Spellingbinding poetry as prose

I have just completed Dust. A heartache. No one writes like Yvonne. Like an ancient storyteller, in a high poetic tone, like music made for ears not mortal. What Cormac Mccarthy does, when he drifts into an ancient-sounding poetry, she sustains for an entire book.

They warned me about this book. I heard that many could not complete it. Fortunately I have read really hard books and this isn’t one. It has a story to tell and it sustains the narrative throughout, not drifting into pages and pages of rambling as some books I’ve read do.

Sentences short, a staccato…


A thought-provoking short story

I just watched Pumzi, a sci-fi that makes you think about the environment and what we are doing to preserve it before it is too late.

It has been predicted that one day water will be such a scarce resource wars will be waged over it. Pumzi takes place 35 years after World War 3, known as “the Water War". There is no tree left on Earth. All that remains is desert.

The action takes place in a futuristic structure where lives survivors. Life there is full of order and control. Everything is closely monitored. …


Spontaneous prose takes you on a trip across the United States

‘On the Road” by Jack Kerouac is the book that defined the "Beat Generation". The Beat Generation was a group of writers (American) in the 1950s who wrote about spirituality, drugs, and the madness of living life to the full. They were the precursors of the hippies who came in the sixties - hippies were just kids who grew up reading books like "On the Road" or the poem "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg.

On the Road is a roadtrip book, with several trips being taken by Jack Kerouac and his friends, particularly Neal Cassady (who is called "Dean Moriarty" in…


His anecdotal life

The style of Cancer varies - from simple and straightforward when Miller is telling a story to grand and somewhat boring when he slips into his philosopho-poetic moods (he gets philosophical and expresses his abstractions in almost indecipherable poetic prose).

Those endless boring passages - how I used to hate them! But now I am more open minded and my ideas on what a book can be have expanded. Those long stretches of poetic fancy are like the scenery you see when sitting in a plane or car or ship during your travels. …


A portrayal of the gritty Nairobi, city of hustlers

Nairobi Half Life is probably the most famous Kenyan-made movie - or the most popular. I had never watched it until now. I have just finished the one hour forty minutes movie and I am writing my thoughts write now while they are fresh.

The movie is about Nairobi and appropriately, it’s about hustling. Because Nairobi is a city of hustlers. It begins with Mwas trying to sell a movie CD to some men, smooth types who look down on him because he doesn’t make much money in his trade, not like them in their line of work (robbery, I…


Fantastic deconstruction of the superhero genre

Not since the Rick and Morty ‘Vindicators’ episode have I seen as good a deconstruction of the superhero genre.

Deconstruction means to show something from a new and often shocking angle, usually in a negative light. We think superheroes are all about morals and heroism. But what if they are all about the clout? In the attention economy, who would attract more attention than a superhero? What if superheroes were products created by a company, the same way artists are created and managed by record labels? The so-called heroes end up as heartless and depraved as celebrities. …


A charming book

A story narrated oh so simply. A story of growing up, coming of age, and discovering what the world holds. Toni grows up and leaves Kenya for France, a country she has been in love with since childhood — or rather, she has been in love with the French language since she was a little girl and is determined to go to the place where people speak French in all its native glory.

Toni is a determined person. She was a mischievous girl. From early on she knew who she was and what she wanted and went for it. One…


Beautiful visuals, beautiful storytelling

My first Studio Ghibli film, Spirited Away is a delight, following the story of a little girl who gets trapped in a spirit world and has to save her parents who have been turned into pigs. It’s a Japanese Hero’s Journey story.

The story does not just centre around the little girl, it does not deify her, she is just one among many interesting characters in an interesting world. The little girl does not succeed alone, this is not the story of the triumph of the individual (unlike most American/Hollywood stories); she succeeds because she has help from many, a…


A transporting film

This movie is part documentary, part drama. It’s like an animal documentary, only humans are the animals. Anthropology. Ballad of Narayama is a Japanese movie about a community of peasants that live on the slopes of a mountain called Narayama. They scratch the earth with crude implements. Food is scarce and people who steal food are put to death — an entire family is buried to death by the community after it is discovered their father has been stealing potatoes from other people’s land. …


A movie that shows you what cinema is capable of

Pierrot le fou. A movie that is really a book. A Henry Miller or Marcel Proust type of novel rendered in cinematic language.

References to classic movies, literature, poetry, and art abound in Godard’s films. Pierrot le Fou is heavy with references and direct quotations. In fact, it begins with the main character reading from a book to his little girl.

Pierrot le fou, also reminds me of a play. Makes sense, as Godard learned his famous distancing technique from playwright Bertolt Brecht.

The girl wants an adventurous life, he wants a literary life. His name is Ferdinand but she…

Eric Rugara

Writer. Epiphany addict.

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