Words are more important than food; words fulfill us. We are not meant to simply survive on this Earth. Our natural duty is to thrive. Words, ideas, drive us to thrive. Of course, we have communication with many different people in our everyday lives, but many times those conversations are superficial. They leave us longing for something of more substance. Literature is a different type of communication that delivers a profound substance. Literature unmasks both writer and reader. The writer and reader stand naked before each other. They read into and see each others’ manifest minds and souls.
Not only does literature give us substance but also it satisfies our love of story. There is a primitive and an enlightened instinct in us that wants narrative. We need story, not just a movie’s special effects. Literature gives us an entertainment that requires us to concentrate. In that concentration, an intense intimacy is created. Writer and reader communicate mind to mind in a telepathic sense—no voice is needed except your own silent voice. You may never have met the writer, yet you imagine his voice by creating your own voice of the writer and the characters. It is a voice that is buried somewhere deep inside you. For you to even have a voice of a person you have never met—this, this proves we all share a common thread of humanity that links us together.
Reading and writing is a discipline that requires solitariness. We must put ourselves in another separate world so that we can listen well. Yes, while reading, you may question from time to time, but as you read, you are listening. You alone are paying attention. We pay attention to the life of the mind. We want the life of the mind, the tortures and tribulations, the angst and fears, and the extreme contemplations that precede the most joyous moments.
My novel, Barrio Bushido, delivers these flashes of life. It is a hard story, a story that asks you to be shocked and mesmerized. After a recent reading from my book, I humbly accepted my favorite compliment about my writing. After the crowd’s applause, an audience member, with tears in her eyes, said, “I wanted to cry and throw up at the same time.” My words triggered something profound in her, and her words provoked me to this writing here. By sharing and listening to each other, we build an identity based on emotion and understanding, the best of both worlds.
Although the official release date of Barrio Bushido is not until February 2011, I now have a limited number of copies for serious readers. In the book, I blend the music of the streets with a number of literary techniques that have not been used by authors of other “street stories.” To generate a totally new experience for the reader, I write using modern urban slang, objective narrative, magical realism, and intense Dostoevsky-like drama. If you are a serious reader, send me an e-mail at email@example.com and order your inscribed copy. Gift yourself with an intellectual and entertaining present. After reading the novel, go on this blog and post your comments under “Readers’ Reactions.”
Together we can fulfill our commitment to not just survive but to thrive for more.