a shameless bibliophile

Dear Friend of my Heart,

It has been a time like no other and it is only in collusion with an ofttimes repulsive obstinacy of a wearisome recluse (to speak otherwise or remain silent), that I have spent the better part of this ordeal initially in quiet meditation and now in extensive reading. As a school boy I identified myself so entirely with books, with literature, that I knew exactly who I was and how I was meant to bide my time in this world. I was in love with pages, especially the yellowing ones in the obscure recesses of my school library. I remember the first encounter with Oscar Wilde. Though at the time beyond my comprehension, I was intrigued by the sheer wit and the wicked usage of language, of which I unfortunately understood too little. Of course later when I bought a copy of Dorian Gray and lay at the stadium in the university indulging with it under the potent clouds of Indian monsoon, I felt a mystical sense of yearning, leavened so deliciously by a satisfaction that is momentary. How I burned for this momentary satisfaction every moment as I read through those crisp pages.

To study literature is perhaps the most grueling, even a macabre torment that a lover of literature could invite upon themselves. The horror lies in the fact that one ends up failing to enjoy literature as they once did and they are not even aware of it for years. Banished from verdure pastures and picturesque vistas of imagination, I found myself to be lingering and festering instead on the surface of the page, where words are supposed to speak of stylistic, sociological, or psychological significance. This loss of religion is a part of growing up and becoming a member of the belletristic order of sinners. I don’t identify myself as a hedonist, and have been quite moderate in regard to carnal matters, yet I would readily concede to an allegation of being a shameless bibliophile.


It is also with great pleasure and not without a hint of pride that I inform you of finishing the first draft of my book. There are still hills to climb and seas to sail but it does feel good to have something that I can get printed and hold in my hands. I still haven’t given enough consideration to the publishing process and it is only with an eager anticipation that I await your thoughts on that front.

I have been reading Maritime novels lately, for research purposes. I am planning to read extensively before returning to the writing process.

Here is a list of books read or currently being read (I like to read several books simultaneously) :

  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Phantom Ship by Frederick Marryat
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower by C.S. Forester
  • Lieutenant Hornblower by C.S. Forester
  • Master & Commander by Patrick O’ Brian
  • The North Water by Ian McGuire


I have not been taking as many photographs although the light is quite inviting. There are a few pictures that I would love to share with you. Perhaps the next post shall provide a more opportune space for that.

Have you been reading something interesting lately? It would be kind if you recommend me a book that is dear to you, a maritime novel, or otherwise. I do look forward to your suggestions!

Much love,
Yours in isolation,

Prashant Nawani

6 Comments

  1. Great compilation! I read just two from your list. I prefer espionage and anything to do with war and the Holocaust. But I finally have time to tackle books which were gifted to me by a teacher, so I’m currently reading, The Road – Cormac Mc Carthy and The 13th Valley – John M. Del Vecchio.😊 Cheers.

    1. Thank you!
      I just checked out the books. I think I am going to read Cormac McCarthy soon. I did feel while watching the movie that No Country for Old Men was a very curios write. Thanks to your comment I am going to read it and find out (after The Road of course).
      I have been a student of German Studies, so Holocaust literature is also something I would be interested in reading more of. Could I bother you to suggest me something?

  2. It’s good to hear from you again 🙂 I have recently discovered Martin Shaw — mythologist, story-teller, writer — and I’m utterly swept up in how he turns his eye on and investigates well-known, and unfamiliar, stories. My introduction to his work was “Courting the Wild Twin”. Amazing! Be well, stay well.

    1. Hi Carrie! Glad to see you here again. I hope you are doing well. 🙂
      I wish I could be more regular but the seasons aren’t too regular anymore.
      Thank you so much for the suggestion. Martin Shaw sounds like just the person I was looking to read. I also happened to discover Tolkien’s Silmarillion read by him. Sounds lovely. I am definitely taking your suggestion. Will let you know when I read. Thank you and Cheers!

  3. Perhaps you would like “Song of the Sirens” by Ernest Gann ? Right now I am immersed in Emily Dickinson, Trying to understand her poetry in the context of her life-fascinating. – poetry keeps happening and sometimes I write words and work with them. Earlier this spring I was reading biographies on John James Audubon and studying prints of his watercolors.
    i need to paint, but I am gardening-no self discipline-

    Holly (Once Angel in the Dust now a songbird learning to sing)
    Grateful for your posts

  4. Thank you for the suggestion, dear songbird learning to sing. The book goes straight into my list.
    I have not read much of Emily Dickenson. I do remember reading her in the university library once, amongst the bookshelves where I would often sit to read surrounded by books and silence.
    Just googled John James Audubon and saw some of his bird illustrations. How exciting it would be to make such beautiful watercolors from observation! I am sure you will get down to the painting soon.
    The garden, as I have learnt from my mother, is quite the charmer, but turns out to be very needy when you get to know him better. However, I would think that it is basically love that makes us do beautiful things, be it caring for the garden or painting it.
    Much love,
    Prashant

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