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REVIEW ☆ JOHNS-CYCLING-DIARY.CO.UK ´ Goh Poh Seng

Widely regarded as the dream too PDF #197 first Singapore novel If We Dream Too Long explores the dilemmas and challenges faced by its hero Kwang Meng as if we PDFEPUB or he navigates the difficult transitional period between youthful aspirations and the external demands of society and family Shy and sensitive he feels detached from mainstream we dream too PDF #180 life and is unable to identify with the values that animate his fri. I appreciate this book mostly for the portrait of 1960s Singapore its national development atmosphere society and personal dreams and aspirations It was an early stage in Singapore's development and many could still not afford to go to university and could not find a stimulating job but instead got stuck in boring and dull jobs with low salaries that made them feel unimportant and meaningless This is also the story of Kwang Meng a young clerk who hoped to get a higher level job and cannot relate to the values of his friends He drifts into a world of dreams and is like an anti hero an outsider who becomes a man of inaction rather than a rebel As a result this novel is not exactly full of action which may be why the average rating is only 33 now However I found it very interesting to get an idea of Singapore in the 1960s and see how much it changed role of women family size education opportunities ability to travel abroad etc but also how some things have not fundamentally changed I think that some people in Singapore and other countries can still relate to the situation of Kwang Meng being stuck in a seemingly meaningless job with simple tasks and no ability to make own decisions

CHARACTERS if we dream too long

if we dream too longEnds Kwang Meng takes refuge in dreams of exotic faraway places and imagines merging himself with the sea which he loves Yet amidst this uncertainty the reader feels that all is not lost that the young dreamer will eventually find his way Kwang Meng's experiences reflect the author's fascination with the uestion of self amidst the dreariness and aimlessness of an increasingly urbanized and materialistic Asian society This book also. Dr Koh's introduction points out that poetry had been the main form around which the concept of Singapore literature began to coalesce and the publication of Dreams in this context therefore made it a pioneering work in the local literature scene as the first Singapore novel but also accounted for its cool reception upon publication This is why I want to say that I am thankful for Dreams for making the Singapore novel a thing I think it is still true that we seem to have a lot prolific local poets than novelists and in any case most of the novelists I can think of all happen to be poets as well but not the other way round but I have never found poetry accessible in the same way that prose is For some reason or another I always thought poetry was high brow and atas as compared to the prose of short stories novellas and novels And for this reason I am very glad that this piece of work helped pioneer Singaporean proseThat is not to say this novel is flawless Dr Koh's introduction itself points out that its attempt to capture Singlish in brackets because this was written before Singlish became a term that we now use to describe the local vernacular left much to be desired as does its portrayal of racial minorities etc etc It's actually easy to read this book and see how Goh Poh Seng probably struggled to portray the every day Singaporean from his positionality of someone who was probably anything but a trained doctor from Dublin who was exposed to an overseas education and all its discontents as well as the literary influences in Dublin This is a book in which Lucy the main character's primary love interest speaks like this Trouble is I a woman A woman can't do anything she want She can only be a wife a mistress a girlfriend Or a bar girl like me What she is is only to serve man Wife mistress girlfriend Not be anything she want while the prose describes the main character like this He was like a somnambulator in a daylight world there is a forced jarring sense of an altogether not wholly successful attempt to capture the life of the everyday Singaporean in a language and form which one might typically consider literaryBut aside from the powerful argument which Dr Koh provides in the introduction that establishes why Dreams still deserves its place as a pioneering literary work if not in spite of its shortcomings perhaps even precisely because of its shortcomings there is still much in this novel itself that makes it worth the while for the contemporary Singaporean reader I have mentioned in reviews of other Singlit works that I have always felt that the appeal of Singlit lies in the beauty of reading something that you recognise as familiar and the power of that representation is something that even the best foreign novels can never achieve So reading a novel written in the 1960s that sought to be an accurate representation of Singapore in the 1960s makes for an interesting experience a sort of disuieting familiar unfamiliarity that's a reflection of the ways in which this country has changed and not changed since the 1960sThe end of the very first chapter in the novel for instance has the main character reflect about Singapore's colonial legacy which is honestly strikingly prescient given this year's bicentennial celebrations To his right across the street the Singapore Cricket Club stood patronizingly at the corner of the Padang A relic of the colonial past but still the same sycedriven cars were parked outside in the members only parking enclosure and the same English masters were seen going in for their Whiskey Stengahs and their Brandy Drys The English are durable he thought passing the Victoria Memorial Hall and Theatre on his right then crossing Connaught Bridge towards the grey imperial Fullerton Building nearby All these colonial names indelibly stamped everywhere No wonder the English still feel very much at home here They still cling on to their Cricket Club Tanglin Club and Polo ClubAnd yet at the same time a huge part of this book makes reference to the main character's love to swim in the sea in today's Singapore we would expect him to go to Sentosa West Coast Park East Coast Park but instead he talks about swimming near the Esplanade going to the Esplanade as the seafront where he looks out at the ships that have come for Singapore's port This isn't something that's familiar because the land near the Esplanade has since been reclaimed and the entire view from the Esplanade today is a far cry from the one our protagonist sought comfort inI think it would be be interesting to read Dreams alongside a work like Ministry of Moral Panic which is firmly situated in contemporary Singapore as both a literary and historical exercise to look at how both Singapore and Singlit have evolved since There is so much rich material within Dreams that can be unpacked and I'm interested to look up reviews and academic papers which perform precisely this unpacking exercise

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FREE DOWNLOAD ☆ if we dream too long ¹ [Download] ➸ if we dream too long ➽ Goh Poh Seng – Johns-cycling-diary.co.uk Widely regarded as the first Singapore novel If We Dream Too Long explores the dilemmas and challenges faced by its hero Kwang Meng as he navigates the difficult transitional period between youthful a Widely Provides a fascinating portrait of Singapore as it was in the s a landscape and society that have undergone many changes but remain faintly visible in modern SingaporeSince its first publication in If We Dream Too Long has moved and delighted generations of readers This much loved novel has been used as a text in university literature courses in Singapore Malaysia and the Philippines and has been translated into Tagalog and Russia. 35 for the book plus 05 for my love to the hidden charm of this country Goh Poh Seng is a better storyteller than Haruki Murakami even though the thoughts and perceptions of their main characters are uite similar Seng's narrative is realistic and reliable than that of Murakami in the cosmopolitan cities