Input and Output

 It became most apparent to me that input and output are two entirely different things (aside from the obvious). 

I would go as far as to say that (when we take the following examples) it does not matter what an author or screenwriter writes into a book, short story, or movie, insofar as anything that’s read or interpreted from the product can be explained by the details and facts present in the final piece. 

Too much of the effort of creation is subconscious for it to work in any other way — the amount of detail present anywhere would swamp any writers mind if it was the result of conscious creation. 

Therefore, any reading of a work is perfectly dependent on the person reading the work — A and B will have rather different experiences from the same work, and they will also have seen completely different aspects written into it. (The difference is most likely affected by everyone’s own past personal experience).

Trylogia

Just finished the masterpiece of Henryk Sienkiewicz, the Trylogia (composed of three books, ‘With Fire and Sword’, ‘The Deluge’, and ‘Fire in the Steppe, or Pan Wolodyjowski’), a grand total of 1781 pages in the Estonian translation (since the original was written in Polish, it made sense to read the Estonian translation which would likely be more truthful than an English one).

I do believe that Sienkiewicz, by writing this book, has managed to capture the spirit of patriotism as well as anyone ever could. I can’t really very well describe what it is about the book (or rather, the series of books) that’s so captivating, but there is something in it. Some commentator described the book as capturing the Polish spirit — perhaps this would be true (when we are speaking of the historical Poland, which would encompass modern Poland, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belorussia, Kaliningrad, the majority of Latvia, and other territories), especially when we consider what the great nation actually had to go through — a century of war unlike any other European power, and yet it managed to retain it’s greatness and momentum.

Would it perhaps be that the liberties so valued by the szlachta (election of a king, and liberum veto to name a few) are the very essence of a democratic nation, making Poland (after United Provinces of the Netherlands, or whatever it’s official name was) the first democratic nation (especially considering the large number of szlachtices in the realm)? It might indeed be so, especially since no modern democracy manages to (at least from what I have read and experienced) — possibly with the exception of the autocratic democracy present in Singapore — portray to their own citizens what these szlachtices see as their God-given rights that can not be taken away by anyone wishing to rule without the power of law.

It can only be imagined where Poland would be now, if the spirit of patriotism had continued, and Austria, Prussia and Russia had not intervened constantly in its affairs…

On the Plethora of Arts

Who would have assumed that swimming can be a martial art?

Went to see a friend in a hospital. Hope she’ll be fine soon. Are illnesses good or bad? Leaving aside the question of what is ‘good’/’bad’, what are the benefits or drawbacks that illnesses cause?

Watched an episode of Stargate SG-1 after a very long time. Reminded me how good a tv show can actually be — that a show does not need to touch only the horrors of society in an attempt to picture them (no matter how sharp the description here, Caprica and BSG did this quite well), but it can simply be… humorous… and friendly.

Swimming — suiei –> suieijutsu. Swimming as a martial art. Moats to cross, rivers to pass. Sword overhead, swimming quietly or powerfully. It is an amazing conception that anything can be a deep specialization. It is also worthy of longer thinking.

James Clavell: Haven’t read a bad book by him yet. ‘Shogun’, ‘Tai-Pan’, ‘Gai-jin’ are all excellent. Is it my fascination with the Far East which forbids me from rating Clavell any lower, or is he simply a good writer? How often do personal opinions on the content of a book actually affect the opinion on the writer? With Maugham, the same applies. Is he great (for me) because he writes about the Far East, or is Far East only a setting to unleash his greatness?

The lack of civility by the western people. Civilization or not? Who is the true barbar?

Tianxia.