Drama is good
I have been feeling this want of passion for my work, when suddenly today my boss brought me this piece of news which created such a novel sensation of… well… would it be melodrama if I say “drama”?
Before I took on this job, I got hold of this “The Man Booker Prize: 35 years of the best in contemporary fiction 1969-2003” and studied all the chapters, hoping at least to memorize the winning authors in case someone asked which Booker author was my favourite (though I will stick to Kazuo Ishiguro), and to understand what a prestigious literary prize actually means – not only the rules, the prize money, but the actual PROCESS by which a literary prize is born, what kind of people are involved, what happens before and after the winner is annouced. And it really thrilled me to read about the “controversies” of the literary world – I never thought they would publicize things as such, but this genuine frankness and good humour is perhaps the very reason why the Booker Prize stands tall over all these years.
What I have been doing for this new prize is far from controversial. Perhaps we just are not famous enough as yet to elicit such malevolence against us. The people are real – academics, publishers, writers, journalists… but somehow their enthusiasm seem to me so serene and otherworldly that I was almost disgusted. Sometimes I told my friends half-jokingly that this is the White Man’s Burden in the world of literature; while at other times I felt that my bosses are actually much more forward than that.
Just now my boss told me something that has some smell of “controversey” in it. “Welcome to the real world,” he said. I did not know what to think – when it concerns money and fame, people do get nasty, there is no exception even to those who are in the arts industry. I felt ridiculous. What was all those enthusiasm I met with all along? And I think my boss is right in saying that things will get nastier when time goes on. At least the prize – we the organizers – will stand the ground. Out of a timid desire to console my boss, I uttered, “Drama is good.” “Yes,” he smiled a faint smile, “Drama is good sometimes.”
I was suddenly seiged by a tinge of sadness this morning. But it was warded off after a satisfying lunch and the piece of news my boss brought me. I am feeling quite myself again. After all it is foolish to be sad when no one cares.