|*Ever take it off any sweet jumps?*
||[Apr. 15th, 2004|04:19 pm]
|||||Born to Run - Springsteen (running through my head)||]|
Walked down to the library last night with Alicia and Stacey. Got '365 Buddha', 'The Music of Your Life: Stories'/John Yeowell', and a CD of Leonard Bernstein performing symphonic suites from 'Candide', 'On The Town', 'West Side Story', and 'On The Waterfront'. Fell asleep listening to the 'On The Waterfront' track (it's 20 minutes long), the liner notes described it as a tone poem to New York, alternating from a very optimistic sound in the opening to a very brash dissonant theme of violence and then ending with a sense of victory yet hopelessness towards the future.
Hung out at Davis-Kidd after the library. I read an article on writing by Michael Chabon for my Ind. Study. It was based off of his research of golems he incorporated into 'The Adventures of Kavalier & Klay'. The golem is the artist's creation that is a living breathing thing that has the potentiality to, and usually does, kill his creator. Frankenstien's monster is a variation on this traditionally clay monster. The golem is Adam, a man made from clay in his creator's image. It's an inevitablity that this creation will turn on his creator, renounce or kill him (in our instance, ideologically we reduce God to nothingness). What does this have to do with writing? Chabon says that when a writer is working at his most honest he is creating stories that have an element of risk and danger in them. He refers to his first novel 'The Mysteries of Pittsburgh' and how he thought people might assume he was gay, his second novel 'Wonder Boys' and thinking people would think he smoked pot all the time, and the short story 'Green's Book' (in 'Werewolves in Their Youth') and its incestual elements. The idea of the whole essay is that we aren't writing honestly (i.e. writing anything that anyone would want to read) if we don't feel threatened by the golem we produce. There must be the chance that the story could crush us at any moment under its emotional and spiritual weight.
That said, I've been feeling very internally conflicted as of late. It's strange how the same thing that can bring you the must fulfilling and beautiful happiness can also drag to the depths and give you pounding headaches (I'm not talking about writing here, writing for me is such a peripheral thing, living matters more). I got another one last night and popped more pills till I passed out around 11pm. It's bad that my stress and confusion causes me to write more than when I'm happy and content. About 2 & 1/2 years ago I put together a concept collection of stories. For me, I think of short story collections as albums, there should be a reason each piece is there to begin with and a reason that is placed where it is. My first collection was composed of a 80 page notebook I titled "Before I Die..." I thought what kind of stories would I want to tell people if I was going to die at the end of the summer (when I wrote them all). Kind of morbid, yes but it added to the immediacy and richness of the stories. I'm thinking of writing a second one, using the title "Everything You Say About Me Is True", the line came from a friend's ex-girlfriend responding to comments that she was a "slut" and a "schizo". That line has always stuck out to me with its sense of paradox. Not everything someone says about you can be true because they can contradict themselves. But, we're such multi-layered people it could be true at the same time. I have about six/seven brief story concepts that all kind of play around with the Self in juxtaposition to various things (parents, past, craft, solitude, etc.).
I was thinking about how my appetite is fading. Since I was incredibly sick in January, my hunger hasn't been the same. I think it's more than physical though. I feel so tired from the routine of eating everyday, tired of all the routines, that's why I probably eat the same thing almost everyday (if it's going to be a routine than let's make it as monotonous as hell). I feel like I've fed my soul everything I can. It's like a starving baby that keeps crying out of hunger. I've done all I can, I can't give it anymore. It reminds me of Kafka's "The Hunger Artist":
"I always wanted you to admire my fasting," said the hunger artist.
"We do admire it," said the overseer, affably.
"But you shouldn't admire it," said the hunger artist.
"Well, then we don't admire it," said the overseer, "but why shouldn't we admire it?"
"Because I have to fast, I can't help it," said the hunger artist.
"What a fellow you are," said the overseer, "and why can't you help it?"
"Because," said the hunger artist, lifting his head a little and speaking, with his lips pursed, as if for a kiss, right into the overseer's ear, so that no syllable might be lost, "because I couldn't find the food I liked. If I had found it, believe me, I should have made no fuss and stuffed myself like you or anyone else."
These were his last words, but in his dimming eyes remained the firm though no longer proud persuasion that he was still continuing to fast.
Franz Kafka, "A Hunger Artist"