Thursday, January 26, 2006

Reading Literature: Different World View

There is a Malay proverb said that ‘the more you travel, the wider knowledge you get’. Well, that is true. But what about those people who cannot afford to go travelling? Are they as just dumb as a frog under the coconut shell?
The proverb is somehow argumentative. To get wider knowledge actually does not require you to travel a lot. Especially nowadays you can get the feeling to be at the place that you wish to just by clicking the Internet. Of course the feeling is not the same but the knowledge, yes, almost the same. And sometimes, better. But hey, there is another way to get and feel the experience. You can start reading.
Not all kinds of reading material can help you improve your knowledge. Especially those magazines that does not develop your mind. So, reading literature books might help you. What??? Literature book? How bored is it, don’t you know? How difficult to read between those lines, you have to interpret it. Bla, bla, bla…
Reading literature books are not as difficult as what many people think. The main point is not to understand the underlying meaning of the text first. But to enjoy the reading it self. Reading literature books enables you to explore the outer world just like those people who can afford to go travelling. It is easy too. You do not have to pack your bags, get the passport done, thinking what kind of food you might be served, what size of bed will you lay on…. You just need money and some determination to go to the bookstore and buy the books that you wish to. You can even read the classical fairy tales like from Hans Christian Anderson. You will never too old to enjoy those fairy tales.
So you people, what are you waiting for? Start reading now. If you do not have enough money to buy it, you can borrow it from library or even read it at the bookstore itself, like at MPH or Borders. My literature book is calling me now. I am going to read A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee William. I am sure it will be a great experience!

Antigone: A Feminist Text?

Among the three Theban plays, Antigne was the earliest being wrote by Sophocles. But somehow, it becomes the last of three being on stage. Basically, Antione is a play about Antigone’s heroic action, going against his uncle, Creon. Creon’s edict not to bury Polynices develops the conflict. It also arouses Antigone’s anger because she believes that man’s law should not go against God’s law. And in this play, Creon’s order many lead to God’s anger because to let a body rotten and unburied is offending God.
Portraying Antigone as the hero or main character in this play somehow made this play looks like a feminist text. Feminist text, points out alternative feminine characteristics suggested usually by women authors.
In a male dominated world, Antigone’s brave action wins many people’s heart. She also inspires people to go against authority. Antigone herself, not only against her own blood, but also the ruler of the city. She might not be the hero of this play (which named after her) if Oedipus decide not to curse his own sons in Oedipus at Colonus’ play.
Nevertheless, it is not wrong to have a female character to dominate and play the most important role in a play. It is not suppose to offend anybody. It is just a play, that may inspire thousand people.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tragedy or Fatality?

It is raining. An old man walks hurriedly towards a big tree to get a shelter. Thunder and lightning. Suddenly thunder strikes the tree. The tree fall down and hit the old man. Die.
For many people, what had happened above is a tragedy. However, for many scholars, it is not a tragedy, it is fatality. What's the difference between this two terms?
According to Aristotle, tragedy is (a drama) 'treating a serious subject and involoving persons to significance'. So, attending a serious course that makes you spent lots of money, time and energy, is it a tragedy?
Two main ingredients need to be considered when we want to label something as a trgedy. First, statement of human fallability. Fall, errors, mistakes. Being an immortal, we cannot escape from this situation. An example from Sophocles' Trilogy of Oedipus. The unlucky Oedipus tries to run away from his fate. However, everytime he tries to run away from it, he become closer to it. Second, reversal of fortune. Saddam Hussien is an example of a leader who was exile from his palace. Once he is a leader of Iraq, now he is a prisoner.
Anyway, it is not the end of the world. Fatality or tragedy, we still have to live this life. Tsunami at Acheh, typhoon Katrina at New Orleans. Fatality of tragedy? You determine it.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Wanna Watch Theatre? Read This First…

At Malaysia, when people talk about theatre, there are several things that come across their minds. A group pf actor and actress acting on the stage, closed place, formal attire (especially at Istana Budaya… opps, sorry!), cannot-afford ticket and most importantly… boring!
When we look back during Greek period, especially for Athenians, theatre served as an expression of public unity. It is attended by all men. To attend the theater, then, was a religious duty and the responsibility of all pious citizens. Theatre then, served as a celebration of God, during The Festival of Dionysus a ritual to honor the god of wine and fertility and to ask his blessing on the land.
Coming back to reality, especially for Malaysian, there is nothing to scare about watching theatre. It is meant for all; just choose any kinds of theatre. From tragic tragedy, funny comedy or lovely love stories, everything is just in your hands. It is all there to serve for your appetite. Like watching movies at cinemas, it can be a therapy for anybody, even for kids. Unlike watching movies at cinemas, theatre allows you to see real man, physically, in front of you, acting. To increase your excitement, certain theatre also allows you to take part in the play itself! How fun isn’t it?
So allow me to welcome you to the theatre. Just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!