Writers on Writing: The Art of the Short Story

By Maurice A. Lee | Go to book overview

Writing Tough—Staying Honest:
Challenges for a Writer in Singapore

Kirpal Singh

Writing is never easy. I mean real, good, honest writing. Writing that lives. Writing that gives a new dimension to the way we breathe, look, see, view the world. And ourselves. Through the ages men and women have written about their agonies in wanting to write the great poem, story, book, play, and all of these provide valuable lessons for the new seeker of these elusive glories. What follows is a personal narrative, a narrative that many of my fellow Singaporeans will not tend to agree with, but a narrative worth recording, if only because it illuminates, I think, one fundamental dimension of the Singaporean literary experience.

Singapore is a tiny island nation, so tiny that on most world maps it tends not to be too visible. Once, in an angry response, a former president of Indonesia (a republic of over 7,000 islands with more than 360 million people!) referred to Singapore as “that irritating red dot!” So, what does living in a dotlike environment portend for writers? Well, I am not sure what it portends for other writers (and there are at least four major recognized languages in which Singaporean writers write!—English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil), but for me—lots.

Living in a small place, I am told, often breeds small minds. This is where even gossip kills. A small place invites us to be petty, suspicious, narrowminded, closed, arrogant, and smug. Most of these apply to us, I think. Of course we would be the first to protest if these epithets were publicly stated, as we did when the Malaysian—our northern neighbor's—ambassador to Singapore criticized us for being an arrogant people perhaps his diplomatic

-85-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Writers on Writing: The Art of the Short Story
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 248

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.