The following was so lengthy I thought to bring it along from here.
December 9, 2012 at 9:18 pm
Hiya David, long time no correspondance, hey?
To be brutally (and perhaps refreshingly) honest, I don’t actually read that much, or rather, I can definitely say I’m not a bookworm. A few authors who I do enjoy reading when I get the chance include Scott Westerfeld and Terry Pratchett. They have quite different styles of writing, but both manage to include some subtle humour, something I’m quite big on. Other than that, I read the newspaper most days, especially the opinion section (although I’m not quite sure this counts!)
On a related note, I’m pretty confident I learnt to read playing Pokémon when I was about 3 or 4. If not, it definitely bettered my vocabulary!
I just want to say thanks, David. It’s really great to have such a worldly advocate liking what I do. Hopefully with exams now finished, I’ll be back to churning out quality material on a regular basis!
Wonderful to hear from you! I shall take the above from bottom to top (rather than from the centre out, as those who know me well have so jibed.)
You are quite welcome, I am looking forward to seeing more. As well, do pop by my site here and there as time might permit. (You are, after all, my very first commenter, except for my sweetheart of course.)
Regarding Pokémon, I have not seen (nor played) much, perhaps just enough to know that I am not prone to seizures (Is that joke/reference too old for you?) And regarding animé in general, I do enjoy it greatly–particularly that sub-genre termed ‘shonen,’ a favourite of my sweet wife as well, for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that little western heroic fiction written after 1914 is truly heroic–not reliably heroic, in any case; not without vetting it first. Whereas such as I have above mentioned is virtually guaranteed to be so, although why I think this is so, is too long a topic for this already bloated post.
Regarding your learning to read, I find your explanation not at all surprising, as you strike me as quite precocious. This seems a very familiar scenario to me, as such proclivities as I may possess also appeared at a very early age–those of my sweetheart as well, although in a sense, the method with which she learned to read as a very young girl involved sitting on her grandfather’s knee while he read his bible–among other things–and pointed out words for her to read or learn. My way was… quite honestly it must have been very haphazard and random, because I cannot remember ever not being able to read.
When I started writing poetry, I had only read science fiction–which continues to be my favourite–though by this time I have read quite a lot of other types of literature. Poetry… I suppose one might term it my “gateway drug” to the humanities. It was a way in which I could understand my sweetheart’s world of the humanities without having to read huge works of literature (none at all containing spaceships of any form, by the way) which, no doubt would have bored me quite to death at your age.
And regarding the selections you did mention, I have not read anything as of yet by Mr. Westerfield, (what do you recommend as my first?) however not long ago, (in dog years, perhaps) around the turn of the century (yes, this one, young man, not the last) I was introduced to Mr Pratchett’s work and have read nearly all of it. I believe there are a few Discworld offerings–the newest ones–which I have not yet read, but no doubt soon will.
Perhaps, although you have answered my question partially–albeit very graciously–I still wonder regarding the nature of such poetry as you have read, or in what way you were first introduced to its various forms, particularly sonnets, because I do sense some artefacts in some of your wording which to me suggest some influence or other.
I had only read a few sonnets early on in my sojourn into poetry, and fell in love with the form, and started writing them almost from the the first day of my studies–so perhaps, I’m more like you than I had at first imagined; and perhaps also, as my sweetheart continues to insist, my humanities connexions are “more along” than I realise or am willing to admit. In any case, yours may be an example of what, in heuristics, we might term “early synthesis,” as, clearly, is mine.
Also pardon my schizophrenic spelling, as, although I am from the US–though my sweetheart is very English–I recently changed my spell-check to British English. (Believe me when I say I very much need one! And for two reasons, the second of which is my lightning fast typing that does not always produce the desired result, and the first of which is obvious.) I did this because I thought that such UK spellings with which it would prompt me, would be more in keeping with the King James English which (however imperfectly) I often employ in my sonnets, and which my sweetheart so loves (because as such, it reminds her warmly of her early education.) In any case, some US spellings are also considered acceptable to such dictionaries, as those of the UK, and, as a result, the dictionary I am currently using (in Firefox) will not always engage in the type of “Brittpicking” that I should like it do perform. There is, no doubt, a more stodgy one available somewhere that more strongly ‘favours’ UK spellings, because I can see such a thing as being an extremely useful tool for writers.
It has been a very great pleasure to read your poetry, young man. I look forward to your future writings with anticipation. It’s quite jolly to hear that you enjoy the work of Terry Pratchett. A few years ago we read The Hogfather aloud with friends on Christmas Eve. It was memorable.
David makes us sound positively ancient. I can assure you that we were not, ourselves, critiquing heroic literature in 1914–and I am not nearly so odd and wonderful as he.
I can clear up the mystery of his early reading instruction. He played the piano before he spoke, and when he began to speak he made up words that were a synthesis of the German spoken by his mother and his aunties, and the American spoken by the cute little girl next door. Sadly, the cute little girl next door was not quite right in the head and her words were understood only by the angels. Hence, his early words were quite unique. So, from the age of a toddler on, he played his piano; and he looked at the books while Mama read to him until it finally donned on everyone that he was really reading the books…he just liked to have the ritual and the attention. He can be tricksy that way.
And thank you, my dearest for re-reminding me of all of this. I have not thought about it in quite a long time.
And… be modest if you will, but you well know we were sitting in row c in seats 14 and 15 on that fateful day in Ford’s theatre.
Hush, you silly boy…