Tuesday, October 27, 2009

After the Recession: Will Things be Better for Writers?

The economic recession did a lot of damage for writers and journalists. Many journalists lost their jobs and many freelance writers found that the projects got dried up. Now, it seems that the economic recession is coming to an end. Things now look much better than a year ago. Well, in the last few days, we saw that Microsoft, Google and Apple all made handsome profit and it shows that the US economy is moving on. So, there can be new hope for writers.
I am not that much optimistic because the recession is not yet completely over. Secondly, the days of printed newspapers and magazines are going to be numbered and more and more advertisement dollars would get shifted to Internet. And in Internet, you are on your own. It does not matter if you are a highly skilled freelance writer with 2 decades of experience. You have to compete with bloggers like me. We all want a pie of that market and anything goes here. Most of all, you have to make sure that your entries are read by many people. When you are writing for a newspaper or a magazine then you don’t have to bother about this part. However, in Internet, you have to give a lot of effort for it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Don’t go for Spam and Junk Content

It does not matter if you are a blogger or a writer- just don’t go for spam and junk content. If you want to go for it then I do not have the power to stop you- in fact no body can stop you. Just remember that it is a foolish thing to do. You may gain something in the short run but then sooner or later you will suffer. I am writing this entry because you see we cover mainly 3 topics in our blog: South Asia, Laptops and Sports. In all of these fields we can see that many bloggers try to produce very low quality content and fill them with keywords and then try to cheat search engines. They say something in the title but when you go beyond the title then there is hardly any substance.
Some of them even copy paste from other websites and this way, they even do not need to give any time for it. In our blogs, we try to cover the topics as much as we can. I am personally against any kind of short cut formula and thanks God that all the other bloggers with me have the same idea. So, sometimes, it gives me a lot of frustration to see that some websites ranking better than us in a sporting event or a laptop model search in Google. However, I have noticed that in the last 3 years, many websites came and vanished but we survived.
We have seen consistent growth in our blogs. The economic recession could make a dent to our revenue but could not decrease our traffic. It is nice to see that many people care to give link to our content and we get encouraging comments on a regular basis. Thus, I am now more hopeful about the future than ever before.
On the other hand, if you want to make a living with junk and spam content then be sure that you would suffer in future. Google is trying its best to fight against junk and spam and I salute them for it. 

Miss Caroline Bingley in Pride and Prejudice Novel

Caroline Bingley or Miss Bingley is perhaps one of the most annoying characters in Jane Austen’s novel Pride and Prejudice. She is a very good example of a flat character- she does not change at all from the beginning to the end. She is a very selfish and rude girl. The funny thing is that Miss Bingley always tries to show others that she comes from a good family and she is a noble lady with good qualities. Well, she is like an empty vessel who indeed sounds too much. When she comes to the area of Elizabeth, she always thinks that she is higher than any girl on that area.
Miss Bingley is not even a smart girl. She really lacks IQ. Her only work is to show off and she was determined to get married to Mr. Darcy in anyway. It seems to me that at first Mr. Darcy likes her but the more time passes he understands the true nature of Miss Bingley and he tries to avoid her. She is such a foolish girl that she even does not understand the simple thing that Mr. Darcy wants to avoid her.
Caroline is also example of a shallow person. She is a hypocrite. She at first she pretended that she liked Jane Bennet and she was her friend. However, later we can find that she turned against Jane and she tried to convince her brother to leave Jane and become interested about Miss Darcey.
It is clear that Jane Austen did not like the character of Miss Bingley at all. She must have in real life met such characters who came from rich families but were shallow, surface and selfish. The readers do not feel any sympathy towards her because Miss Bingley is always a bad person without any good quality. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Enjoying Blogging Again: It is the Best Job in the World

