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I would recommend to my reader, the book Vanity Fair by William Thackeray, if they wish to come to an understanding of the caustic cynicism that is currently my frame of mind. It charts in no uncertain terms, the progress of two girls, ostensibly friends, but ever different as they journey through the circus, the carnival fair, that humanity in its true nature is. It documents without flinching the vice, follies, deficits and darkness of all its characters, without shirking from what it seeks to present as the truth. It is a Victorian novel, and so to that extent the world it will portray is starkly different from the one that we inhabit now, yet much is the same, for man is present in both eras, and his behaviour shows fain site of improving between the Enlightenment and Judgement day. That said it is a most poetic work of literature, and if I could write, I would choose to write as Thackeray does, his casual breaking of the third world, his multi-faceted and mutli-positional narrator all traits I would enjoy in emulation

The Book has me in the frame of mind to think about duplicity and simulation. It makes me see, in the real world that I must inhabit, and the many faced characters that share it with me, all the signs and aspects of false behaviour and cordiality. People who act one way and believe another, who trick, who dupe, who extend false respect and false cordiality. It hardly surprises me that it is so rampant now that I open my eyes to it, my naïve humanity now no longer exempt from facing the realities that mark existence. At the same time I doubt that without the concept of the Vanity Fair, I would be so willing to document them in my mind nor collect them so avidly to store and recall.

My purpose in such storage is simply to mark down those who do it for my remembrances. There are many who sacrifice their credibility in my eyes, as I have mentioned just recently by such behaviour and I have to keep myself aware of what they do so that others cannot use the same methods against me. I fear to be the victim of the cleverness in others that is turned to false profit and malicious gain. I have no desire to be the subject of these kind of people, yet I recognise now that they abound. I cannot pretend that they don’t exist just because many are not like that.

I have become a cynic once again, perhaps a condition that is forced on me by being in Hong Kong, and the pragmatic practicalities that are inherent in being in a place that I intend to settle down, so that people must be cultivated for the long term and care must be taken to ensure that the gossips whose tongues way viciously and widely are not to turn their tongues in my direction, for they would love to do so, it is in their character, and I know they are present in the world in which I stumble. Such treacherous waters bring out the inherent conservatism and defensive shields of personality that I was exempt from deploying in London. The mix of personality is wider in Hong Kong, the pool of opportunity smaller and the people out to take advantage of the opportunities correspondingly more dangerous. I’m sure such sharks swim in London streams, but they do not trouble my deep resting there.

I apologise for my reader for speaking in such cryptic code if they have valorously laboured to the end of this post, but for that there is little that can be done. I must be so circumspect because practicality demands it. Many would not understand the context or the need, those who understand will understand the need.


One Comment

    • Dom
    • Posted July 20, 2006 at 11:25 pm
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    Sounds like an interesting book. I will surely check it out at an “appropirate time”, as I fear a big enough interruption (assignments and exam revisions will do that) may cause me to never pick up the book again.

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