The Tale of the Missing Manuscript

July 27, 2007 at 5:46 PM | Posted in Musings, Writing | 1 Comment
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Browsing through iGoogle today got me thinking of my unfinished autobiography. There’s a How-to article there about writing an autobiography and instantly I remembered that I once started writing my autobiography back when I was still in college. That time, I loved the idea of writing an autobiography of my own and chronicling the events that happened in my life. I thought then that it would be a way for me to tell my story. So that’s what I did. I tried recalling things and events that happened during my childhood and wrote them down on paper. I was able to write a few pages somehow but then I got busy with my thesis and I just didn’t have the time so it was eventually forgotten.

I’ve been meaning to continue writing it when I started working but because I now live in Manila and I left the manuscript back home in the province, I wasn’t able to. Then a series of unfortunate events happened: my family decided to renovate some portions of our provincial house and some of my and my sister’s stuff (including drafts of my writing) got misplaced or thrown out — not to mention I forgot where I’ve kept the manuscript in the first place! And so that was it. My manuscript was lost — gone forever. It’s such a shame because I liked what I wrote there. Now if (or when) I want to write my autobiography again, I have to start from scratch.

How Embarrassing for Penguin Books

July 20, 2007 at 2:06 PM | Posted in Books | 1 Comment
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You would think that a big publishing company that publishes classic novels would instantly spot a plagiarized work of one of the world’s best known English authors. But apparently, this was not the case.

Penguin Books and several other publishers failed to recognize that the manuscript recently submitted to them by a certain David Lassman contained Jane Austen’s most famous line in her classic novel, Pride and Prejudice: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”

The Guardian newspaper reported that Lassman, who is the chief of the Bath-based
Jane Austen Festival, intentionally submitted the manuscript to check if the famous author could have landed a book deal nowadays. The said manuscript contained thinly disguised portions of Jane Austen’s three famous works including the famous line from Pride and Prejudice (Read the full story here.).

How could the major publishing houses missed this? The editors who reviewed the manuscript must have been so embarrassed by this error. It is laughable indeed! Austen’s most famous line was blatantly plagiarized and they didn’t even notice it! And I’m amazed that even J.K. Rowling’s literary agents were not able to recognize the plagiarized work!

Dracula’s Castle, Anyone?

July 19, 2007 at 11:38 AM | Posted in History, Travel | Leave a comment
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Just found out from the news yesterday that the Bran Castle — popularly known as Dracula’s Castle — is up for sale for an estimated price of $135 million. The castle’s owner, Archduke Dominic von Habsburg, who is the son of the late Romanian Princess Ileana, said that maintenance of the castle has become costly and he and his family are willing to sell it to someone who will respect and continue to preserve its history.

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Photo courtesy of AboutRomania.com

This medieval castle, which was built in 1377, has 57 rooms and a secret passageway that leads up to the watch towers. It is situated atop a rocky hill that overlooks the village of Bran bordering between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is currently being used as a museum and is Romania’s top tourist attraction. It was said that Vlad the Impaler stayed in this castle for one night back in the 1400s.

It would be interesting to visit this place. I’d like to see this castle myself someday. Just to roam around the castle and look at its interiors including its collection of antique furniture and other pieces of medieval art would be a thrilling experience.  I bet it would be pretty exciting (not to mention scary!) to sleep in one of the rooms of the castle even for just one night.

Show Me the Sequel!

July 18, 2007 at 10:33 AM | Posted in Movies, TV | Leave a comment

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Image courtesy of users.ox.ac.uk

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the sequel to The X-Files movie is in the works. Yeah, right! I — along with millions of X-Philes — have been hearing this news since forever! When will they finally start shooting?! This has been delayed long enough. David Duchovny keeps saying that the shooting will start soon. But when really?! Unless post production of the film is being done, I won’t take this news as groundbreaking.

A Song for Today

July 12, 2007 at 3:58 PM | Posted in Music | 1 Comment
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Here’s one good song that I’ve been itching to listen to these past couple of weeks. It’s by an ’80s artist named Midge Ure. The song is called “Dear God.” I had a hard time looking for this song because I wasn’t so sure of the correct title (aside from the fact that this is one of those hard-to-find songs). I used to hear this song a lot during my high school and college days, back when I used to listen to radio shows that played Hits of the ’80s. Since then, it has become one of the new wave songs that I love listening to.

I really love this song because of its beat and also because of its meaningful lyrics. The song sends a powerful message, sort of like a wakeup call to everyone about what’s happening to our world today.

Check out its lyrics:

Dear God
(by Midge Ure)

Dear God, is there somebody out there?
Is there someone to hear my prayer?
I’m a simple man with simple words to say
Is there some point in asking?
Asking for more only got us where we are today
Lost and alone and afraid

Give me, love for the lonely
Give me, food for the hungry
Give me, peace in a restless world
Give me, hope for the children
Give me, a worldwide religion
Give me, peace in a restless world

Dear God, can you hear me crying?
A whole world crying
Looking for something to say
We had it all and we threw it all away
Is there somebody watching?
Somebody watching over the mess that we’ve made
We’re lost and alone and afraid

Give me, love for the lonely
Give me, food for the hungry
Give me, peace in a restless world
Give me, hope for the children
Give me, a worldwide religion
Give me, peace in a restless world

And we need to know there’s something good
Though all our years of solitude go on and on and on…

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