Friday, July 31, 2009

Robert Fisk: "Cockroaches" Is what the Israelis call the Palestinians

No matter how many times he had declared his escalating dislike for Egypt or for the Arab's midieval and ignorant perceptions, I still have to admit Robert Fisk is one of the few political literature geniuses of our time.

His most recent publication "The Age of the Warrior", which is a compilation of most of his recent coulmns in the Independant, is not only a satisfying read in terms of its rightfully biased political analysis, but it has also proven to be highly entertaining in terms of writing style and linguistic construction. Although only a handful of pages through the book, I have long decided that his approach to both analysis and language are ones to learn from and emulate. Ever since the preface really -where Fisk deliberately and systematically clarified the origins of the name of the book- I had decided that Fisk should be a role model. And I has also decided that my writing and perception should be upgraded with the assistance of those columns that make The Age of the Warrior. That decision ultimately lead to one of the most surprising and personal decisions I had taken in my career thus far; to continue writing seriously and eventually take that up as a profession.

Ever since I got over my ambition to become a spy when I was 9 (thanks to Harriet the Spy and the Woman who Disappeared), I wanted nothing else than to become an author and a writer. Writing since that very young age was one of the few cures to my wounded soul or my overly excited heart... it grew through time of course, rather than simply keeping a silly little diary, I had ventured upon more serious attempts at writing fictional stories with characters. Only when I failed to please my own taste did I decide to write only one page short stories. And after that failed to pass my editing and re-editing and re-editing, I began to write about the simpler things in my life; the ones I know I would like someday to remember and to be remembered by when my grandchildren come across them.

But I think the day for self-authored notes about oneself has passed, and I think the day has come to discover a new dimension to my capabilities as an editorialist or a columnist.

Still, as wonderful as all those conclusions and decisions may be, I remember that haste only leads to impatience. And impatience eventually leads to quitting. And quitting ultimately leads to self pity and wallowing. So, there is absolutely no reason to jump in with both feet just yet; one toe is quite enough.

I'll know when I can take myself and my new perception to writing and analysing seriously; it is when I can find the links between literature and current events and most definitely it is when I can come up with ingenious metaphors such as the ones Fisk uses in his book... you know... something that would match the greatness of Fisk when he says: "...Israelis leaders have variously beastialised their enemies as 'serpents' and 'cockroaches'. Pardon? What on earth does that mean?"

I need to send this man a thank you postcard for making this wonderfully outrageous point!