When it comes to things literary, I can be a snob at times. It is seldom (very seldom indeed) that I get excited about the work of writers who are not yet dead. And if the writer happens to be younger than I am, hails from Malaysia and hasn’t got a book to his name, it’s likely I’ll never notice him till he kicks the bucket – twice.
But my days of literary snobbery are over! In a Facebook status update recently, a dear old friend asked me to have a look-see at his son’s blog, ‘Hold That Pose’. Frankly, I went in not expecting to see anything new. However, I ended-up reading the blog from beginning to end, immersed in each word as if they were the sweet, calming breath of a long lost beloved.
His prose took me on coastal road tours of familiar places long forgotten as well as on scary aerobatic flights at at altitudes I never knew I would ever scale. In the end, to say that the view that he showed me was breath-taking would be an understatement.
Arief Hamizan, the owner of Hold that Pose, is easily the most formidable talent I seen in a very, very long time. That he is young is neither here nor there. He writes with a maturity that belies his age; he writes as if he is an old soul that has been cruelly reincarnated in a young body. In another time and place I have no doubt that Arief Hamizan would be our equivalent of Hemingway, Twain, Kerouac, Bourdain and Fitzgerald – all rolled into one.
What do I like most about Arief Hamizan? He writes with such uncanny honesty that it makes the reader question his own. Arief Hamizan doesn’t write to impress anyone; Arief Hamizan doesn’t understand why he would need to. To be candid, I think he’d rather drill a hole in his head before writing in this way. Instead, he writes about the things that he sees, in the way that he sees them.
And I most definitely like what I am seeing. Naturally, I urge everyone to give Arief Hamizan a twirl.
Well, almost everyone. Those that write primarily to impress others will be well advised to give Arief Hamizan a pass. If you do read him, you’ll probably regret it for the rest of your lives.