Friday, 24 October 2008

How can people be satisfied with so little?

I can't understand how most humans scorn and reject anything different, new and exciting. I'm not pessimistic about the human condition; I share the same ideology as Beckett: I believe that the indivudual is constantly scrutinized by society and, as a consequence of this, must fight for his own quest of self-fulfilment however painful it might be. This is an optimistic attitude to have.

Life is there to be lived to its fullest potential. Most people shun the wonderful opportunities of experience, and instead opt for comfort: stay at home and iron and watch TV. As a consequence of this, there are many remote edges left and these are the places where I go to. I go to the woods, parks, countrysides; I go to these wonderful places which are just for me.

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Discipline and targets

Discipline

There are two types of writers. There are those who are incredibly well-organised, work for extensive hours, and follow a carefully organised routine and schedule. Then there are those who are lazy and lethargic, write only when a surge of inspiration comes, and live chaotic and unstructed lives. I unfortunately fall into the latter category but, unlike most people that fall into this category, aspire to fall into the former category.

I only write excessive amounts only when I am emotionally/mentally fucked up. I used to write reams every day (although they were mainly diary entries)! After I got discharged from the psychiatric ward, I have found it difficult to discipline myself to write because, now that I am mentally stable, the only way I can get writing done is by sitting down and forcing myself to do so.

Mario Vargas Llosa is very disciplined, and I envy him. His novels are all intricately well-researched and organised; everything is in its place. Then you get writers like Juan Carlos Onetti who is (or was) on the same boat as me, but the only difference is that his intuition and talent is better than mine.

Targets

I never fulfill the targets I set out for myself: the other week, I only spent one day/night and a half instead of two at the woods; in the first week of college I set out to write a poem every day, but ended up writing a mere two; I only read thirty pages of Gravity's Rainbow each day instead of the 50 I set myself to read; I was going to read 100 pages of literature every day, but this never came to fruition.

At the rate I'm going now, I'll never get to write any of the novels I have pathetically envisioned in my dumb-little-teenage-cunt-head. My life spent as a novelist: wishful thinking.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Alone

From childhood's hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.

I really identify with this poem by Poe. I can spend months and months without meeting or talking to a single individual. I find most people to be incredibly dull; I don't have anything in common with virtually anyone. I am a complete recluse.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

The people on my bedroom wall

On my wall I have a photograph of me at the age of 8 with my hero Themo Lobos, a picture of Igor Stravinsky, a picture of J. G. Ballard, two pictures of Mark E. Smith, a picture of Borges, a picture of Julio Cortázar, and an image of Paul Auster. I have also got an image which is a compendium of Themo Lobos' drawing accompanied by his signature and a comment as well as paintings by Hieronymous Bosch and Willem De Kooning.

I have met some of these people in several, different ways. Life is full of co-incidental, arbitrary experiences which interrelate us all together. I aspire some day to get somewhere close to the artistic standard all these people have achieved.

My father contacted the legendary children's comic-book artist Themo Lobos to come over to stay at our house, but, more crucially, to give talks to the students of the school my father taught at and that I attended. I literally spent all the time reading and re-reading his comic books; he was the author of my favourite strips 'Mampato', 'Maximo Chambonez' and 'Alaraco' among others. They were very sophisticated for children's comic strips. They have the same element of The Simpsons: you can re-visit it all when you're older and discover certain jokes that went over your head the first time around. Themo Lobos spent almost a week in our house and I was flabbergasted by his relentless quest for knowledge and discovery. It was somehow similar to Borges' child-like fascination for literature that never diminished with old age - not at all erudite, but very inquisitive and curious.