It is now 6:16 AM in my city. The city is becoming alive gradually and I will go to sleep. Well, today, I felt sleepy much earlier compared to other days. However, something caught up my attention when I was going to sleep. It was the Apple Earnings for the fourth quarter. Well, if we look at the year 2009 then it is third quarter but you should know that in USA, financial quarters are counted in a different way. So, Apple has made record profit at the time of recession and naturally, the people who bought shares of the company are very happy now.
I felt to write about it and spend a long time reading and then wrote the entry in another blog.
After many days, I enjoyed blogging again a lot. When I started blogging in 2006, I used to work whole night and at that time, I was 3 years younger and I had a lot of energy. Now, things are not that good but today, I realized that I again got back the passion of the days I started blogging. More than everything I wanted to produce good content that people would like to read. Today, I could do it at last again after many days. Thanks to Google, some people will surely come to read but today, I felt satisfaction that whatever I wrote was good. At least, I enjoyed writing the entries tonight. This is the most important part in blogging. You have to enjoy your work. So, I am going to sleep in a happy and cheerful mood.
If you are a blogger then I would like to give you the same advice. Just forget everything and try to enjoy your work. Success will come sooner or later. 

Monday, October 19, 2009

I don’t want to Write Today: What I can Do?

Really, I am in no mood of writing anything today. It is now 3:30 AM in my city and I could not write anything for the whole day. Well, first of all, I am some sick and secondly, I had a very long business meeting for four hours. So, I am physically and mentally exhausted. Fortunately, today, my fellow blogger, Kamrul Hasan updated 6 of the blogs in the network. Thus, some work was done and I do not need to worry that much. This is the good part of a network. However, the problem is that in my network, now 3 of out of 5 bloggers are sick. So, our network is suffering a lot. 2009 is just happened to be a bad year for me and my team. I hope that it finishes in a better way and 2010 can become better. I am praying deeply for the best in 2010. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If you are a Writer Then Don’t Neglect Writing

In my life, I have seen some people who think that if they become a writer then they must spend more time on smoking cigarette and drinking tea or coffee rather than on the writing process itself. I do not agree with them. Well, I have perhaps similar kind of problem. I give more time to reading and browsing Internet than the writing itself. This is the thing I have to overcome and change. Well, writing is a very lonely and boring job. It needs some decent amount of effort and concentration. It is a very active work.
On the other hand, reading is much easier. It perhaps needs less attention and focus. We are more passive when we read. I have learnt that the most important thing to do as a writer is to give more and more time for writing. The best way to do is to set a daily target of writing a certain number of words. It may be just 500 words per day or it can be even 3,000+ words per day. It depends on your time and ability. You should set a daily target and try to achieve it. Don’t think of quality at first. The more you write the easier and better it becomes for you to write better and faster. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Comparative Study between Poems Ulysses and Tithonus of Tennyson

Tithonus and Ulysses are two famous poems written by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Both of them were written after the death of his best friend Arthur Henry Hallam and they are based on almost similar theme: Journey. In both the poems, the protagonist has grown older and is aware of death as a means of ending their life cycle. Death, a very popular theme of Victorian age, is also captured in both the poems. However, despite these similarities, the poems are different in terms of various aspects.

The first and obvious difference that a reader can notice between these two poems is that Ulysses is a poem of hope and optimism, while Tithonus is a poem of despair and frustration. Ulysses knows that he would die very soon and this is his last sea voyage. He is not afraid to face destiny. In stead, he is eager to get some new adventures as he did in the past seeking more glory. Tithonus in his young age was curious about immortality and he wanted to taste it. However, since he grew older, he lost all the attraction towards immortality. In stead, he has given up on life and wants a quick death. So, as a character Ulysses is full of life and pro-active, while Tithonus is lifeless.

