Archive | December, 2010

Library gets new books, and other things…

11 Dec

I was browsing through the university library, when I discovered, to my surprise and delight, that there were exactly three books put together on the shelf that I myself owned and liked. “The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World” by Avi Shlaim (very very good look at Israeli diplomacy from declaration of statehood up to 1998), “Propaganda” (recommended to me but not yet read) and a book on the Mossad that I’d snatched up in Singapore under the nose of a Saudi friend who was interested in the issue as well.

And then there were several relating topics in which I was interested in… the integration of knowledge into our socio-political system, for example “States of Knowledge”, the funny thing being, topics are hardly as delineated as we might think when we look at new books. The span of novels, for example, explore history, human interaction, gender and romance. A bibliography of a scientist can delve just as much into his area of expertise as it might delve also into the politics of the time – and what he has not said of his life can fill books. There is a trepidation when I scan books, as though any second now I could fall into this abyss, this soup of absolute wonder and new territories. And I forget, once in a while, that a great deal of my soul’s sustenance comes from this. So that when I wander, bone-weary of all my pursuits and non-pursuits, into a library, I always find some temporary respite that surprises me.

Of course the world of now is important. Of late it seems that I am more substantial than I used to be — that I exist more. And yet I am still never completely sure of some of my opinions. I am still not willing to condemn or condone and make that a material part of me. I still do not feel like a force to be reckoned with, as the great men of books appear to be. It is simply that I am learning, gradually, the ‘reasons’ for the rights and wrongs that we have always assumed. Because I cannot believe blindly. And I am also learning to stop staring at myself, to let go, though I’ve always considered this existence a mystery. But a creature unbuilt can be wearisome to look at. And I want to look at others more. For it’s so short, the time we have together.

update 12/11: On second thoughts, I think I recommended the books to our school lib. oh lala, that’s why they came in together! I believe I recommended them at the start of the semester, since our KMUN club was planning to delve into middle east issues this semester and I’d discovered to my dismay that the school had very few resources on this subject. Love that the school buys nigh every book we recommend! Even got a copy of ‘Science as a Contact Sport’ by Stephen H. Schneider which is un-purchase-able (last I checked) in Taiwan.<3 ❤ ❤