoes, oakley, iphone 6s cases, nike roshe run, iphone 6 plus cases, mont blanc pens, hollister, nike trainers uk, herve leger, iphone 6s plus cases, north face outlet, beats by dre, hollister clothing, chi flat iron, timberland boots, ferragamo shoes, iphone 6 cases, iphone cases, abercrombie and fitch, ghd hair, asics running shoes, valentino shoes, insanity workout, babyliss, jimmy choo outlet, longchamp uk, celine handbags, iphone 5s cases, mcm handbags, nike huaraches, ipad cases, p90x workout, reebok outlet, bottega veneta, north face outlet, hermes belt, wedding dresses, lululemon, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti outlet, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, baseball bats, louboutin

oakleyses said...

barbour, converse outlet, swarovski crystal, moncler, canada goose, hollister, louis vuitton, links of london, juicy couture outlet, gucci, moncler, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, pandora jewelry, moncler, canada goose outlet, montre pas cher, supra shoes, ray ban, hollister, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, ugg, pandora uk, moncler outlet, ugg uk, louis vuitton, moncler uk, lancel, converse, moncler outlet, moncler, barbour uk, thomas sabo, ugg pas cher, replica watches, canada goose outlet, canada goose uk, marc jacobs, doudoune moncler, canada goose, nike air max, toms shoes, swarovski, wedding dresses, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, coach outlet, canada goose, juicy couture outlet, vans, karen millen uk, louis vuitton, pandora charms

hassna sallam said...

شركة تنظيف بالرياض نحن نسعي دائما ان نكون من افضل الشركات فى مجال التنظيف فنعمل جاهدين على تقديم افل الخدمات وخصوصا تنظيف المنازل وذلك يتم من خىل
شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض التى تستخدم افضل الوسائل والطرق فى التنظيف لتجعل المنزل كانه قطعة من الجنة مميز بالروائح الجميلة اتصل الان واحصل على الخدمة

للتواصل 0500091013