How do you know?

What would a perfect piece of literature read like? The kind that can move me to tears and make Gordon Ramsay kneel in front of it?

i am young and there are many titles i am yet to read. will i know, when i read something, that what my eye perceives and my mind decides to see is the most flawless transmutation of thought?
In middle school, I scored a flimsy, greasy score of 96 on 100. my disappointment wasn’t one which held curtain to chants and curses of the teacher’s conspiracy to fail me in the subject; rather it was one which was afraid the teacher had been unable to follow the quintessence of my writing through. Having gone through countless mediocre examination papers, even if shiny lustrous black unicorns with a horned knight atop with a crown of fire threatened to impale her, I doubt she’d have paid much attention. Teachers have deadlines to correct these papers, you know. They can’t go on forever.
‘You will never be perfect in literature. Whatever you write, there will always be a better way to say it.’
That did become one of the reasons why I picked Sanskrit over Hindi, the other being that it is hailed as the mother of all European languages and is considered the perfect language to code in. It remains one of the things you should experience once before you die. given what poorly translated death Urdu is dying, the impulse to take to learning Sanskrit and give the Bhagvad Gita lying at home a shot at translation seemed an obvious progression.
But can language be used to achieve the zenith of perfection? As a medium of expression, it is a tool to help communicate, as good as another that heats your food.
Which can kill people too. The Flame Dial from One Piece.

Which can kill people too.

But while there is an optimum performance that you can expect of your special mysterious food heating machine (Luffy would approve– but who cares about microwaves when you can’t eat them anyway?)
And there does exist a compendium of ideal features of such a tool, could the same be true for words?
Over centuries, in various styles, rhythms, lengths and moods words have lulled, assured, enthralled, horrified, informed and sickened; so the optimum performance for our grand old alphabet does exist. but what about the zenith?
is there one?
Purists often claim there can be nothing like perfect literature and a lot of people seem to agree, but how do you know?
How could you possibly prove that out of all that has been recorded till date, nothing is perfect?
We claim perfection is unattainable. How do you know?
Maybe simply because just as many people there are are as many definitions of the word.

2 thoughts on “How do you know?

  1. Hi Ritika,
    With art and literature it is difficult to judge, as so much of it is subjective, and depends upon one’s tastes and experience. I suppose you can tell if a movie is really good or really bad, but perfect? And you can almost always find someone who will sit through the worst movie. I think the same can be said of art. Who is fit to judge?
    Thank you for a very interesting post. I love your use of storytelling and personal experience to shed light on this topic.

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