22 April 2017


Through the headset, above the background of the clacking rain came the sound of wings batting against window screen. Cockroach. You're not getting in, I thought.

The sound came again later, and it turned out not to be infernal in nature (or appearance). It was a dragonfly. I've never seen one around all these years living here. It looked as though it wanted to get in. Gingerly, I raised my finger which invariably caused a fluttering of wings.

I thought about letting it in, which wasn't a bad idea considering the company it would bring in a rainy night like this. Only the thought of it dying in my room stopped me from doing it. It's a shame that a dragonfly should die caged in a man's room.

29 January 2015

Review: The Martian by Andy Weir

Andy Weir's debut would be great, if it was marketed as a Mars survival guide, rather than a novel. To achieve said goal, it would need some heavy editing, breaking it down into finer episodes or "issues", plus an index for quick reference to the problems and solutions, the same way you would expect from a bicycle repair manual such as Park Tool's Big Blue Book of Bicycle Shop Repair and Maintenance or other technical manuals.

But it is not, and it's got "A Novel" printed right under the title on the front cover, rendering any oversight on the part of the reader impossible. As a novel, it fails quite miserably. The "story" feels like an afterthought, added with the intention to liven up the mood, a task which it sometimes accomplishes, despite laden with cliché, while most of the time it's just plain uninspiring.

The narrative gives the feeling that one's watching a Hollywood movie where the hero can just ignore whatever immediate danger at hand or certain death and crack a lame joke, or just go "Craaaap!". Almost the whole novel also reads like an IM chat, with LOLs! and Yays! all the way, which sometimes probably can be regarded as a reflection of the IM "culture", but it got on my nerves quicker than expected, I was rolling my eyes before half way through it, and that just ruined any lingering interests I had in the book. However, I did finish it, simply because I'd paid for the book.

I don't buy brand new books without doing some prior research, and during my little investigations everything indicated that it was incredible beyond doubt; Amazon and various review sites all rendered the same result. Inside the cover, San Jose Mercury News even went so far as to suggest that it "harkens back to masters such as Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, and Arthur C. Clarke." That sealed my decision and I bought the book, only to be convinced later that whoever wrote that had been smoking too much weed. The overwhelmingly amount of positive reviews just puzzles me.

The influence of Hollywood movies on the author is undeniably strong, it's practically everywhere, from the way characters talk to how chapter are arranged. Effectively, Ridley Scott's turning it into a film starring Matt Damon. It will probably be an entertaining movie, and I will probably go see it, but one white forgettable after viewing because practically nothing stays with the viewer despite that Mark, the protagonist, is a space MacGyver who can solve nearly anything with duck tapes, and a joke cracking machine just like a ton of other movie stars, that is to say, stereotypes. Zero character development, from the first page to the last, Mark is just that great big boy everyone loves, and when putting the book down, forgets.

There's nothing that stays with you, no drama, no questions or issues to ponder over long after the last page is turned. As a novel, it's a great disappointment; but it might shine as a fictional yet believable Mars survival guide.

17 October 2013



幾年前因博學朋友推薦,讀了唐.麥庫林(Don Mccullin)的自傳《不合理的行為》(Unreasonable Behaviour),他說:「在內心裡,我是個失去身分認同的人。我所有的訓練都是向外尋找,掃描地平線上的新故事做報導。忽然向內心世界探索,那裡頭潛伏著古老的黑暗,和我破裂的婚姻帶來的新愧疚感... 我的文件櫃裡的鬼魂有時候似乎會跑出來嚇我,那些死於所有的那些戰爭的鬼魂,特別是那個白化症男孩。如今,在最後一次與生命撞擊之後,那裡面也有我所愛的人的鬼魂。藉著這本書,或許他們可以獲得自由。」



14 May 2013



大口塞食物的動作登時輕盈下來。睜大雙眼,我不禁思忖:「 」。沒錯,腦裡一片空白。



這時,一陣 癢意襲上喉頭,當我反應過來欲做危機處理時已經太遲了,碗中的湯早已隨著 咳嗽無情地飛射出去。我滿臉驚恐地發現,她秀氣的臉龐因為我的湯而溼透了。

01 January 2013









01 August 2012

鬥牛士Álvaro Múnera Builes良心大發現!

