Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Fiction/art that draws ideas from reality remains fiction in the same way that reality which draws from fiction remains reality. I really fucking hate it when moronic cunts put a strong emphasis on the societal aspects of a work of fiction. For instance, take James Joyce's Dubliners or the enture oevure by Faulkner: although these works of fiction were inspired by events that occured in the real world, they still stand on their own as aesthetic works of fiction and can be enjoyed whilst ignoring the elements of 'reality' in them.
I hate values and morals. What's the fucking point in imposing these restrictions and limitations on a life which is meant to be lived to its fullest potential? It may sounds hedonistic and selfish, but self-fulfilment exceeds outer fulfilment. People that follow political events and discern a distinction between reality and fiction are solely interested in group development. Solitary pursuits surpass those pursued by groups of people that are interested in abolishing poverty or pathetic bollocks like that.
My blog entries never turn out like what I envision them to be like.
I urge you to read the introduction to J. G. Ballard's Crash or watch David Cronenberg's Videodrome to get a better idea of what I attempted to convey.
Saturday, 15 November 2008
Argentinian writer Roberto Arlt's writing is 'bad' and 'rough', but so what? I can't fucking stand it when writing is deemed less inferior by the dubious reason of it lacking enough 'clarity'. In the case of Arlt, his 'unclarity' is the writing's main strength. I prefer it when writing is more ambiguous, messy and blurred. Cormac Mcarthy is a great example of this: he doesn't use speechmarks, semi-colons and omits a lot of apostrophes. If it's not 'undeliberate unclarity', I also love it when writers consciously deconstruct the structure and form of grammar: Faulkner, Joyce, etc.
'Rough' writing is far more direct and unpretentious and gets down to the main point. I can't fucking stand overblown, flowery language which looks down at rough writing which stands as it is. With 'rough' writing, it is far more harder to discern what's goin' on and results in a far more enjoyable reading experience. I love the novel A Clockwork Orange, for instance, because of this very reason: it's a big strain to read.
I fucking despise academic criteria which acts as the most 'valid' judgement of what makes something good or bad. I hate it when groups of people reach decisions which supress the individual; I hate it when 'high' art is deemed to be more prestigious than 'low'; I hate it when you have to respect everything 'equally' in order for it to be (again) 'valid' or 'fair': if you have something to say, you fucking say it regardless of the outer implications.
Friday, 14 November 2008
J. G. Ballard - He dissects our culture with a perfect scientist's-eye precision. He ilogically uses logic to make 2 + 2 make 5 in an incredibly perverse, deviant manner. He constantly builds an equilibrium between waking life and dreams, and, as a consequence of this, unveils the hidden mechanisms of the human mind.
William Faulkner - He vigorously attacks subject matter from all angles at once. His novels are an intricate maze where time is fractured, making the second and third and fourth reading vital in order to shed light on what preceded the final chapters. He employs a masterful use of the stream of consciousness technique in order to understand the human condition which is in a state of deterioration in the south of the USA.
Paul Auster - A storyteller of supreme originality and unprecedented power. His most predominant theme is that of arbitrary and co-incidental events. All his characters are seekers who are looking for some sort of truth who are caught up amidst these 'arbitrary' events. Auster fuses these metaphysical and existential issues with the metric pace of crime thrillers to put this across. As a critic somewhere said, he is 'an experimental writer who is also compulsively readable.'
Jorge Luis Borges - His work is endlessly re-readable: his short-stories can be read again and again with the exact same feeling of sheer amazement. He renovated language, and introduced a way of thinking that had never been conjured up before. He read everything, so he consequently took all his literary knowledge for an intellectual game-play that modified the past. His main themes are labyrinths and infinity, and he interjects his themes into a number of settings: fictional essays, realism, fantasy, parables, poems,etc.
Juan Rulfo - He makes you feel the poverty and wretched hopelessness of rural Mexico in the first half of 20th century. He gets this done extremely well with either an incredibly simplistic approach or an incredibly complex approach. He employs a linear narrative in the short story collection The Burning Plain but, like Faulkner, in Pedro Páramo he makes time fractured as all the action is set in a ghost town, which ultimately means that there is no discernible beginning or end because the characters are dead and no longer have a sense of time. I urge you to read him if you enjoyed Marquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Julio Cortázar - He replicates the games we all played in childhood with a forthright use of humour. He consequently implements themes taken from childhood into the kind of intellectual game-play set out by Borges, but shrouds it with a deceptively 'realist' setting. These fantastic elements are concealed enigmatically until they finally erupt out of its self-imposed constraints, and have a characteristic which is rare in the short story form (the form which he mastered the most): they seem to question the reader, and seek to involve him/her in the narrative.
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - His novels are absolutely engrossing right from the very beginning to the very end. He was the precursor to 20th century literature; he was the person who established all the themes that were to be developed by the leading existential thinkers; he was ahead of his time. All the novels I've read by him have imprinted an awe in me, and this sensation of amazement has lingered unsettlingly in the back of my mind.
