The Tragedy of Trilogies

I am on the Edge of Eternity, trying to get past the Winter of the World, but the ghost of Divergent doesn’t stop haunting me. So here I am – venting it out in this post.

It all started because I didn’t follow a simple rule. The rule of sequence. The rule that must always be followed when you read trilogies. A trilogy is a story written in three parts. These parts are written sequentially…obviously. They must be read sequentially…obviously. Well…not necessarily, but if you really want a strong, immersive experience – you must read them as the author wrote them – sequentially.

With Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy, I broke that rule. I read Fall of Giants three years ago. Then bad stuff started happening around me (the way it happens in horror movies – where the bout of bad doesn’t seem to stop…) To make matters worse I bought the Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth and half-way through the second book, I nearly gave up reading. (BTW, between Divergent the movie and Divergent the novel – the movie was a lot better, but even the movie couldn’t keep me awake! But I am diverging…oops! digressing…) So I stopped reading for a while but kept drawing and painting – mostly commissioned work. During my reading-blackout, Ken Follett got badly bitten by the historical fiction bug and Fall of  Giants became the first book in a trilogy.

Unaware of these developments, I received Edge of Eternity, the third book, as a gift. I expected myself to devour it. I did…until I was about half way, and John Kennedy was shot dead. From my extremely narrow viewpoint, Kennedy was the most interesting character in the book, and I sort of enjoyed reading about his escapades with the White House Interns (how cheap of me!) So when he left the plot (of the story) I gave up – not because he left, but because I almost got carpal tunnel syndrome trying to hold that heavy book upright. That book makes you want to buy a Kindle!

Then I did the unexpected. I ordered the middle-book in the trilogy. Why? Mainly because I’m like Hercule Poirot. No, I don’t look like him, and my head isn’t shaped like an egg! I am like him in my love for symmetry and whole-ness. I had book #1 and I had book #3…so I had to have book #2!

Now I have all the three books. I know that if I applied myself to the pages of Winter of the World, I will read it…and yet,

I hope that authors would stop writing trilogies. A concept can be spread only so thin, or you begin to see the holes, and stories can be the told the same way only so many times, or you begin to fall asleep!

That ends my book-rant. Oh, look. I feel better already!

 

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Caricature Sketch of Jesse Jackson Sr. – Civil Rights Activist.

I did this caricature-sketch of Jesse Jackson Sr. last year. This is a quick sketch, done digitally. As you can see, most of the line-work is fairly rough. The idea was to paint it at a later point in time.

caricature, cartoon, digital sketch of jesse jackson senior - PUSH, civil right activist

Jesse Jackson – The Civil Rights Activist:

Jesse Jackson (Jesse Louis Jackson, Sr.) is an American civil rights activist, who was born in North Carolina, studied at the University of Illinois, and then joined Dr. Martin Luther King‘s movement at the age of 25.

King appointed him the Director of Operation Breadbasket of SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference.) However, Jackson was considered a bit of a rebel by others in the organization. Later King too began to feel that Jackson was too assertive. The relationship between the two began to deteriorate, just before King’s death in 1968. This is why when Jackson claimed that King died in his arms, many questioned the plausibility of his assertion. Among those who didn’t appreciate Jackson’s methods, was also Al Sharpton.

In 1971, Jackson formally parted ways with SCLC, and started PUSH (People United to Save (later changed to Serve) Humanity.) This was also the time when he began to explore the political possibilities.

Jesse Jackson – The Controversial Celebrity:

In the next two decades, Jackson rose from being a national figure to an international personality. His rise to fame however was marked with controversies. His anti-jewish remarks drew a lot of flak (he called the Jewish people, “Hymies” – hymie being a disparaging term used for a Jewish person.) He has also been criticized for his anti-Israel sentiments.

On the personal front, just a week ago, Jackson’s handsome son (who’s got dimpled cheeks,) Jesse Jackson Jr., was released from the prison. He had been sentenced to a term of 1.5 years for misusing about $750,000 of the election funds for personal use (and buying stuff such as a $43K Rolex watch, and believe it or not, $7K worth of stuffed elk-heads!) After his release, his wife would serve her sentence of 1 year for the same offense.

Jesse Jackson has also been in news for fathering an illegitimate child who, her mom Karin Stanford calls a “miracle child”. His daughter Ashley, now 15, wants to be a singer. Karin was a worker in Jackson’s organization PUSH. (Such mentor-mentee, boss-subordinate, leader-worker kind of affairs transcend national and religious boundaries and are found almost everywhere – refer to the Kumar Vishwas – AAP party-worker affair, or to Bill Clinton – Monica Lewinsky affair.)

But then…I must be turning into a cynic. Reading Ken Follett’s Century Trilogy does that to you. I am on the 888th page of “Edge of Eternity” and John Kennedy‘s numerous flings with the fair ladies of his staff must be crowding my imagination.

Jesse Jackson – Quotes:

I like the following two:

  • “If my mind can conceive it, my heart can believe it; I know, I can achieve it!”
  • “Never look down on anybody, unless you are helping them up.”