“A Study in bibliophilic Journey” is a series where writer Saptarshi Chowdhury narrated us how books have had an irreversible influence in his life. As you read this concluding part of the series Saptarshi continues his bibliophilic journey somewhere, until he beguiles us again with another.
I have already mentioned this numerous times, but being a Bibliophile is not easy at all. An entire write-up can be written on this, but let us keep that for some other day. After a certain age, reading not just remains a pastime, but also a time frame where we introspect and retrospect our life choices. Most of the books take us to a completely different hypothetical world, and some books are so written that the entire interpretation is left to the reader. Till now, I have shared my experience in reading different genres of book, be it fantasy, fiction, non-fiction, autobiographical, sci-fi, et cetera. Today, I am going to share some pieces of literature that are too good to be written by humans. Tighten your seat belts!
Haruki Murakami is one of the best contemporary writers of our era and his works have been sold, read, and influenced millions of readers around the globe. The major theme of his books is ‘Surrealism’ and he maintains this so well that his works have been translated into more than 50 languages. Amongst his various books, the one that struck the best chord with me is “Kafka on the Shore”. According to me, this is probably the greatest literary piece of this century till now, and why not? The synopsis says that the book is a story of two people of complete opposite spectrum with respect to age and life experiences who meet under bizarre circumstances in a world where cats talk, fishes fall from the sky in a rainy affair, and spirits make love and murder. I am sorry but this appealed to me so much that I completed the book in a day, and for the next one week, I was unable to talk to people properly. Such is the influence of Murakami. I would recommend everyone to read his works, not just from an analytical perspective, but also from a frame of reference that makes us appreciate art and literature.
One name that often comes up in Instagram one-liners and WhatsApp statuses in the form of words that can make Gen-Z people questions their life choices, is Franz Kafka. I am not dissing anyone here, but if you merely share quotes from Kafka and have not read anything by him, which makes you one of the most pretentious human beings on the planet, because you are missing out on one of the most influential literary figures of the 20th century. The major theme of his books is ‘Existentialism’, and “Metamorphosis” is one book that forever stays with you once you read it. In just 100 pages, the book talks about how humans are starting to get alienated from each other, in the form of metaphors. It’s a beautiful read, and is often analyzed by literature students in several Institutions. However, the entire book may not completely be understood in one sitting, and may seem dull, but two or three readings of it definitely open it up to the reader.
When we talk of existentialism, a name that cannot escape our mind is Fyodor Dostoevsky. Dostoevsky was one of the most influential writers of the 19th century and his books, that mostly theme on “Alienation”, continue to be read and analyzed to this day. A dreamer and a modernist, his books often deal in autobiographical affairs. “Crime and Punishment” is a phenomenal book, and is considered one of the most original crime thrillers. Dealing with alienation, the book has no restriction when it comes to intense portrayal of crime. It is very raw and hence has stood the test of time. I would hands down recommend Dostoevsky to all the readers!
Phew! That was intense, wasn’t it? Well, every good thing must come to an end and pave way for something better. This journey may end, but my relationship with you readers has merely changed a station. As Jane Austen says in “Pride and Prejudice”: I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library. Reading is indeed an honor and one of the best things humans are capable of. Thank You so much for sharing my bibliophilic journey. Curtains!
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Presently pursuing his under graduation in Statistics from St. Xavier's College (Autonomous), Kolkata, Saptarshi has equal affinity towards both literature and data, the reason why he believes that both go very beautifully hand in hand.