但我們看到的真的是如那令人動容的文字所說的嗎?網路上搜尋一下我們發現故事主角Álvaro Múnera的確是鬥牛士,他也的確最後反對鬥牛。但過程呢?故事發生的經過是,在一次表演中,他被牛刺中左腿,然後飛上了天,之後他就下半身癱瘓了。
而我們所看到的這張「因良心苛責而情緒崩潰」照,在西班牙文中則稱為desplante –藐視或是挑戰– 例如我們會看到鬥牛士跪在牛前面(也許會被有心人士解釋成鬥到一半良心發現,祈求牛的原諒也說不一定),在鬥牛中常會出現。也就是說,這是鬥牛士對牛表現其優越性的一種舉動。所以這照片並無任何「不可思議」處。
以上是一些google一下就會查到的資訊,但我們並沒有這樣做,我們不加思索的接受了我們所看到的,並以為是真實。真實是什麼?有朋友昨天才提起這問題。優美文字敘述下的就是真實嗎?我花沒幾分鐘、打幾下鍵盤找到的資訊就是真實嗎?可惜的是,我們不能百分之百確定,我們只能用推斷和多方資訊來判斷,然後得到一個暫時可以相信的答案,而這答案可能在明天,或是後天可能就會被新證據所推翻。今天我們的沾沾自喜,也許在明天看起來就會像白癡一樣。也許明天我會因為今天說了「鬥牛士Álvaro Múnera沒有在場上發現良心」這話,而看起來像白癡一樣。

25 March 2012



下午老天爺賞光沒有下雨讓我和朋友得以悠閒散步,在漫步搜尋午餐的路上她的神情奕奕地談著教會。我告訴她我一向對宗教很有興趣,但是就是沒有辦法去「信」。我無法說我相信我並不真心相信的東西。但是我一直很想要有個信仰 - 有個比自己更高遠的東西可以依靠,在黑暗的時刻可以避難及搜尋慰藉。但這想望並沒有構成「信」的正當性:「祂」不會因為我信而存在,或不信而消失,會改變的只有內心。這也就是說,不管我有多麼想要信(佛祖、媽祖、上帝、阿拉或是濕婆都好),我沒有辦法去信一個只存在我想法裡的東西,並相信祂會拯救我。


這寫書的想法是我近幾年才發現的,一直以來我只知道坐在辦公桌前處理文件很無趣,以及四處跑和寫東西時我很快樂。有一天我忽然察覺到我想要的只是成為一個透過我雙眼 - 而非經過他人 - 看過這個世界的人。我不夢想賺大錢,我不要做大官看人敬禮,我也沒有興趣擁有高學歷,讓我快樂的東西並不是這些。


05 March 2012



25 February 2012

La Residencia

Aquella una de la madrugada caminé arrastrando mis maletas atravesando calles calladas cuyo silencio fue interrumpido intermitentemente por el salto un un gato o la música que salió de una ventana por encima de la cabeza.

En un intento de recordar los nombre de aquellas calles, las busco por el Google Maps. Amplio el mapa y lo vuelvo a ampliar hasta que sin previo aviso sale una foto mostrando la puerta de la residencia. Y se me inundan los ojos.

05 January 2012





我回神過來,猛然發現我在移動的車廂裡盯著一個螢幕看。我頭左右轉,迅速地巡視一下四周,發現除了我之外沒有人在注意影片中精彩的劇情,每個人都低頭在看手機。我忽然有一種感覺 - 一種活生生的感覺 - 如果牆面瞬間崩解、消失,然後我發現我站在蕭瑟的海灘上跟外星人握手,我大概也不會覺得太訝異。