Blida Department of English: Free Stand to Stand Free
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The book

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The book Empty The book

Post by aspire on Sat Nov 24, 2012 12:01 am

There is one thing I never get tired of. My interests are generally short-lived and the hobbies I so easily develop fade out of the tumultuous circle of my life sometimes even before I fully realise their nature or savour their attractions. I pretty much like to discover things and places, but rarely wish to push further than the first impression they give me into whatever intricacies lie behind. I sometimes entertain the idea that little exists beyond what meets the eye. As a boy, I played chess and got fed up, especially after I realised that intelligence had nothing to do with it, and that girls doubted the macho of chess nerds. What is the point in beating your opponent on a zebra patterned board when he sweeps the ground with you in real fighting, and scores better than you in every subject. I then harassed my father to get me into a Karate class, but fighting shadows and stretching my limbs into the air were not my idea of strength and courage. I felt that Karate, like chess, gave an illusion of power and was completely useless. I thus took off the kimono for good, and plunged into music just because a new teacher came into our school and I liked the funny instruments he carried. Sometimes a stick with many holes on it, sometimes large brass spoons which never quench your hunger, and sometimes a trump of some strange bronze elephant. No sooner had I blown or knocked or kicked most of that artillery than I discovered that I was a calm person who prizes a quiet idle moment over the masterpiece of the best composer in the world. Moreover, we were told in the mosque that music led to hell, and being a pious boy, I ran away of those instruments with a great fright. After that, I tried athleticism, computing, Quranic school, among several other occupations. There was always one good reason or another that sent me out of each with the same energy and zeal that hurried me into another. This is how I am, and I feel no shame about it, an impatient swallow, a curious creature. One thing only retained my interest all along, and the irony is that I never intended to embrace it, and the moment I realised its appeal it was too late to quit, though I never wished to quit.
My late father collected a humble library and tucked it in a nook behind a heavy curtain he bought from France, with vivid images on it of aristocratic ladies in picnic looking at a servant trying to hang a caged bird on a hook in a tree overhead. In fact it was the same image repeated in different patterns. I admired the curtain and I loved the nook. It was my secret retreat when I felt the world a little bit crazy or when I feared punishment for breaking a valuable something or stealing a delicious something else. I enjoyed hiding there by the hour. I liked to lose myself among those charming ladies who chattered and chattered and chattered while their bird chirped and chirped and chirped. I listened to their casual friendly gossip and smelled the fragrance of the wood. Well, in fact i t was the little wooden skeletal library behind me which sent off that odour. The volumes stacked there had a quaint look and a sad yellow colour, and some of them were attractively terrifying. The blue cover of one was particularly so, as it boasted a drawing of an elderly half bald bespectacled and hagard blind face with a sinister smile. The title of the book and the name of that face were written in an awe-inspiring, serpentine and fluid hand that only Arabs can decipher. WHen there, I avoided the cover and overlooked the haunting smile. But the ladies said all they had to say and the bird sung itself dead. There was nothing of interest left. My listening outlived their talking. It was then with a quiver that I reached for that volume of horror, saying to myself, what harm is a decripit blind face capable of ?
All of a sudden, a wonderland swallowed the little Alice that I was. I forgot everything and was charmed out of self consciousness. I was not aware of where I was and what I had been doing. Like Emerson’s eye-ball, like a cube of sugar in a cup of hot tea, or may be like a man just out of Plato’s cave, I disentegrated in the maze of the blind man’s imagination. Nothing brought me back to time and place, out of the book into the nook, but a sharp juvenile hunger which had not then learnt to be patient, and took him a long time thereafter to do. Gradually and sheepishly, as if I had just escaped the summer afternoon dazzle into a bedimmed log cabin, things started to come to shape. I will never forget the hurried way I turned the front cover to quench a curious longing to assimilate the weird features of that sinister face that sent me away from me. Honestly, I felt I had been a little harsh and unfair towards the man. My second analysis of that face uncovered a shy comeliness and a modest nobility. The smile became a little gentler, though lost nothing of its irony. It had a streak of that giggle a King’s jester gives when he delivers a truth-laden joke that makes the court happy and the wise heavy-hearted. But when the ghoolish, childish whim that the face changed its expressions during my hours of perusal struggled into my awareness, and the hunger in my stomach revolted with many ridiculous croaks and crowls, I took the flight to a plate of sardines and a wedge of lemon. Along the crisp slender sardines, I remember a profusion of little details that coloured that day just as you recollect a thousand bits and pieces that infiltrated your wedding day, your graduation day, … your day of days, whatever it be. My blue pajamas torn under one arm pit, my father’s sneezes, my little sister’s black spotted green giraffe in her colouring book, the strong smell of thyme in the shed, even the bruises on my shins kindly offerd to me by some big and heavy neighbor child as he continuously mistook my slim legs for the ball. I registered the myriad trivia of that day in my memory under an imaginary caption which reads : « the day of the book ».
Have you tried something your parents always warned you against and found it not that bad after all ? have you enjoyed a sinful act and became torn between the dictations of your duty and the temptation of the act ? You certainly have had that experience, and surely know that feeling I had on the morrow. No matter how hard i tried to occupy myself in one or other activity, the mysterious blind smile was persistingly in the back of mind beckening me to the world behind the curtain, to the pleasures of self forgetfulness. My resistance was like that of an opium-eater, for i was soon stolen into that forgotten spot, and rushed through the old man’s time gate. Did I actually turn the pages and follow the lines with my eyes ? If I did, I was never aware of me doing it. this time, however, my return to awareness was sudden and quite painful. A swarm of little ants scrabbled up my right cheek and a sharp siren blew into my right ear, and before i realised what the matter was with me, another swarm and another siren did justice to the left side of my impish face. My brother’s bullying hand was still in the air before me as he hesitated for a few seconds whether an odd number was better or an even one. Seeing me puzzled and still defenceless with my hands on the book in stead of shielding my face, his hesitation vanished and a third assault was executed on my already faltering lines. His victory was clearly historic. Strange enough, I don’t remember the reason he gave for that invasion—an obligation neglected, a word misplaced, or an object missing,…well, who cares really ? when you are weak, everything about you looks a good reason for punishment, and my brother never failed to appreciate the power his date of birth confered on him over me. He was stronger by the force of the calender. But not for long.