Ulysses has a sense of adventure, but Tithonus is afraid of any new adventure. It is not that Ulysses always had glories and happiness in the past when he visited different places in the past. He also faced adversity of life during his previous journeys, but he enjoyed the moments greatly and he wants to live and die in adventure in what would bring glory and pride for him. On the other hand, Tithonus has experienced the thrill of adventures when he was young, but now after being granted a gift of immortality by his beloved Aurora, the Goddess of dawn, he has now understood his misfortune as he did not ask for immortal youth, in stead of immortal life. Now, he has lost his pride that once he had for his attractive physique, and wants to die in order to get free from the boon. So, he has no temptation left for a new adventure.

By reading the two poems a reader may feel that knowledge is a very important topic present in the two poems. For example, Ulysses always wants to acquire knowledge and he feels that life without knowledge is meaningless:

"How dull it is to pause, to make an end,

To rust unburnish’d, not to shine in use!"

Tithonus, on the other hand, sought immortality to Aurora, the Goddess of dawn, who fell in love with him, in order to enjoy endless eternal happiness. So, the intention of Tithonus was not to seek knowledge; rather he wanted to enjoy the heavenly comfort with his beautiful wife Aurora. So, he does not care for knowledge. He got the opportunity that Ulyses could not have, but he utilized it seeking luxury and pleasure. When Ulyssess cherishes to acquire life after life for seeking more and more knowledge, Tithonus achieved what he sought, but did not use it for acquiring knowledge. Rather, in the end, Tithonus realizes that the boon, bestowed upon him by the Goddess, has turned into a curse as he lost his youth. Now, he wants to get out of the gift in order to become free from his cursed-life where he does not find pleasure and pride anymore.

Ulysses was a spiritual person who was wise. He likes to think about life and he tries to search insight his own mind. He does not care for luxury and lavishness. So, being a king does not bring him any peace, but even makes him more restless that he has got stuck in same routine. In fact, Ulysses as a character is full of life and pro-active. Tithonus, in contrast, is a materialistic person who cares for earthly and sensual pleasure. The Goddess fell in love with him, and he, in stead of responding with more love for the Goddess, took advantage of the emotion of the Goddess Aurora and gained immortality with her blessing. Tithonus had nothing spiritual inside him. He grew older and lost his charismatic youth with days go on and now he has become a lifeless person in the sense that he only ponders about death now in pursuit of getting free from this painful immortality in an attempt to get free from this painful immortality.

Acceptance of death is another important difference between the two poems. Ulysses wants to get free of death by doing some noble deed, even though he accepts death as an eventual means of ending life. Tithonus, in contrast, is eager to embrace death, even though he knows death would not come to him as Gods and Goddess can not take away their boon once given. So, both Ulysses and Tithonus accept death as part of human life, but they approach death differently.

In the end, I would like to say that the theme of the two poems: Journey- is reflected in two contrasting ways. Ulysses wants to go on his last sea-voyage before death in pursuit of acquiring more knowledge, accepting the eventual death, but willing to do something noble before death. Tithonus, on the other hand, is now desperate to end his journey after experiencing a bitter past. Overall, differences between the two poems are more vivid than the similarities seen in the two poems.

Contrast between Ulysses and My Last Duchess

“Ulysses” of Alfred, Lord Tennyson and “My Last Duchess” of Robert Browning are two good examples of Dramatic monologues written during the Victorian age. So, naturally there are some similarities from structural point of view between the two poems. However, I think that there are many differences between them and in this term paper I want to focus on the differences between these two poems.

The first thing that comes to our mind by reading the two poems is that “Ulysses” is a poem about seeking knowledge and physical journey, while “My Last Duchess” is mainly about power and pride. The duke is very powerful and he always reminds others of his power and authority. He expects others to be humble in front of him and obey his every command. The Duchess did not listen to him and he became very angry and killed her.

There is no doubt that Ulysses was a very powerful man of ancient Greece. If we read “Iliad” of Homer, then it is very clear that he was one of the top generals in Greek army and was very clever. More than everything, Ulysses was the king of Ithaca and he was the all in all in his own kingdom. Undoubtedly, he was the most powerful man of Ithaca. On the other hand, the Duke was the Duke of a small area and naturally, there was a king above him. Still, Ulysses acted with politeness to others. We understand this matter from his speech to the sailors:

…..My mariners,
Souls that have toil'd, and wrought, and thought with me,--
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads,-- you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.

