Friday, September 12, 2003

i'm on drugs, la la 

since my apparently successful surgery i've actually had time to read. needed rain seeping through dense painkillers or just pain ("just pain," she says). i imagine Conrad & Maggie, though already likely at their destination, that sustained surreal hum across the continent. the mirage of salt beds, the dilating drive toward the western sun. i hear N. Merchant's surreptitiously condemning yet haunting/comforting *Motherland* as well as my, what, six or more turns at those mantric highways, once done singly and sunk in profound color and silence (but for the Hum). that geography, death of my father's hero (Cash), politics of this week or the past two years, form almost a melancholic slide show of catastrophic data & stunning imagery of this country/side in my noggin.

that aside – i’ve been reading for the first time *The Black Book* by Durrell, one of my most squirmingly authors. it was his first, written at age 24, poetic & sentimental (though, imo, not to a fault). and Conrad, my dear friend, and thank you for your thoughtful post on fiction (writers/poets), this guy was and remained a poet before and during his novel writing years, though i've not yet got my eyes on that. i'm finding, as usual with my Durrell readings, his passages resonate on many levels simultaneously & i as well find a queer personal synchronicity. in any event, want to share a bit of him here if that's okay. mindful of razing & regrowth process afoot/back.

“You will find written on me all those symptoms of strain that you can see on the faces of old actors. There is no variation from the magnetic north of artifice. Touch me, there is absolutely no charge. Observe, I am utterly metamorphic, I fall away in long rotten flakes.”

this passage after his lament of being forced to write about the putrid Self & that chaotic process. page prior (p1 90):

“Lies, all lies. My disease is the disease of the dwarf. To make myself plausible I am forced into a sort of self-magnification of action, of thought. I am forced to make myself transcend reality.”


“There is no room for the classy irony with which I have treated the theme hitherto, which is almost my only literary wear. The moon is shining on these pages. Your genuine ironist is never grilled solely on the iron of pride, as I am grilled. The green fountain which starts from this pen is poisoned at source. False irony; a mask baked down tight over the real interplay of facial muscles. God, to find words which would bite down, right down to the pure lustral source from which perfect action flows.”

i suppose i could make a long & likely boring essay of this, which i probably am w/ my own convoluted novel (tho not concerning L.D.), though i think this a tangent more to do with closing chapters or pruning, conscious decisions To Be Done With and To Forge. as my friend Magdalena heads Pacific, or i cut out my endearingly psychopathic homunculus. and those others with their own more or less substantial transmutations.

or does this also include tangent re: disclaimer or further discussion of impetus to write "the self" in a time when Confessional and Sentimental etc. is oft considered passé or just downright obnoxious when sans artifice in the masking/trickery sense? oh christ, we all write our personal myths anyway, in whatever form or capacity, and my blathering...
but the diazepam has semi-engaged; i am suddenly concerned more with the corporeal horizon than with making Words or Sense, as i gaze at the pale sky out my window. i'm dreaming of sealing a typewriter key in a helium balloon but the wind never seems to blow westward from my place.


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