Literature and Photography

If there is such thing as imaginative “writing” in literature, then perhaps there is also such thing as imaginative “seeing” in photography.   Only with this, we would be able to develop a good “eye” for things and study the familiar and the ordinary thing around us, and later on ponder on what these ordinary things reveal to us.

Yet both fields of photography and literature still require the ability to “see” – as if each sight before the writer’s or photographer’s eyes is a different world all through out.  With these, one can enter in a world different from the everyday, and from these, one can increase his or her own understanding of actual experiences.  Photography and literature reveal and/or create emotional truths about our naked selves.

I agree with Eudora Welty when she said that both the writer and the photographer must learn about “accuracy of the eye, about observation and about sympathy towards what is in front of you.”  With this statement, she has asserted that literature and photography have similarities with each other because of those three components.

In literature, we are taught that imagery plays a very important role in creative writing.  In fact, the poet Ezra Pound exemplified much on imagery more than anything else.  Most of the writers believe in the cliché that a picture contains a thousand words, and in special cases, one doesn’t have to tell his feelings or emotions through words, he or she could express them through visual arts especially in photography.

In literature, one must be very accurate in presenting the details in his or her literary piece.  Take for example, in creative nonfiction, a writer must choose carefully the most important details to include in his or her story, otherwise, the story would be ‘fed-up’ and boring because of two many broad details.  The ability to recollect important memories and present them in a creative way would make up an excellent literary piece.

This idea is exemplified in the story “The Little Store”. In the story, the writer Eudora Welty recounted her own experiences through presenting imagistic reminiscences when she was a child.  Because these things that she had done were memorable to her, they were presented in a very specific detailed manner.  Such words like “blackberry lady” and “watermelon man” were few descriptive examples.  but the most interesting imagistic example would be her description about the Little Store: “Licorice recently sucked in a child’s cheek, dill pickle brine that had leaked through paper sack in a fresh trail across the wooden floor, ammonia-loaded ice that had been hoisted from wet croker sacks and slammed into the icebox with its sweet butter at the door, and perhaps the smell of still untrapped mice.”  This example creates a powerful dramatic effect because it appeals to the senses.

On the other hand, photography requires the same components as literature.  One should be visually articulate on choosing the specific details of a certain matter or object best to be captured.  Anything in this world is easy to capture by the camera, but only few things in this world has the ability to make the viewers pause for a moment and ponder the elements of the story behind the photographs.  The pleasure one can find in photography is the pleasure from the idea that photography could evoke feelings to the viewers.  It is the pleasure that a certain photo elicits a certain response of emotion.

In photography certain aspects needs to be considered.  One must take into account the elements of a good photograph like size, space, texture, color, angle, and light and identify them.  Even though these elements sound technical, they should not be taken lightly because each of them constitutes a kind of language or emotion that is very crucial to photography.

A good photograph is that which we see the words circling around it.

Both literature and photography, as what Eudora Welty said, capture the (1) accuracy of the eye; (2) observation and (3) sympathy towards what is in front of you.  Accuracy of the eye is best presented in the author’s accurate and precise choice of specific details – “the particular”, rather than “the universal”. The ability of the author to discern what is only relevant in a particular idea for a story is a good test of his or her aesthetic sensibility.  In photography, this quality is exemplified if the photographer sees an object, and isolates it in a very sharp focus as if it is one unified object capable of drawing out emotions to the people who sees it.

In literature, developing a good story starts with observation of particular thing, action, image or object in nature that may embody universal qualities.  That is why most of the contemporary writers put their ideas and metaphors in concrete specific objects.  Developing a good image in photography on the other hand, starts with simple observation of seeing ordinary things around you and “seeing” them in a different light.  Photographers must see into considerations that the images should provoke people to respond into them readily.  A good photographer should observe how shape, light, color and texture convey different moods that elicit ideas into the viewers’ part.  It is also important to have technical expertise and a seemingly natural flair for good things best to be captured.

One should also “see” the object with sympathy – that is, regard it with a particular significant aesthetic value.  This goes both for literature and photography.

 

With the advent of new technology, one can already used digital cameras and avail specific electronic features from it.  Still, a good photographer shouldn’t just rely on the advancement of his tools, but he should also possess that outstanding creativity to make pictures great and to choose a creative subject matter for photography. Like photography, literature doesn’t rely much on the general view of the world, but it depends on the writer’s keen sense for particular details that would render his or her work powerful and inspiring.

Konna ni Chikaku De

This Close”

Crystal Kay

Nodame Cantabile 1st Ending Theme

Oh right! I am really going gaga over the new hip and romantic anime on Animax entitled Nodame Cantabile. I had just posted the first opening theme of the anime entitled Allegro Cantabile yesterday (check it out!) and here is the 1st ending theme of the same animation.