As for knowledge, Ulysses was always dedicated for gaining knowledge and experience. During his time, most people did not give value to this matter and that is why, Ulysses was not satisfied with his countrymen. He said in the openings stanza of the poem that people of his country only knew about eating and sleeping and did not understand him. The Duke showed off to others all the time that he was a man of high culture, but the reality was that he did not have any interest about knowledge.

In “My Last Duchess”, we find a lot of description about renaissance art. It was clear that the Duke was a fan of art and painting. But, I got the feeling by reading the poem that he was interested about painting only to show off to others that he came from an aristocratic family. He knew how to spend money smartly and collect quality paintings and statues, but he did not appreciate art for art’s sake. Art was a device for him to show his authority. He always felt that he was different from others and he had high taste. On the other hand, in “Ulysses”, we can not find any description of any painting or statues but it seems to me that Ulysses himself was an artist of life. He wanted to find true meaning of life and how to live happily. His art was to teach others about the value of knowledge and wisdom.

“My Last Duchess” is a poem about renaissance time and we know that humanity, individualism and freedom are the important features of renaissance age. The Duke is always eager to show that he is a renaissance man and he appreciates art and painting. However, in his heart, he did not have any respect towards humanity, individualism and freedom. In stead, he was power-hungry just like many people during the time of Ulysses. On the other hand, Ulysses had some kinds of renaissance spirit in him and that is why, he gave value to knowledge and experience, although he spent most of his time in fighting. He understood that knowledge is higher than authority. Thus, we find a paradox in these two poems.

The Duke is very possessive. He wanted that his wife only smiles at him and he can enjoy the beauty of his wife alone. However, in return, he was not ready to give any love or emotion to his wife. He only cared for his own pleasure and he was a very selfish husband and a very selfish man in his personal life. He is not ready to sacrifice anything for anyone, but he feels that because he was born in a 900-year-old family, others must obey him without any question. On the other hand, it is clear that Ulysses had sacrificed a lot for his soldiers. That is why, even in old age, they are ready to accompany him in his adventure. There is a strong possibility that all of them would die but still, they are ready to accompany Ulysses in his last voyage. Thus, Ulysses won the loyalty and respect of his fellow sailors by respecting them first.

The idea of civilization is very important in both of these two poems. Ulysses was unhappy with his people because he thought that his countrymen were savage. Even he was not so satisfied with his wife and son. He could easily decide to leave them even at old age. Ulysses believes that he is more civilized and higher than the people around him. However, this kind of feeling did not destroy his politeness. He knows that he has earned this higher status with his own personal efforts. On the other hand, the Duke had done nothing to have this feeling of civilization in himself. He was only born in a rich and powerful family. He could spend freely for art and entertainment. For him, civilization was nothing more than possessing a pretty wife, being the Duke of an area and managing some beautiful paintings.

Ulysses was a spiritual person and he had depth in his personality. On the other hand, the Duke was a surface person. He did not have any spirituality. He did not care to go deep any matter. He did not even try to think which way he could make his wife listen to his wanted. He just knew that his wife must listen to her or she would be punished. Thus, it is natural his wife suffered a lot in married life and death saved her from more torture.

The Duke was a very good example of materialism. He only cared for his own benefit and own consumption. He liked a painting and he must have it. He liked a beautiful woman (The Duchess) and he must have it. He can not think of any other way. He does not care for any good idea. From this matter, Ulysses was just the opposite. He spent all his life not just for his own glory, but also for his ideas. He is the symbol of idealism. Ulysses has some goals in life. He is not satisfied with just ruling his countrymen. He does not like to control other people that much but he wants to bring good things for everyone. He believed that knowledge is supreme and for this matter he is again going out on a sea voyage.

