Sunday, 24 August 2008

What I want to do with my life.

I got sent to a psychiatric ward in Derby for 3 months, and this disrupted and seriously affected m creativity. I was at my peak! I doubt whether I'll manage to get to it again. I was posting prolifically on my blog (which has since been deleted) and exchanged many opinions with an interesting kid called Gareth. My plan then was to write as many short stories as I could and read as much as I could, and spend five years at home with my parents. I then consequently wanted to live life as a tramp, travelling around the world and living a life of pleasure.

After having been sent to the psychiatric ward, I was persuaded by the doctor there to pursue a university education. After leaving the hospital and the ward, I found my creativity to be very sterile. I have, however, read excessively (on some occasions, read 6-8 hours ). I am now going to study A-levels at Chesterfield college; I don't look forward to it at all as I'm afraid it will interfere with my reading. I will drop out if I find that this is the case. If I don't drop out, I will then go on to study english literature at a university (as the psychiatrist told me to do).

In any case, my aspiration is to be a post-man and a novelist. I'd stay up at night to write my novels and I'd go out to deliver the mail in the morning. I'd then proceed to sleep in the afternoon. I'd also live as a hermit and I'd also read excessive amounts. I'll continue to write regardless of it getting published. If this isn't the case, I might live off a woman that can cook and care for me and have sex with me and live in the woods with me. This would be more convenient as it'd leave more time for my writing, and the human company may prevent me from going psychotic. I may also experiment once or twice with LSD to see what the outcome of this is, and see if it may make my writing more fertile.

Novels and short story collections I hope to write (yet have no plan for) are: See-Saw, Dream Stairs, X1, Teenage Ruminations, Psychotic Hallucinations, Strandenforp, Erotic Violence and Strange Logic.

This is a shitty post and I may delete it.

Construction and stream of consciousness

There are two different forms of stream of consciousness: one type that propagates an order and the other which is just a flow of spontaneous energy. Writers that fall into the latter category are Henry Miller, Celine and Jack Kerouac. Writers, on the hand, who fit into the former category are James Joyce, William Faulkner and Thomas Pynchon. For my own tastes, it is these writers - the writers from the former category - which are the most exciting and provide more stimulation for me.

Henry Miller and Celine describe picaresque adventures without any pretensions for assembling an order. This kind of writing, however, is quite risky as there's 50/50 chance of success. There are moments of real inspiration, but at other times one finds that half the pages aren't really necessary as there's too much repetition and monotony.

It may seem paradoxical, but the stream of consciousness technique can be applied with exhilarating results to a form of writing that assembles a construction. The best example I have encountered of this form of writing is in the novel The Sound and the Fury and, more specifically, the first two chapters of this watershed book. The technique dissects two aspects of the human condition, shattering and eschewing the accepted norms of literary convention: mental retardation and a mental breakdown leading to suicide. Benjy is unable of drawing temporal distinctions, meaning that time is fractured: all events depicting the disintegration of a southern USA family are shown in a non-chronological fashion. This perfectly captures the viewpoint of a person with development disabilities. The far more complicated character portrayed in the second section is called Quentin, and Faulkner virtuosically deconstructs the rules of grammar with the character's deteriorating state of mind. It is difficult to discern when time stops and begins as all his thoughts are latticed into one whole. Faulkner perfectly captures two very different thought patterns of mind . The third and fourth chapters shed light in what preceded them, and this makes the second reading vital. The book can be read again and again and again which is rare in the medium of a novel; it's closer to the form of poetry which also demands multiple readings.

I have yet to get to grips with James Joyce's Ulysses (let alone Finnegans Wake), but the other book of his that employs stream of consciousness and assembles an order is the wonderful A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. What I particularly like about the use of stream of consciousness in this book is how the writing style progressively matures as the character gets older, and the switch from first person to third at the very end of the book.