Thomas Pynchon - He attempts to cramp the most disparate of elements into a very large container. He's a post-modernist James Joyce who apologetically and violently and abrasively experiments with form. He branches out to many non-literary themes - physics, mathematics, pornography - to achieve an encyclopedic scope and range. His novels are allegedly 'overwritten', but this ambition results in an incredibly rewarding read which is unprecedented by any writer having preceded him
Juan Carlos Onetti - Passionately unpassionate. I can completely relate with his laziness and his indifference to the rest of the world. I can also relate with his way of looking at 'the other side of things'. He created an imaginary realm called 'Santa Maria' where he intermingled fantasy and reality thus creating 'magic realism'. All his protagonists are anti-heroes, and they are lazy and hopeless cases: people like me.
Saturday, 8 November 2008
The most precious, rarest thing in the world is silence and it is unfortunately impossible to obtain. How will I ever get any time to get some reading or maybe even writing done? If it's not fireworks, it's fucking lawn-mowers.... agrhh.
I can't wait to live in my own... If it's not mechanical noises, it's noise emanating out of fucking people and televisions.
This is also why I spend so much time listening to music. It helps to cover fucking noise up, but it's a hindrance to my creativity.
I'm attempting to immerse myself in Thomas Mann's 'Doctor Faustus', but it's turning out to be fucking impossible.
Thursday, 6 November 2008
I stopped using my diary entries as an emotional outlet, and instead devoted my time solely to my blog. I exchanged many thoughts with a kid called Gareth and Doug. In my posts I was eschewing the distinction between high and low art as well as the academic definition of mental health and psychosis; I even mentioned that psychosis was a favourable state to be in. Unfortunately, all these life-changing posts got deleted and replaced with 'Simon King's no longer conventionally mad' where all my thoughts veered to a psychotic and paranoid state of mind. But only one post was fortunately saved and it was entitled Don't Live In A Boring World which can be read here. I was in such a ecstatic state that I stayed up for three days because I was so amazed that I was incapable of sleeping; I ran up and down the house with my thoughts spiralling towards all directions.
My far-fetched thoughts, unfortunately, got progressively more and more ludicrous. I won't go into them now, but I will write about them soon in a book entitled P. I. C. U.
I believe that I would have been better off without psychiatric intensive care. I had a similar episode once before with all sorts of paranoid and suspicious thoughts, and I got over it. But what I think was the worst thing about having all this intensive care is that it seriously disrupted my creativity which was at its peak. I'm certain that had I not been sent to the intensive care unit that I would within days get to grips with things and subsequently get down to writing short stories and maybe even novels.
I look at the writing before my episode and I look at my writing that I made after my episode, and it seems that I seem to be getting worse. When I first started 'Simon King's Written Outpourings' in July 2007 I wrote rather formidable minature essays, but I'm no longer capable of doing that now.
The very first post of 'Simon King's no longer conventionally mad' started like this. I wrote this a year ago today. My parents printed out bits of this blog and showed it to me at the Derby psychiatric unit. I'm typing it out from a page I have in front of me. It was aimed at the people from my old school who I thought were following my blog and laughing at me. It had the rather odd title of 'For anyone........... validating my ambiguity (I've got a certain sense people are reading me':
I think that I want to add this post to clarify any (if there were any) doubts regarding my mental condition. I deleted this blog in a flurry of emotion, until I realised that it was a wrong thing to do. I thought it all over and realised that there well may be people feeling 'sorry' for me, thinking that the world of the imagination is 'all I have'; it's actually to me having a childhood hallucination that is due to this. This is why I have an inexplicable fascination for 'strangeness' that can't be articulated in a 'normal' fashion. This is also why I've been incapable of learning basic, basic, basic rudiments. I've been trying as hard as I can to make myself, though. If I learn scientific processes, then I will at least get an understanding of logic. When I wrote my so-called novel I knew it was shit, but I knew that if I tried as hard as I fucking could, then I'd at least learn something. I want to deviate with the reality I see. I want to make my reality strange. I also want to look into the future - guess an 'answer', like Ballard has done. I want to get into the most politically incorrect wavelength of thinking to create a 'terrorist' novel, to fuck with 'smug' values. I want to test people's values of reality, which I consider to be wrong. I want people to find answers to themselves via unconventional tendencies (which reside in dreams or drug-induced fantasies). I find the vast majority of fiction I've read to be boring fucking bullshit; I never did anything 'intellectual' as a kid 'coz I didn't know that my cerebral activities were 'intellectual'. My parents are quite liberal-minded, so there was always an option to explore this terrain of 'unconvention'....
I wrote more after that, but it's been lost. Doug, after reading this, asked this question:
'Oh, and SK, I have a question.
Regarding the first post on this zombie blog, do you consider your actual circumstances to be... special, so to speak, or is it more the fact that you have come to the realisation of a truth that exists for most people, but they don't and never will realise it?'
Monday, 3 November 2008
If I were intoduced to football now I'd think it'd be the most idiotic thing on earth, but I maintain an interest in it as it brings up feeling of nostalgia within me. One of the pivotal moments in my life was the 1998 world cup where Chile participated. We would have beaten Italy if it hadn't been for an idiotic decision from the bastard referee.