My contact with J. G. Ballard is far more disturbing and enigmatic; I'm not even sure if he does or doesn't know who I am. It's so disturbing that I don't feel like writing about it, but there's still an unconscious, niggling desire for me to do so. I spent 3 days awake in an ecstatic state; I just got the large bedroom which my sister left and I'd gotten to the pivotal moment of my life. I was posting on my blog, and I was running up and down the stairs of my house in amazement. Then my mother took me away and fucked my mind up by igniting my psychotic episode. She told me stuff which made the world seem infinite as if the gates of heaven were opening; she gave me some sort of drug/tablet, and kept telling me 'think clear thoughts, Simon' over and over again. I was very vulnerable due to the lack of sleep, so I naively went along with it. The medicine was having some sort of effect on my brain. I was looking for some sort of answer until I screamed my heart out: CRASH, CRASH, CRASH, CRASH!!! The title of the only Ballard book I'd read at the time. It seemed that this book had disturbed my mind and had somehow clinged to my unconscious, and was now manifesting itself through my screaming. At the time I wanted to fuck my old english teacher up by killing her husband who was a mathematics teacher and start deluding her by making her think she was seeing things from a mathematical perspective (this was more of a aesthetic proposition I was making to the police rather than a literal one) which would eventually kill her. I also deleted my 'Simon King's Written Outpourings' blog and replaced it with 'Simon King's not conventionally mad' and used this new blog as some sort of way to prove my english teacher wrong and beat her at her own game. After I screamed 'Crash' out my mother told me that my english teacher had in fact killed herself after hearing my poignant screaming and that her husband was seeking some sort of mathematical answer. She consequently gave me some pen and paper and told me to write. Here is when I did the dumbest fucking thing: my hand started moving without my control and it seemed like Ballard's writing; he was writing something along the lines of 'I was trying to show [with crash] what young people like Simon are drawn to and are capable of doing' until I intercepted his movement of my hand by writing 'from Simon's point of view (again). Dream Fadeout [the novel which was meant to kill her] was an illusion. I wanted her to be shocked'... and I continued on and writing incoherent rubbish. To this day, I'm convinced that Ballard was somehow moving my hand via the drug I'd taken. Then, after this, I started thinking that my english teacher and the girl I swooned over with my writing were somehow in my house and that we were all going to have some sort of sick, twisted sex with me. I stroked my penis, and they appeared in my room. I stayed in bed while they both sat in my room around me. The girl [which I had manipulated in my pretentious novel 'Dream fadeout'] closed her eyes, gasped, and left the room. I got up to see what was going on and the english teacher snapped 'don't!' I got back to bed and fell asleep.
After this day I got sent to a psychiatric ward in Chesterfield and I kept screaming after Ballard. I was in such a bad state that they sent me to a psychiatric intensive care unit in Derby. While I was there I got a phone call and I cried out: 'who's there?!' And I heard Ballard saying 'your long-gone friend' in a weak, muffled, frail voice; he sounded as if he was seriously ill. After I left the hospital I discovered that Ballard had, in fact, cancer. This was announced after I'd left the intensive care unit, and this seemed to confirm that it was him one the phone.

The day I got sent to Chesterfield hospital, I got taken to a bed and both my parents sat with me. Then Paul Auster appeared with his wife and gave me a pill and told me 'take this'. I did so and he consequently said something I forgot and my father said 'I don't know much about Paul Auster, but I think he says'... (I forgot what he said here) And Auster confirmed it and quoted something someone else said, and then they left and I went to sleep. This was the night before I was sent to the intensive care unit in Derby. He looked like Paul Auster and claimed to be Paul Auster, so he might have been Paul Auster! But I'm not sure.

Cortázar died before I was born, so we never physically met. However, he always said that writing was some sort of contact and that he always had some sort of relationship with his reader. Like Auster, a recurring theme in his work is so-called 'co-incidences' and arbitrary events. So when I found this paragraph in Rayuela, it was a huge co-incidence and revelation as it seemed to include me in some manner: 'Sera cuestión de tiempo. Pero me siento bien, se acabaron los problemas con la portera. Nadie me trae correspondencia, ni siquera la de Nueva Zelandia, con sus estampillas tan bonitas. Cuando se ha publicado un libro que nace muerto, el único resultado es un correo pequeno pero fiel. La senora de Nueva Zelandia, el muchacho de Sheffield. Francmasoneria delicada, voluptuosidad de ser tan pocos que participan de una adventura. Pero ahora, realmente...'
This is a gigantic co-incidence. I am passionately in love with seeking obscure writers such as Morelli (who is talking here) and I'm a young 'muchacho'. And Cortázar, who knows nothing about England or English geography, describes this kid who sounds just like me who happens to discover this totally unknown writer. Bizarre.

