Sunday, 3 January 2010

It's the Spectator that Art Really Mirrors

The last post mentioned 13 Books that changed the way America is, wanted to list out 13 such books for Pakistan, which will do in some later post. This post is about those thirteen that influenced me.

Oscar Wilde in the preface of Picture of Dorian Gray speaks about art, some pickings from that would be interesting before I list out books.”The artist is the creator of beautiful things. To reveal art and conceal artist is art’s aim. Those who find beautiful meanings in beautiful things are cultivated. For these there is hope. All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their own peril. Those who read symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.”

01-KHUTBAT (Sermons’) by A.A.Mududi
A foremost book about pillars of Islam, and a very precise and logical narrations of these tenants.

02-APOLOGY by Plato
Details of trial and sentence of Socrates. “ I must tell you the truth-the result of my mission was first this: I found that the men most in repute were all but the most foolish; and that some inferior men were really wiser and better”

03-IBLIS O ADAM (Devil and Adam) by G.A.Perwez
Origin and Geneses paradoxes understood in light of Quran and modern empirical knowledge.

04-MAN’S SEARCH FOR MEANING by Victor Frankl
“Ultimately man should not ask what meaning of his life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked.”

05-RAAKH (Ashes’) by Mustansar Hussain Tarar
A novel classically deals with the history of Pakistan, often considered as controversial but ground breaking.

06-BEING AND NOTHINGNESS by Jean Paul Sartre
“Generosity is nothing else than a craze to possess. All which I abandon, all which I give, I enjoy in a higher manner through the fact that I give it away… To give is to enjoy possessively the object which one gives.”

The seven lectures that are key to our understanding of Islam and the world around us: Past, Present and Future.

08-KAFILA E HIJAZ (The Caravan of Arabia) by Nasim Hijazi
A historical fiction, written in most admirable and lucid prose portraying early rise of Islamic polity, economy and education system.

09-LES MISERABLES by Victor Hugo
“Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to evil, but to good. It is your soul I am buying for you. I withdraw it from dark thoughts and from the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God.”

10-RAJA GIDH (King Vulture) by Bano Qudsia
An Urdu novel emphasizing that sins not only degrade and destroy the sinner morally but also corrupts his genes and travels to next generation.

11-SIDDAHRATA by Hermann Hesse
“When someone is seeking… it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything… because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal.”

“To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.”

13-GERMINAL by Emile Zola
“He simply wanted to go down the mine again, to suffer and to struggle; “


  1. I would like you to choose one and elaborate if this would be enjoyable to you?

  2. Yes, Connie, writing about Books is very enjoyable and in next posts I will elobrate on some books. Meanwhile can you list your THIRTEEN?

  3. I'm "thinking"...thanx for, I'd love to do this soon and this would be enriching for me...soon as I'm more relaxed with a new writing series deadline...:)

  4. Dar Sahib

    Nice to read about the books which influnced you.

    I at least would try to read even one of them to find what exactly in them which gave you inspiration.

    Though I know every reader has different level and perception to understand a writer.


  5. Thanks Connie and would love to have your pick!

  6. Thanks, Thinking, yes every reader perceives the world according to his own make-up and therefore his/her influences are different and varied. Can you share your THIRTEEN? (The books that influenced you)

  7. Umer Toor, I would love to know yours as well!

  8. Dar Sahib...thank you for asking.

    I cant number those books which inspired me most....hmm...may be because I never kept a record of them also I am not a good reader.

    However....thanks again.

  9. It will be great to watch Les Miserables, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.