Chile are now doing brilliantly with Marcelo Bielsa as their manager. They beat Argentina for the very first time! However, I'm also feeling rather depressed at the moment because Fernandez Vial, the team I supported, have gone down to the third division. Some similarly appaling news is that Argentina have hired Maradona as their manager: jesus christ! They heading towards a downward spiral with that decision. When I was young I had an enourmous love for Argentina, and I placed them as my second favourite team after Chile. It annoys the hell out of me how everyone has chosen to forget the Argentinian squad that went out on quarter-finals at the last world cup. They played beautiful, artistic football. They were also, in my opinion, the second best team of all time after Brazil 1970.
I also invented imaginary football prognostics as a child. It was like an artistic outlet; it was somewhat similar to what I imagine musical compositon to be like: very mathematical and intricate. In this imaginary realm, I always made my team Fernandez Vial win.
Saturday, 1 November 2008
An updated version of this post.
See-Saw – An experimental novel which switches in and out from a first person perspective to a third person perspective. The first person perspective is a mental breakdown ignited by the memories of a childhood described in the third person.
Dream Stairs – A novel which shall follow ‘dream logic’. There will be bizarre situation after situation, blurring any discernible distinction between what are dream scenarios and waking life scenarios.
X1 – A collection of short stories which shall be written at a later period of my life.
Teenage Ruminations – A compendium of all my writing from the ages of 16 to 19: short stories, poems, diary entries, blog entries, etc. This will also come with an introduction explaining my circumstances and my time spent at the psychiatric ward and other biographical details.
Psychotic Hallucinations –A companion piece for ‘Dream Stairs’. This time there will be another sequence of bizarre events, but they will all solely take place in waking life. The protagonist is an unreliable narrator who is homelessly wandering around the streets. The state of mind of the character - and the structure of the novel - progressively disintegrates until death.
Strandenforp – A collection of short stories which shall all take place in the fictional town of ‘Strandenforp’. This collection will be along the similar vein of Ray Bradbury’s ‘Martian Chronicles’ and J. G. Ballard’s ‘Vermilion Sands’: shorts stories built amidst the same theme.
Erotic Violence – A group of people perform sexual intercourse in the most extreme circumstances and situations. There will be very graphic descriptions of sex. It will all be inspired by Ballard’s ‘Crash’.
Strange Logic – A complex, challenging, ambitious novel which will be around 600 pages long. There will be many different threads of narrative which intersect and weave around one another. It will be inspired by Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, and the fragmented structure of Ballard’s ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ and the work of Burroughs. Some writing constraints, adopted from Georges Perec, will be employed. Stream of consciousness writing will also be interspersed amongst these constructed constraints.P. I. C. U. – A straightforward autobiographical account of my time spent in the Derby psychiatric intensive care unit.
'Fuck sake man, stop planning your life out like this. It's sad and pathetic to
talk about all you're going to do when you and me both know you're never gonna
fucking do it. Actualy I'll rephrase that, you're never gonna do EXACTLY THIS.
You're never gonna live the exact stupid presumption of a future you've created,
you could live something similar, better, worse, completely different, anything.
But you aren't going to live the exact life set out in this and some older posts.
And don't say "well duh I'm not gonna live this exact life" because you make these
planning-my-life-out posts for a reason. If it's not because they represent your
fantasy ideal of a future (and that's what it is, the whole romanticised notion
of a travelling hobo artist is so corny and self absorbed) then what is it, why
do you make them? Why do you plan this shit out? Why don't you go do something,
just do it, and let life surprise you? Why the fuck do you have to write THESE
books and be at THOSE points in your life during THOSE time periods? Are you
trying to prove yourself? Trying to set preemptive standards and goals, or
telling yourself that eventually you will have achieved all you desire at this
point in time? So to you, life is your exact desires at this point in time and
nothing more - not a bad thing in itself - but you desire what you believe will
become of you in the future. You just look forward to it in a starry eyed "I'm
gonna be so great" way, and occasionally wank around with a bit of writing or
whatever you do to convince yourself that these goals are progressing. You're
so absorbed in the idea that everything great is gonna happen in the future that
you're ignoring now to some extent.
And what baffles me is, you of all people should know that this is all vain,
that time and the notion of status, rank and progress is irrelevent, that life
is the malleable oblique moment. And yet you insist on writing these stupid "when
I grow up, I'm gonna be THIS!" posts. Why? It's fucking retarded. What, do writing
those particular books give you status? Do they serve your self-perception of a
reclusive individualist who demolishes convention because he's so smart and great?
Do they maintain the bubble? Why do you insist on grooming your public/self
(whichever it is) perception in that way? Are all these questions coming from
the wrong angle? It's just so weird, that you would look at yourself in such a vain,
fantastical, dreamy sort of way, fantasising about how great you're gonna be, then
you turn around and say all that vegetation crap is garbage and that you gotta be
on the edge of your senses at all times with no regard for time, social status, etc.
You know looking at yourself in terms of how great you're gonna be is the same as
yearning for good social status?'