I stared into Mark E. Smith's eyes the first time I saw him play with The Fall in Sheffield. Meanwhile, I saw Beefheart's magic band perform and 'Drumbo', who was the singer, kept gazing right into my eyes completely bemused by the sight of a 14-year-old in a beefheart concert.

I don't feel like editing or re-reading this, so this lazy/rushed/incredibly clumsy writing will remain as it is. I'm off to read Pynchon's 'Gravity's Rainbow' now.

Monday, 13 October 2008

String quartets <3

I'm musically illiterate, but I can't help start a blog entry about my passionate love for string quartets.

No other musical medium is more emotionally stimulating than the string quartet. In this medium, the composer assesses his musical vocabulary and experiments with his/hers viewpoint on melody, harmony, rhythm and timbre. The entire development of a composer's career can be tracked through the string quartet as is evident in the works of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Bela Bartok and Elliott Carter. The composer here cramps the most disparate of elements into the smallest container; the composer encapsulates everything he has to offer in a small chamber setting.

My favourite piece of all time is Bela Bartok's String Quartet No. 4. It's so exhilarating.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8T4lIp0iahk

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Interesting quotes

'I have always imagined that paradise will be some kind of library' - Jorge Luis Borges

'Hell is other people' - Jean-Paul Sartre

'Nature does not extinction; all it knows is transformation. Everything science has taught me, and continues to teach me, strengthens my belief in the continuity of our spiritual existence after death' - Wernher Von Braun

'The suburbs dream of violence' - J. G. Ballard

'When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederancy against him' - Jonathan Swift

'Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible' - Frank Zappa

'I do not take drugs. I am drugs.' - Salvador Dali

'Either one does not dream at all or one dreams in an interesting manner' - Friedrich Nietzsche

'But the man that is will shadow the man that pretends to be' - T. S. Eliot

'To listen is an effort, and just to hear has no merit. A duck hears also' - Igor Stravinsky

'Let the writer take up surgery or bricklaying if he is interested in technique. There is no mechanical way to get the writing done, no shortcut' - William Faulkner

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

My new 'about me'

The 'about me' description can only be up to 1,200 words long, and this new one I wrote is longer than that. I think that my current 'About me' description is in serious need of updating, so I'll try to condense/dilute this one.

I am now an angry, reclusive 18-year-old who's detached from reality. I am a solitary outsider who is on the fringes of society. I had a psychotic episode at the age of 17, and I consequently spent three months in a psychiatric ward. I originally begun this blog in 2007 but deleted it, so my first posts (which surpass my more recent ones) have been lost. I have a very strong interest for the dense and the abrasive. I was born in Chile and I live in Sheffield, UK. I used to write fiction, but I'm currently undergoing writer's block. My ambition is to be a novelist. I'm interested in 'terrorist novels'; I once wrote 20 pages of one when I was 16 and they were so bad that they were intended to kill my old english teacher. I read excessive amounts. My favourite writers include Borges, Cortázar, Ballard, Faulkner, Dostoyevsky and Paul Auster. I also have an enormous love for modern classical music. My favourite composers are Bartok, Debussy, Stravinsky and Ligeti. I live in the world of dreams. Dreams and reality are, for me, synonymous: there is no point in differentiating between the two. I am now studying A levels at chesterfield college only because it opens up the possibility of a university education; I have no friends there (or anywhere, for that matter). I am currently on an anti-psychotic medicine called 'olanzapine' which prevents me from being nocturnal or getting inspiration or drinking excessive amounts of coca-cola.-------------- My msn is simoncangas@hotmail.com. I'm quite misanthropic, so there are chances that we won't get along too well (my favourite quote is 'hell is other people'), but I do nonetheless enjoy encountering strange and wonderful people.

Everything is always

'Beginning', 'middle' and 'end' are all flawed and obsolete human concepts. The universe, for instance, is infinite; it has no beginning and no end. That's why I mainly (though not always) prefer modernist novels over victorian and romantic ones: they dismantle time and make it all fractured and vigorously attack subject matter from all angles at once.

Everything is always.