Wednesday, August 22, 2007

a story with a capital ‘S’

The Story behind the interesting site What is Stephen Harper Reading? is

Life, it seems, favours moments of stillness to appear on the edges of our perception and whisper to us, “Here I am. What do you think?” Then we become busy and the stillness vanishes, yet we hardly notice because we fall so easily for the delusion of busyness, whereby what keeps us busy must be important, and the busier we are with it, the more important it must be. And so we work, work, work, rush, rush, rush. On occasion we say to ourselves, panting, “Gosh, life is racing by.” But that’s not it at all, it’s the contrary: life is still. It is we who are racing by.

Yann Martel wonders as to what makes the Prime Minister of Canada tick? when he refused the funds for the Canada Council for the Arts, so he decides

'For as long as Stephen Harper is Prime Minister of Canada, I vow to send him every two weeks, mailed on a Monday, a book that has been known to expand stillness. That book will be inscribed and will be accompanied by a letter I will have written. I will faithfully report on every new book, every inscription, every letter, and any response I might get from the Prime Minister, on this website.'

A wonderful compilation of books recommended by Martel along with his letter to Stephen Harper which slowly prods the subject, albeit in a gentle manner.

One of them is this poem from the Short and Sweet: 101 very short poems, edited by Simon Armitage:


'ad 'em

and he says

'Busy? Tired? Feeling nothing? You’re missing on the depth of life that you know is out there.... '

Do read and if you have similar books you would like to recommend to Dr. Manmohan Singh do let me know.


Arthur Quiller Couch said...

Manmohan Singh doesn't need any more books. He needs a bazooka.

Seashells said...

Thanks a ton for the site. Having read everything on the site, there are atleast 4 books i want to lay my hands on.

Chimera said...

hand him a bazooka and he would wonder what xactly it is used for... rocket science after all :)

now i feel there is atleast one more person who has enjoyed the list of books reco'd by Martel.

Well Heeled said...

Am glad i stumbled upon this blog...

Filarial said...

mebbe he needs to read " the curious incident of a dog at night time".. he would surely gain a lot from that and start firing nukes at dogs and then tell the opposition it wasnt him it was the one eyed man on the docks..

I bot life of pie a couple of years ago.. but it has been sitting on my bookshelf untouched.. partly because my book shelf is still in india..:(

Chimera said...

u surely mean 'Life of Pi' Pi-as in 22/7 :)

it's a pity tat u havent yet read it, else u wud've suggested that to our PM.

Curious Incident.... is a good book no doubt but I do like Life of Pi a lille better than that, plz lend urselves a copy frm the local library.

A Reader from India said...

Thank you for posting this. I love Martel's response to the PM, what a unique way of getting the message across.

I enjoyed reading Martel's book reviews and comments on how the book expands stillness.

'The Life of Pi' is one of the most beautiful books I ever read. Hope Mr. Stephen Harper gets to read it someday - It is sure to expand the stillness within every reader.

Chimera said...

@a reader from india
'am glad u liked it and cross-posted about it on your blog.

Filarial said...

hunger is.. is what hunger does..