Thursday, 25 September 2008

Under the skin

Even the simplest of situations always have some sort of complex labyrinth underpinning them. Everything may seem functional on the surface, but under the skin there are all sorts of clashing/ contradicting emotions and thoughts spiralling all over our minds.

I love the movie Blue Velvet by David Lynch. It begins with the portrayal of an idyllic, quintessentially american suburb. Everything seems to be perfect. But the discovery of an ear triggers a crazy-paced, roller-coaster ride to the hidden depths of the imagination. David Lynch comes from an 'American dream' background, and all his films - and especially Blue Velvet - deconstruct it. In this movie, the dark side of the human condition erupts out of the apparent tranquility which predominates on the surface.

I hate superficial writing; I hate social realism and the hampstead novel. What's the whole point of depicting everything that's on the surface? Humans don't function in a logical manner; we are very complicated creatures. The writer needs to delve into the latent aspects of life: the hidden mechanisms of the inner world of the pysche.

You can't judge people with pre-conceived labels. The types of labels I encounter are found in the world of politics and amongst the teenagers that (unfortunately) surround me day after day. In the playground, there are ostensible relationships within certain 'groups'. Just because you belong to a 'mosher' elite or an 'emo' elite, it doesn't mean that your thoughts and opinions will correlate with the remainder of the people which constitute whatever group you're part of. The same applies to political issues: conservative and liberal ideologies don't dictate whatever opinions you have over a political event.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Poetry

I've set a target that I must write a poem each day at college. Within a week, I've only written two. I read in a book by Jodorowsky that it's extremely healthy to write a poem every day regardless of the quality.

They are my first attempts at poetry (I am, predominantly, a prose writer), so don't expect them to be flabbergastingly amazing. In any case, these are the poems I wrote:

Remnants of a Dead Past

Old newsreels churn out the forgotten figments of a dead past.
Memories long gone,
Cyclically repeat
In the abandoned theatre.

Latent truths about our present are terminated.
The soot and cobwebs cake the room.
Endlessly repeated images
Lead to nothing.

Remnants of a dead past linger like a dream
in the vintage storerooms of our archaic minds.

Our childhood,
My childhood,
Your childhood
Are buried within the depths of our memories.
The key to our existence
has vanished.

Memories erupt out of the constraints of the present.
Contradicting times encapsulated into the smallest of containers raise a standstill:
vexation

Order is assembled.
Chaos has crumbled.

Dancing To A Forgotten Dream

Remembrance erodes down to the pit.
Forgotten dreams enigmatically replay in the hidden depths of the mind.
Fragments cling to the surface.
But the overall picture is obliterated.

Overwhelming exhilaration for the faded sensations paves its way through onto waking life.
This manifests itself through movement:
Dancing.

Dancing to a forgotten dream.
The yearning to go back to that previous moment where all time is fractured.
Previous experiences latticed onto one whole.
Embryonic reflection.

Contrasting emotions clash against one another.
Free-flowing movement amidst the constraints of consciousness.

Two worlds collide.

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College is shit. It's exactly like the time when I was at Norton college doing a first diploma course: I am the most invisible, insignificant person there. I thought that I'd find like-minded individuals now that I'm doing A-levels, but all the people are boring fucking cunts. I hate people who are the same age as me. I spend all my breaks at the library. I don't know how I'm going to withstand this for two whole years.

I am one of hundreds. I don't mean to sound pompous and cocky, but I get the impression that I'm pretty unique. No-one else is on my wavelength. I've found a few people on the internet who are, but that's about it.... ahgrrr.

Dreams

I'd love to live in a dream throughout the whole of my life. If I had this choice, I'd take it.

I think that a writer needs to live in the world of dreams... That's the most important role of a writer. It's a terrible mistake to replicate the reality we all live in as we see it the news and in newspapers everyday.

What I love about dreams is that time is fractured: all your experiences during your past waking life are latticed and meshed together into one whole. I don't like the interpretations of dreams conceived by Freud, though. I love the strange logic of the inexplicable. My tastes in art - literature, music, film, etc. - are pretty much the same: I like it all to remain ambiguous without any superficial 'message' or' meaning' scrutinizing it. I like it all to remain cryptic and open to interpretation.

In waking life you control your mind, but in dreams the mind controls you... It's when the unconscious takes over and fucks you up...

I've come extremely close to lucid dreams in the past. I remember that I once announced 'this is a lucid dream!', but absolutely nothing happened. I've also got vague recollections of times that I'm aware I'm dreaming and nothing happening.

Waking life's enoyment is always undermined due to obligations. You need to go to work, you need to pay the bills, etc., etc. Waking life also haves the concept of success. By the time one dies living on these terms and constraints, one wouldn't have achieved anything. Tramps, for instance, achieve far more than business men or pseudo-philosophers. The only difference is that they don't have any superficial pridde. I hate it when values and ideologies predominate; I hate it when values disrupt my life of self fulfilment. In dreams, there are no economic concerns: you are your pure self 100% undiluted.

