Monday, 18 January 2010

Only for Readers with Brains

What is the use of telling you a story? You are part of a group of people who want only entertainment; choose to read silly and semi-porno stories in cheap magazines which do not hope to gain participation from readers who are capable of using their brains.
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That’s Uthaya Sankar SB giving an introduction to a story.
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Outrageous, bold, blunt and confident, with a tinge of sarcasm and arrogance. That is Uthaya, a writer who does not fail to capture the attention of his audience with his outspokenness and, not to forget, provocative introductions.
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Strong in his conviction to write for readers who have brains, Uthaya pointed out in a paper [title: Genius & Maru Malarchi] he presented at the Malaysian National Literary Seminar held in Universiti Sains Malaysia from November 7 to 8 that there is a greater demand for stupid writing than there is supply.
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“If I write stupid literature, my works will definitely appeal to more readers,” he said, adding that he anyway prefers to write for the small thinking community rather than a mass of readers with low mentality.
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“I dislike reading and writing works which try to teach the readers as if they are people who cannot think for themselves. I don’t want to insult the readers’ intelligence.”
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His statement in the May 1997 issue of Dewan Sastera created a heated debate, especially the part that said:
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I am confident that only people who know how to use their brains will read my works. So, I respect their mind and intellectuality. Maybe it is true that not many people like my works. But I only need (at least) 10 readers with brains to make me continue writing! It is not difficult to find 10 people with brains, right? [Read complete statement]
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He also holds proudly to the principle that his stories do not have endings, or solutions to questions.
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“Writers are people who raise questions for readers to ponder,” he added.
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(Cheah Phaik Kin, “Only for Readers with Brains,” New Straits Times, 2 December 1998; this statement also used as blurb for Sasterawan Pulau Cinta, USSB: 2001)

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