I love the song and thanks to the English translation, I love it even more! Well, the song is about someone who thinks that love is a very sad feeling, especially if that kind of feeling is unrequited. Sigh. Sometimes, we wish our expectations would be the same as that of the other, but life is really not at all romantic all the time.

This song captures that kind of feeling. A girl is totally in love with the guy, but they could go as far as friends.

If you have an mp3 copy of the song, please share it to me. I really love this song more than anything. Here’s my email address : kyrillevin@gmail.com

Happy Valentines day and cheers!

Romaji/Original lyrics

Koi ga setsunai to

Sugu soba de kizuita ano yoru

Datte hoka no dare yori

Anata no koto wa shitteru kara

Itsumo no sarigenai

Yasashisa sae kono mune wo shimetsuketeku

Konna ni, konna ni chikaku de mitsumete mo

Doushite doushite tada no tomodachi na no?

Donna ni donna ni tsuyoku omotte itemo

Tsutaerarenai you don’t understand

I’m so in love with you

Genki nai yo ne?” to

anata kara iwareta shunkan

Namida kakusu AKUBI de

Nebusoku ka na? tte ii wake shita

Ichiban taisetsu na

Hito ni uso wo kasaneteku… ima no watashi

Mainichi mainichi mune ga kurushii kara

Ikutsumu ikutsumu nemurenu yoru wo koe

Hajimete hajimete deatta ano hi ni mata

Modoreru no nara ii no ni…

I’m so in love with you

Aishiteru” to tsugetara kitto

Mou nidoto egao ni wa modorenai kamo shirenai

Keredo mo tomodachi no mama tsukuriwarai wa

Kore ijyou, watashi dekinai kara

HONTO wa HONTO wa zutto suki data no

itsudemo itsudemo aishi tsuzuketa no

Anata ni anata ni dodoketai kimocho wo

Aoi sora he to sasayaita

I’m so in love with you

Konna ni, konna ni chikaku de mitsumete mo

Doushite doushite tada no tomodachi na no?

Donna ni donna ni tsuyoku omotte itemo

Tsutaerarenai you don’t understand

I’m so in love with you

Chiaki and Nodame

Chiaki and Nodame

English Translation

Love is so sad

I realized it that night you were next to me

Cause better than anyone else,

I know you so well

Even your casual kindness

Makes my chest tighten

This, this close I’m watching you

Why, why are we only friends?

No matter how, no matter how strong my feelings are

They don’t reach you. You don’t understand

I’m so in love with you

You’re not feeling too good?”

you said, and in that moment

I yawned to hide my tears

Lack of sleep, maybe?” was my excuse

The lies to my most important person

Keep piling up that’s the current me

Every day every day, my heart is in pain

Countless, countless sleepless nights overcome

that first, that first day we met

I’m so in love with you

If I confess that “I Love You”

I probably won’t be able to smile again

But to continue as friends, with fake smiles

I can’t take it anymore

The truth is, the truth is I always loved you

Always, always, I kept loving you

To you, to you I want to send these feelings

I whisper them to the blue sky

I’m so in love with you

This, this close I’m watching you

Why, why are we only friends?

No matter how, no matter how strong my feelings are

They don’t reach you. You don’t understand

I’m so in love with you

Tsukiakari

“Moonlight”

Performed by Rie Fu

Darker than Black 1st opening theme

Hei - Darker than Black

Hei - Darker than Black

Hey! Here’s the lyrics of one of my favorite songs I’ve ever listened to. Tsukiakari literally means “moonlight”, as tsuki is “moon” and akari is “light”. The song has a depth in terms of feelings and emotions to it, and although I didn’t readily understood the meaning of the song in English, you can feel this depth in terms of the melody of the song. Which is probably the reason why I really like this one.

The lyrics, composition and the performance are all attributed to Rie Fu, and the arrangement, to Tadashi Ueda under Palm Beach Inc. A TV size version of this song is also included to the official Darker than Black original anime soundtrack composed by Yoko Kanno, along with the first opening theme of the anime, Howling by Abingdon Boys School. This anime soundtrack was released on July 2007 by Aniplex Inc.

So here’s the lyrics guys! J I included the English translation of the original romaji lyrics too.