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Currently reading: 'Gravity's rainbow' by Thomas Pychon; 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time' by Mark Haddon (gotta read it for college); 'Enduring Love' by Ian McEwan (gotta read it for college); and a book of essays about J. G. Ballard

Currently listening to a 5-CD box set of Gyorgy Ligeti that I recently bought.

LAST FM

Friday, 5 September 2008

My childhood, imagination and creativity...

I used to have quite an imagination as a child living in Chile. I used my creativity for both introverted and extroverted activities: I was always inventing interesting, inventive games for everyone to play; I was drawing little picture books at the age of six; I used to create whole movies for my friends to act out; I created an entire fictional country called 'simon land'; I used to keep imaginary football prognostics based on the chilean football league where I always made my team 'Fernandez Vial win; I used to move a piece of string around and rant out an entire monologue about Superman and recorded it onto a cassette; I used to create TV stations and I'd fantasize about all the TV programmes they'd show; when I got into music, I created imaginary records inside my head....

I was a total outsider in Chile. I had bright blond hair, and I had the quintessentially British surname of 'King'. When I got to the UK at the age of 11 I was completely ostracized all over again. There's no nation in the world where I really belong to or 'identify' with. I like it that way, really. From the ages of 12 to 15, however, I hadn't really developed intellectually at all. I didn't do much at all during this period, either. I want to explore all this in my novel 'See-Saw' which I will write some time in the future. In the novel, I want to move in and out from a description of someone's childhood in the third person to a reflective description in the first person of a person having a mental breakdown which is triggered by the memories of his childhood...

I hallucinated once when I was either 4, 5 or 6 years old.... That definitely blurred the distinction between 'real' and 'fantasy' for the rest of my life. It also made me a superficially clumsy person, and it may have contributed to the disintegration of my mind and my psychotic episode at the age of 17. I was in my aunt's house in Santiago (which isn't the city where I lived) and each time my cousin shined a light on the ceiling, it opened the wall and it was accompanied by a hand and a malevolent voice. I screamed my lungs out and cried with all my energy when that occurred. I once described it as this: "The light is a path to darkness; its bright, luminous ray of hope opens a new strange world culminating in a hand, which sheds tears out of my eyes, resulting in a never-ending feel of misery".

Despite my immense imagination, I never remembered my dreams as a child. When I turned 15, and when my intellect began developing, I had absolutely flabbergasting and vivid dreams... It is these dreams which
activated my desire to write short stories/novels and make (noisy) music.

Monday, 1 September 2008

Julio Cortázar and the terrorist novel

I didn't invent the term 'terrorist novel'. I heard it used by J. G. Ballard in this excellent documentary which can be watched here.


While I'd say that Julio Cortazár's best writing can be found in his perfect short stories, he proved himself to be among the most original and ground-breaking novelists emerging from the latin-american literary boom of the '60s and '70s. He wrote 4 novels where he vigorously experimented and kept re-inventing his style. Each of his novels created furores amongst the latin-american literary establishment; each of his novels were terrorist bombs designed to re-define and broaden the horizons and possibilities of this literary medium.

Hopscotch (known in spanish as Rayuela) transgresses the literary conventions of the novel by giving the reader an option. This means that the reader's contribution is not passive as he/she is taking decisions on the direction the book takes in the same way that the writer took decisions when he wrote it. The open-ended structure leads to either a linear or non-linear reading of the book. You can either hopscotch your way through it or you can read it from beginning to end. One of the controversies Cortázar created with this book was how he infuriated feminists by calling the passive reader el lector hembra (the effeminate reader). Ultimately, this book was a terrorist novel in the way it questioned the role of the reader and its attempt to cramp as much as it possibly could into the smallest container.

62: A Model Kit disappointed many readers as it did not turn out to be a second part of Rayuela, but instead proposed an entirely new way of approaching the novel as a genre. This time Cortázar gives absolutely no instructions of how to approach the book: everything is up to the reader. The book this time follows another group of intellectuals in various european cities but, unlike Rayuela, is pessimistic in its tone as there's not the faintest trace of hope on 'the other side of the wall'. Its abrasive experimentalism turned out to be a huge failure in terms of sales, and its critics and its audience were completely perplexed by it.

Cortázar's final novel, El Libro De Manuel (which I've yet to read), caused a giant furore by upsetting both the left-wing and right-wing communities of latin-america. It was Cortázar's first political work, and it's also where he first made explicit his recent relationship with socialism and communism. The right-wingers were upset as it didn't correspond with their ideological views and opinions. Meanwhile the left-wingers found it morally wrong to write a book about the political prisoners of Argentina.

If you've yet to read this excellent writer who is not very well-known in either Europe or the USA, I suggest that you purchase the wonderful short-story collection Blow-up. They are so good, in my opinion, that they are to be put beside Poe and Borges.