It takes me back to the days when i read the lines “Etodin kothaye chilen?” for the first time. An experience i believe can be worth remembering, once you know you cant put it in words, or rather you wouldn’t want to. Yet you cant help but wondering how incomplete your life has been without. How come no one told you, or you didn’t bother to find out. And once you know, you cant go back, you remain, shaken and stirred, hoping for time to ease it out. If i have to exaggerate it, it would be equating it with what Titanic felt when she hit the iceberg.
The post, is about a certain album of the 60s, famous but overlooked by yours truly, and a writer, equally, if not more, famous in their respective circles. The album is Pet Sounds by the Beach Boys, and the writer is Jorge Luis Borges.
Its amazing how we hit gold, like Huxley said of happiness, while looking for something else. I was still listening to Sgt. Peppers, and then something else, and then some more of McCartney and Lennon, when looking up this and that on the net, i stumbled upon The Pet Sounds. And what a revelation it has been. Musically, well, you have to listen to it, for i believe, in the process of translating a medium of expression into another quite a lot is lost. However, i can share with you a few lines of their lyrics, from one of their songs:
I may not always love you
But long as there are stars above you
You never need to doubt it
Ill make you so sure about it
God only knows what Id be without you
or say, from another, and one of my favourite songs from the album,
Where did your long hair go
Where is the girl I used to know
How could you lose that happy glow
Oh, caroline no
From what i noticed about the album, there are two very interesting things about it.
A. Once you put the album on, and listen to one track after another, you experience something which is fresh and joyful. Lyrics and sounds, which begin at existential questioning do not end in nothing, but on the other hand, pushes the listener to a certain level of optimism, which is rare if not unique.
B. Since we are travelling upsteam in time, you cant but help yourself thinking that you have heard these sounds before. Not deja vu, but the tremendous silent impact on music in general. And it is striking different, even from Sgt. Peppers and McCartney.
Coming to Borges, he has been an educator. That fiction can be written in ways i never knew. And again approaching, from upstream time, i found lots of parallels with my favourite authors, Pamuk and Marquez. There are stories which are told, retold, and Borges when writes them, one cant help but feeling the freshness and genius in them. Despite being a translation, it retains the essence, which draws one to it. His works i feel (again reminding me of The Black Book) are interactive. The stories unfold, as if based on the reader’s choices while reading. Yet it is impossible to find out how different it would have if the choices had been different, for one has already walked on. It might seem strange, but try giving it a try.
Now, dear reader, i know you will understand, how can i write in times like these!