I am picking up books to read lately and thinking of opening a new blog( already DID, just need some time and fillers ) just to expound on the thinking as well as notes of the books I just read( it is always about me keeping note about my life, this blog gonna about computer from now on).
I come to the United States as a foreigner, to study, to prosper, to expand my horizon. It was and always been a really fun and enjoyable journey. There are things in America that I am amazed at such as the air cleaner, maybe I am breathing the freedom’s fragrant( Be warned tho, no government is better than one another, just how good they hide their shadier part and for that fact we are living in a fake dream ) whereas things I have a culture shock about such as house are farther apart, people driving around in cars which are the must otherwise you will be crippled in America’s vast maze of high ways. Walking is without a guess a no brainer yet these kids in “Quiet as they come” walks to the pizza’s parlor…..
I was driven from one awe to another as I read the book and I just have to jot down some of these revelation notes.
*The relationship ‘s ambiguity
English is the most spoken language in the world yet it does not mean it covers every part of every day’s conversations; I simply think it is so because it provides a level of generality that can be grasped and learned enough before it turns dry. There are certain things that it misses and won’t be incorporated into the language because of the culture barrier : vs. the East. The west values self helps while the east values the idea of the community. Therefore, the west does not take it as important the notion of familiy’s hierarchy and thus it will be uncle no matter he’s the younger brother of your mother( cậu/chú ) or older’s( bác ). In Vietnamese, there are words for those. It is convenient but sometimes one has to ask to figure how one should address his converser. So when I read “Quiet as they come”, I have to keep going back to previous pages, just to figure out what’s that relationship is, just my own pesky’s personality, you will never know those information is important or not.
For instance, in the first chapter of the book where the author introduces characters and relationships between them, it is written :”the three boys are named after the RatPack, Uncle Lam’s favorite group.” Later on we know : “Frank is the oldest boy[ of the three boys ] of the oldest man in the house.” I thought to myself : “Wait a minute, thought he the son of the uncle. It does not just mean he gets to be the oldest in the house. ” So turns the page. Uncle. Uncle. As I turn, I was litterally laughing internally: “Oh haha. How silly was I.” I always take Uncle to be chú instead of bác while Uncle can be both. See that is one limit of the language when it will bite you once a Vietnamese starts writing in English.
*Switching perspective for a bigger picture
It wont do it justice to just see the world through the eye of Elle, the perspective that starts the book. Rather than the locked up “I”, the author sometimes switched to a third person view. Whether it is an adult flashed back view of Elle or not ( later on “I” can be other character’s perspective but only within the same family and of young kids, perhaps they are the one that the author is familiar with )it does not matter. What matters is what happens to the family’s member when “I” was not there.
Good literature is the one that makes user think and do connection. All information is laid out in the work. One should be able to deduce the author’s idea from what the author wrote,. Good works do not give out information all at once but piece by piece. Sometimes the change of pronoun and perspective hints at the structure and information. Elle name secret makes you giggle….
Multiple scene interleaved one another. Drive scene with check point of flash back…
Happy 4th y’all