aspire

Number of posts : 118
Age : 35
Registration date : 2012-10-21

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The book Empty Re: The book

Post by aspire on Fri May 31, 2013 10:57 am

The house was sold, my father passed away, my upper lip has gradually become darker and my voice deeper, the nook faded into the bygone; but the book—that mysterious book that made an avid reader of me—remains in the back of my mind. It has a power of its own, a haunting presence that’s not fully tangible, but nonetheless distinct. Many a time I catch myself tossing my head theatrically in the hope of shaking that book along with its associations off my head. Before long, reading became an integral part of my daily routine. It was not a passion for books, nor a yearning for knowledge. It was not a kind of entertainment either. It was rather a sort of quest, a query, a long-lasting search for the incomprehensible, a persistent attempt to understand the mysterious. Finishing the book, I was sent into a state of delirium that lasted weeks on end. The book taught me habits only a madman was capable of, it made me to stand still in the middle of the street unconscious of the blaring horns, of the drivers’ angry shouts, of the giggles of the passer-bys. It haunted my dreams and woke me up in the middle of the night with a gasp and a shudder. But I resolved to save my life from its enchanting spell. I had to do something.


aspire

Number of posts : 118
Age : 35
Registration date : 2012-10-21

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The book Empty Re: The book

Post by sassy86 on Fri May 31, 2013 11:15 pm

Aspire one word: AMAZING! Let's create a reading group about your post here https://blida-english.bbactif.com/f35-reading-group and discuss it together! Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The book 77156 Keep it upppppppp
sassy86
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Number of posts : 1227
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Location : Where I truly belong
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The book Empty Re: The book

Post by w_ch on Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:54 am

WOW The best piece of writing I have ever read on this forum The book 317362I will be your first reader if you keep them coming.
w_ch
w_ch

Number of posts : 437
Age : 32
Registration date : 2009-05-21

http://Ouadhah.cherifi@oup.com

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The book Empty Re: The book

Post by sabine on Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:15 pm

Oh MY GOD!!! That's really AMAZING Aspire The book 942288 you're always impressing me with your style. Great minds like yours have always the faculty of saying a great deal in a few words. keep it up dear mate. I really cannot wait to read you The book 77156 The book 77156 The book 317362
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sabine

Number of posts : 459
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