What I feel is that although the two main characters of these two poems are exactly opposite, the two poets had the same goals with their poems. They are both idealists in their message. Tennyson has showed the positive side of human characteristics. His hero Ulysses is full of good qualities. Ulysses is not an ordinary person. He is attractive to many readers and it is true that most of us can not become like Ulysses but still we like his ideas. We know that he is an extra-ordinary man and if possible, we should try to be like him. On the other hand, Browning has created the character of Duke in his poem and the Duke is narrating the whole story. However, Browning does not like the character of the Duke. Browning has used subtle ironies to show his displeasure about the Duke. Although he is the main character in “My Last Duchess”, the readers know very well that the Duke is not a person that we like to follow.

May be, many of us in our personal life are somehow similar to Duke but in the end, we are not proud of this matter. Browning has given us the feeling that the Duke is everything opposite to goodness and idealism. So, Browning has also made the readers aware about idealism and spirituality in life. I feel that Browning has been more successful in giving his message of idealism because he could create a lot of reactions in the mind of the readers. When we read “My Last Duchess”, we know that the Duke is showing off a lot and he is a very bad person. He is all the time saying bad words about the Duchess but the more he says the more readers realize that the Duchess was a noble lady. The readers also understand that the way of the Duke was very bad.

In conclusion, I like to say that with all the contrasting ideas presented in “Ulysses” and “My Last Duchess”, they have almost similar message.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley at the Netherfield Dance Party

Chapter 3 of Pride and Prejudice deals mainly with the dance party that took place at Netherfield. Mr. Bingley arranged it and he brought some people with him from London. His friend Mr. Darcy caught the attention of every woman for two reasons. He was more handsome than Mr. Bingley and secondly, he was much more richer. He earned 10,000 pounds a year. So, he was the center of attention for every woman in the party. Mr. Bingley looked rather ordinary beside him. However, Mr. Bingley became more popular because he danced with many girls. On the other hand, Mr. Darcy did not dance with any girl except the two sisters of Mr. Bingley.
Darcy felt and acted the way that he was much higher than any woman of that area. He even said bad words about Elizabeth Bennet and it created bad feeling in her. This chapter showed us Darcy as a proud man and it created prejudice in the mind of Elizabeth about him.

What do you think of Pride and Prejudice Novel?

It seems that today is the day of writing from my heart. When I started blogging, this was my motto that I would write what I feel and what I believe. It is not that I do not do it but may be, I try to make a balance between my feelings and what I should say. So, today, it is the day to say my feeling. Pride and Prejudice is a great novel and very popular one. It is perhaps one of the top ten widely read novels in the world. I like it but there are some things I do not like.
First of all, both Mr. Darcy and Mr. Bingley are rich young men. There is nothing wrong in their being rich but my problem is that Jane Austen has shown them as good men too. Well, in my life, I have seldom seen rich men being good. Perhaps the main reason they are bad is that they exploit their workers and become rich or richer. Mr. Darcy was a rich estate owner in a rural area. So, it is obvious that the farmers under him suffered a lot and this way, he became rich and he would become richer. I mean this is a common story in every part of the world. Landlords in the past were rarely good. That is why, when industrial revolution took place in England, thousands of people from rural areas came to new towns and cities to work as labors.
Jane Austen has not told anything about Mr. Darcy as a landowner. Elizabeth saw and fell in love with the beauty of the place. Well, Jane Austen was mostly confined to her house and family. So, she did not have that much scope to investigate and experience the life of ordinary farmers under people like Mr. Darcy. Thus, we cannot blame her in this regard. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Difference Between Elizabeth Bennet and Jane Bennet

