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A Year of Living Positively -Day 174

The numeration is getting screwed up as I work between the net book when I have power and the web when I can get online using an alternate device. At the moment, I am using the hostel's PC that is available for short stints to guests. Therefore, all I can do is spend a few minutes starting another entry right now.

I was out in the garden a few minutes ago, waiting for the dining room to open and buy a "milk coffee." It is a fine sunny day, though a little on the cool side at present--too cool to sit out there. You can see quite a variety of flowers in bloom and there is some kind of tropical fruit tree, like an avocado tree or something similar. Now I am in the dining hall where it is much quieter and more relaxes that it was at this time yesterday. Yesterday, I guy was serving us and he got a late start and was quite flustered and uptight. In fact, he got into a nonsensical fight with a couple of Latinos. A Latino got offended for no apparent reason and he challenged the worker. there they were baring their teeth and growling up on their hind legs, neither one of them willing to back down. A quiet woman is here serving us today. She got an early start and it is calm around here now. Whereas the room was packed with tall young men, a group of girl gymnasts just came in and they are relatively calm. I can drink my coffee in peace.

What I wanted to talk about this morning is the book I am reading. I am not sure it is actually a novel, for it appears to be an experiment in creative non-fiction and journalism. It was a successful experiment for it has become a world famous bestseller. It is "Life of Pi" by Yani Martel of Saskatchewan. In the introduction, he explains that he wrote about a real person he heard about when staying in a former French colonial area of India. When he found that the novel he was writing would not work out, he decided to track down the person, that is "Pi", and interview him with the intention of writing a book. He was drawn to the biography because of the fantastic life of Pi. I think he took real facts of the biography, and filled in the blanks with imagination. Also, he weaves together threads that lead to an interpretation in which aspects of Pi's life is used as metaphor to express a philosophical debate reflecting problems of human life such as conflict, religious strife and identity.

I am mentioning this especially because I am going to present my book of short creative, non-fiction stories next week. Also, one could consider Martel's writing as a form of journal writing. He interviewed Pi extensively, visiting him at his home and taking copious notes about the man, his history, his current lifestyle and relationships. It is a biographical study using a journalistic approach with each visit being another episode of the developing relationship between interviewer and interviewee, out of which a story is created and woven in interpretive style. That is why I thought mentioning it would fit this blog right now.

I must finish my coffee and then wash up before I get the bike and head off for another day of meetings. I feel that I should not over use my privilege of using this computer when the room is filling up with prospective users waiting to get online, perhaps. Bye for now.

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