Original/Romaji lyrics

Aoi aoi sora ni tsuki no hikari wo tomosu

Amaku awaku omoi sonna mono ni torawarete

Kono tsukiakari no shita hitori shirazu

Kimi no namae Continue reading

Happy Endings

Up, up, and away, and off to the land of opportunity, I think to myself. The land of happy endings.
from Happy Endings, L. J. Katigbak

 The book Happy Endings written by Luis Joaquin M. Katigbak is a collection of short stories that revolves around different interpersonal relationships between people, where these people are impelled to believe the idea of ‘happy endings’. The book showcases the different stories of different people when dealing the nature of love and relationships, and exploring self-identity that may lead to self-realizations. The story reflects a lot of things: love, bewilderment, fear, and pain, represented in the various facets of character personas of high school teenagers, college students and young adults. Perhaps, one of the most distinct underlying theme that holds the collection comes from the reflection of the “I” narrator (named Emil) of the short story entitled Happy Endings:

[…] I think about all of us, speeding and lurching or trudging towards our individual endings, catching glimpses of them now and then, planning for the future, wishing, hoping, never really knowing for sure whether our endings will be happy or tragic […]

Indeed, most of us, inevitably, would dream about happy endings, only to find out that not all things end this way, and that our speculations and assumptions are far from what’s real. That is what makes the book really interesting, as the writer was able to extract specific details of experiences, wherein he coupled them with vivid characterizations and an effective prose style to present to us realistic situations of life.

The book has ten short stories. In Renegade Eyeballs, a college student faces the usual problems in a university, dealing with his friends and his girlfriend, and flunking exams and subjects. In between times, he finds leisure in daydreaming, which is a momentary suspension of reality due to his emotional insecurities with the people around him, and at the later part of the story, he ends up thinking of himself as a lunatic sharpshooter with his cheap toy gun, but only for a moment, for in the end he realizes that everything still remains the same. In Postcards, a girl mysteriously receives postcards from nowhere, and she ends up transporting herself into the other world. There, she meets the older and the other self of her who happens to be the one who sends her the postcards. In this story, the theme of self-identity echoes in the other girl’s statement, “To let you know that you have yourself to thank for your happiness.” In Happy Endings, a fresh college graduate named Emil works in an advertising company wherein he is able to distinguish the different desires and ambitions of the people around him, and reflect whether the things that they are doing would eventually lead into their desired happy endings.

In Birthday, a young man forgets his self-identity, and ends up wandering around the place hoping to find it. Along the way he speculates his own nature, and when he has the chance to know his true self (through his lost wallet), he detains the idea for a while, and told himself that today is his birthday. In What the World Was Waiting For, a group of high school student researchers are working for a thermoacoustic engine as a scientific project. A high school boy secretly develops feelings for his best friend who was going out for somebody. In the short story Away, the young woman daydreams of happy endings with a co-worker, and assumes that they both have the same feelings for each other, only to find out that the man is ‘too far away from her’. In Document, two special friends share a word processor, and the young man is confused whether there is something deeper between them.

In the story Kara’s Place, two long-termed college friends Eric and Kara meet one day in Kara’s place, and they talk about Kara’s problem about his professor who tried to harass her. To their surprise, they end up hugging and kissing each other in a moment, and they part from each other, leaving a sense of confusion to both of them. In Rain, Rachel, and a Wednesday Afternoon, a 28-year old man named Dodong looks back at the memories with a girl named Rachel fourteen years ago – memories in the rain and at that memorable Wednesday afternoon when they first met. Now, Dodong reflects on the present time: Rachel is already married and she has a beautiful daughter, and through this, it is questioned, whether he is trapped in the past. In the final short story, The End, the main character Anton becomes the herald-messenger of the end of the world which will happen in seven days. Here, we see, how Anton struggles with the pressure of the responsibility, but amidst this distress, he comes to appreciate the value of love in a life already marked with brevity.

In a closer reading of the short stories written by Luis Joaquin Katigbak, it is notable that the strength of the writer lies in his vivid descriptions of the mental and emotional states of his characters. By relaying to us the emotional and mental processes of his characters with utmost subtlety, we readers are able to see more of their human and sympathetic aspects. The writer was able to push the plot of the stories to subtle sentimentalities, mainly because his characters are ‘human’, believable and credible characters. In this way, we readers are able to participate in the story by relating ourselves to the feelings and mental states of the characters. Indeed, these characters have the quality of verisimilitude and universality.

The book Happy Endings is heavily laced with irony that life is not purely all about happy endings. The stories reflect unique interpretations of the inability of humans to decode what the future holds for each of us. The writer highlights the idea that humans are not perfect, and they have occasional shortcomings, and these mistakes are bound to stain the happily-ever-after thoughts. But eventually through these mistakes, humans can achieve clarity about their own selves, and to some extent, self-realizations. This theme is subtly exemplified in each stories of Katigbak – it resonates all through out the book with deeper significance. Luis Joaquin Katigbak has that creative finesse in using that artistic emotional restraint of which he used extensively and effectively in each stories, and that is why Happy Endings is one of my personal favorites.