They are two sisters. Jane is the elder one and then is Elizabeth. However, from first, it is perhaps clear to us that Elizabeth is smarter and with stronger personality. On the other hand, Jane was an innocent and at times a naïve young who trusts people very easily. Of course, what is interesting to me is that in Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen kept a character called Jane in the first place but then she did not make her the heroine of the novel. This is funny to me because if I write a novel then I would never keep a character with my name.
Anyway, I want to be a successful novelist someday but at this moment, I am no body. I just promised you to write about Pride and Prejudice throughout October 2009 in this blog and this is the second time, I am doing it.
Jane is prettier while Elizabeth Bennet is smarter. Jane admires people very easily while her younger sister has a much more critical eye. Thus, if you had read the novel then you would perhaps agree with me that the two sisters are quite opposite. Well, somehow, I find that they have something in common.
Both of them are good young girls. They became like their father Mr. Bennet. It is clear that Mr. Bennet was a kind hearted and good man and he was very supportive to his daughters. Both Jane and Elizabeth has got the same attitude. They like each other and they are very supportive. They are adorable and any man would become lucky and perhaps happy if they get married to either of them. Of course, if you are a man then you have to understand the value of girls like these two sisters.
I think that this is thing that Jane Austen wanted to show us. Yes, the two sisters have opposite personality traits. Yet, they are adorable, good and lovely. They believe in goodness and kindness and try to act to their idea. Many men while looking for a wife do not know what qualities they should look into a woman. Perhaps, the message of Jane Austen is that first search goodness in a girl and then other things. Only then, a man can be lucky and happy in a marriage.
Jane Bennet was a very ordinary girl but she was a good girl and Mr. Bingley was surely lucky to become her husband. Of course, we have to assume that they lived happily ever after. 

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Netherfield Park: Mr. Bingley and Mr. Bennet

I feel happy that I can keep my promise of yesterday that I would write about Pride and Prejudice for the whole month of October 2009. This is the first day and today, I read the first two chapters of the novel. They mainly deal with Mr. and Mrs Bennet. Mrs. Bennet is excited that a rich and single young man has come to stay at Netherfield Park. She thinks that it is a great opportunity for her five daughters because this rich young man named Mr. Bingley may get married with one of his daughters. So, in Chapter I, she tries to persuade Mr. Bennet to visit him and get acquainted. Mr. Bennet makes fun with her.
In second chapter, we find that Mr. Bennet had already visited Netherfield Park and met Mr. Bingley. This matter came as a great shock to his wife and daughters and they all are very happy.
It gives us a glimpse of the social condition of Jane Austen’s time. Marriage was the most important thing for girls. Later we will know the reason. Inheritance law was bad and since, Mr. Bennet did not have any son so after his death, the wealth would not go to his family members (daughters). So, it was important for the girls to get married with men of decent income.
If we look at today’s Britain then it is clear that things have changed totally. Many young men and women do not even want to get married and live together and even many children are born out of wedlock. So, people like Mrs. Bennet in our time are not worried for their daughters getting married to rich young men in England. Well, many of them are perhaps worried that whether their girls would get married at all. In 200 years, British society has transformed from a family oriented one to individualistic one. Netherfield Park has lost significance. 

Monday, October 05, 2009

Pride and Prejudice is the Book to Study in October 2009

In the last one month, I received some encouraging emails through the Feedburner option of this blog. I wish that some of the readers could write their comments in the blog directly and others could see. Anyway, I have given some thought about updating the blog regularly from now. Perhaps the best way to do so is that I read a book and write about it regularly. This way, I can write about the same piece of literature over a month. For October 2009, I have decided to write about Pride and Prejudice. I am going to read this novel of Jane Austen and would post about it frequently throughout this month.
I studied in 1993 and it is almost 16 years but I still like it and I am sure that I would enjoy it again. I know that I would. If you are reading this book as a part of your course or exam this month then you should visit this blog regularly. I do not want to claim that I am an expert or even a scholar. I just enjoy reading literature and I am going to write about my ideas about Pride and Prejudice. I will also try to direct you to some useful websites about this novel.
So, pray for me that I can do it.