Monday, October 13, 2008

What In The World Happened To Them?

Going through all the photos on my handphone, terjumpa lak one photo of me and my favourite Malaysian writer - A Samad Said. Taken kat Istana Budaya masa pementasan Lantai T Pinkie last year, tetiba aku terlintas nak tulis pasal Pak Samad this time.

I don't personally know him, but aku cukup kenal karya-karya dia such as Sungai Mengalir Lesu, Langit Petang, and of course, Salina.

He writes superbly, aku suka setting zaman perang/post-WW2 yang digarap dengan cantiknya oleh Pak samad dalam novel-novel dia.

But this time aku bukan nak cerita pasal hasil kerja dia in general.

Tapi kemusykilan aku lebih berkisar pada isu kenapa Pak Samad dah tak ada hasilkan karya-karya hebat these past years. Or in other words, why are his masterpieces only written when he was younger? Mind you, 'Salina' was written when he was 23 years old, my research shows.

Aku perasan satu je, ever since dia jadi Sasterawan Negara, I don't find satu pun hasil kerja Pak Samad yang benar-benar signifikan. And all the fuss about his mogok seni and demands for recognition are things that also kinda frustrated me. Seolah-olah recognition itulah matlamat yang dicari.

Tapi itu dia punya hak lah. dia yang penat mengarang.

Now let me touch about another artist who has fallen into the same pit as Pak Samad Said - Bob Dylan.

Who above 35 years of age yang tak kenal Bob Dylan? Poet and folk music fundamentalist, writer of many a beautiful songs. He was also instrumental in organising Woodstock 1969 although he himself did not participate.

Any new great songs from him dalam tempoh 15 tahun lepas?
Answer: None.

All his great songs were written in his 20's and 30's. The intensity of "All Along the Watchtower", the honest pining lover in "You Belong To Me", and the hopeful soul in "Blowing In The Wind" memang betul2 artistically and emotionally hebat to me.

But none of Dylan's work later in life ever came close to the intensity of his earlier works. Macam half-hearted attempts je. The same goes for Pak Samad - recent works tak nampak bersungguh-sungguh langsung.

So kenapa dua nama besar ni jadi macam ni?

I think the answer is very obvious. In the case of Pak Samad Said & Bob Dylan, their great works were all written when both were young, unknown, struggling artists.

I'd say that the motivation factor indeed must have been strong enough - their senses shaper, their words sincere, the angst and emotions pure and possibly their stomachs emptier, too.

And why Pak Samad and Dylan takde hasil kerja yang hebat in their later years?

I think I know why.

Sebabnya adalah hidup diorang dah senang. Duit dah banyak, takde yang kurang in their lives.
Bila hidup dah senang, all creative senses jadi tumpul.

No longer struggling, they have enough. Definitely far from the state of being hungry. It's no longer a matter of survival. Tu pasal whatever yang they write jadi dilluted and hambar. The frame of mind is not right. That's why what they write simply fail to tickle the balls anymore.

This fact is crucial for a person like me who's working in a creative industry as the animation business. Aku kena accept that there will be a time nanti in my life when I myself will reach a similar state of creative tepu-ness.

Tapi first, kena make sure by that time, aku pun dah as rich and successful as these two guys.

I'd rather have that sort of curse, daripada aku jadi creative terus-terusan sampai ke tua, tapi mati papa kedana.

Cukuplah dunia ni ada satu je Vincent Van Gogh, kan?

1 comment:

damngoodname said...

Aaahh Bob Dylan..
My Fav..don't think twice, its alright!!!