To say that I love books would be an understatement; reading is one of my greatest passions. I thought it would be rather interesting to take on this challenge of representing book covers in lomographs, so here’s a look at my take on these great books!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always read books. I started wearing glasses at the young age of four. I began reading Peter and Jane books, Enid Blyton, and the amazing works of J.K Rowling; then, as I grew older, I started to pick out classics, and modern classics. There were many works of literature that I fell in love with, and here are some of the few that I love.
Beware, though, for there may be a few spoilers ahead for those who have not yet read these books! Here are the lomographs I would select as covers of my favourite works of literature:
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
I love dystopian novels – there is always a tone of cynicism and resounding truth in these novels, and A Clockwork Orange happens to be one such novel. It chronicles the life of Alex, a 15-year old living in a futuristic world rife with violence. If you’ve never read the novel, Stanley Kubrick’s movie adaptation of the novel will certainly give you a taste of the constant violence in the plot. In the first few chapters alone, Alex narrates to us (in Nadsat, the language of the youth) the typical activities that he and his droogs (friends) get up to at night – these include assault and battery, gang rape, robbery, and the like.
When I think of the book, I visualise the streets in which Alex and his droogs must have roamed while they were up to their misdeeds- desolate, dark, and definitely dreary:
I even think of the disguises that Alex and his droogs employed (this was in fact of crucial importance at one point in the story), and think of this:
Next on my list is a novel written by our very own Malaysian author, Tash Aw -
The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw
My love for this book cannot be put into words. It is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful books I have ever read, and also the most poignant. Tash Aw wrote the novel in the style of William Faulkner’s ‘The Sound and the Fury’ – it was split into three different narratives. Anybody looking to get a glimpse of post-war, colonial Malaysia should definitely pick this book up. It chronicles the almost amazing, yet unfortunate life of Johnny Lim and his marriage to the stunningly beautiful Snow Soong. I’m not giving anything else away! The book is truly beautiful, and I would not do justice to it by attempting to summarize it.
In the story, Johnny often traveled great distances by bicycle. The story is set in the idyllic state of Perak, Malaysia, and the backdrop mostly consisted of jungles, nature, red earth and the like, and I can just imagine Johnny cycling through (in a much less developed route, of course):
Also, a bulk of the novel takes place in the secluded Seven Maiden Islands – where the sunset brings mystery:
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwel
This happens to be my number one favorite modern classic. Its relevance and impact on today’s world leaves me breathless. Orwell had so successfully encapsulated the political cycles at work in his novel of dystopia and revolt . Everything was seamless – the characters, the backdrop of the novel, and the events leading up to betrayal and loss of hope. Truly beautiful (psst: fans of Muse should also know that the novel was what inspired their album, The Resistance).
I personally find the antique shop a prevalent symbol in the book – it represented many things: safety and seclusion, the proletariat, a place of hope, a symbol of the past – and yet, towards the end, it proved to be the complete opposite.
I also think of the pristine towers of the four Ministries; a stark contrast against the ironically named Victory Mansions, it highlights the disparity between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat:
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Something a little lighter from my bookshelves, and also a book which I’m sure everyone has heard of by now. One of the book’s famous lines is when Patrick said that Charlie was a wallflower – ‘You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.’
Naturally, I visualise great crowds passing from a certain vantage point – one of an observer, who notices life passing him by:
The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald
Another one of my all-time favourites – and also another tragic story. The Great Gatsby taught me many things about the American Dream – the hopelessness of it, the ridiculousness of the idea. It was very hard for me to find a lomograph that represents the novel, but I did not want to exclude it, as it is one of my favourites. In the end, I settled for this:
I imagine the moment where Nick first caught a glimpse of Jay Gatsby – with his arms stretched out towards the Sound, staring at what seems to be nothing. The truth was that Gatsby lived across the bay from where his true love was – in the story, a green light is always turned on at her home, toward which Gatsby would stretch his arms our for. The light was a symbol of his hope that she may one day be with him – alas, as those who have read the book will know, the light would eventually go out.
These are some of the books I truly love, and it was honestly quite a challenge to write this article; I was hesitant, as I wanted to do justice to these beautiful works of art. So, here are my imperfect interpretations of these great novels, and I hope that it may pique some interest in reading these books!