Saturday, September 13, 2008

75 and Counting!

Rather a nice piece about Malaysia's most prolific novelist which appeared in Thursday's Malay Mail. I've scanned it because I couldn't find it online, but you can click it up to full size.

75 novels in 22 years isn't at all bad going, and Ahadiat well deserves his place in The Malaysia Book of Records. But hs still has some distance to go to beat the all-time greats! Mind you, he is only 42 (a mere spring chicken!) so no doubt has plenty of time to catch up.

9 comments:

Firdaus said...

I have to write 74 novels for the next 20 years to equal his current record. That almost 4 novels per year!

cycads said...

It comes to no surprise that he's managed to churn out so many novels. Just read his novels, or if you're like me, read the titles and 'synopsis' on the back cover, and don't bother. Just about every one of them is in a variation of the theme of Love and Romance - and not very adventurous and radical love and romance at that! He's like the Diane Warren of the Malay popular novel! I'm actually a little glad that there are fewer readers of his, hoping that they've found other Malay writers of greater substance.

I despair.

jawakistani said...

I believe that in a country where its literary scene has mature, there are all sorts of writers. Ranging from ones with substance to trashy. And if we want to come to that dont you think we need a myriad as well?

What's wrong with AA? When I was a teen I read him and does that make a person with less substance?

I feel a bit defensive this morning because at least the dude's writing and getting published. Maybe he doesnt really have a higher calling (viz to make Malaysia's literary scene a substantial one....yada yada yada) but at least he gave it color rather than having it blank.

cycads said...

There is nothing wrong with Ahadiat Akashah as a person, of course. He might be a person of some substance, but his work is not. After all, Saddam Hussein himself wrote romance novels himself!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/1721628.stm

Y'know, variety is the spice of life. And it's great that Malay literature has its share of variety. However, it is worrying that AA's work is being used as academic text in schools, don't you think?

But what irks me a little is that the newspaper clipping posted here does not mention what AA is popular for i.e. chic lit, as if there's little scrutiny payed by the English newspaper into what he does best. In interviews with writers, a good journalist should always mention the writer's main genre, if there's an obvious one. In AA's case, there is.

As a teenager I used to read substantial stuff too; like the literary version of Beverly Hills 90210 among other things. We all make mistakes :)

Anonymous said...

What's this preoccupation with quantity? Dickens probably never wrote ten novels in his life, and yet...

JD Salinger only ever wrote one novel in his life.

They don't need to say it because over here "Malay novel" is synonymous with "small paperback teen romance".

cycads said...

"They don't need to say it because over here "Malay novel" is synonymous with "small paperback teen romance""

- Ouch.

Web Sutera said...

Numbers cannot be counted as good. For me, I don't read this kind of novels. Please don't use AA's novel as school text, nothing to be learn of. Agreed with cycads.

Kakak Tiri said...

I wonder if KPM has implemented using his novels as teaching materials for the BM Literature Component.

Goodness... I just wanna kill myself.

Web Sutera said...

Waw! Kakak tiri! What a name, hehehe. Yes, me too, kak, feel like..arghhh! What happend (ed) there at Kementerian Pelajaran?