I got the following gifts for my birthday:
- A painting by Hieronymus Bosch.
- A painting by Willem De Kooning
- A Luis Bunuel box set containing many of his key films
- Two glasses from Berlin (my parents bought me this as I destroyed another Berlin glass in a fit of rage. I'm glad to have one again :)).
- Breakdowns by Art Spiegelman. This is a dense work by the formidably talented comic book artist, author of Maus.
- Burden of Dreams. This is a DVD of the documentary showing Werner Herzog take a big ship over mountains in the Amazon during the filming of Fitzcarraldo.
- £20 from my grandmother, enabling me to buy a DVD of Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard.
During the days of my birthday, my days were quite uneventful as I submerged myself in lethargy. I couldn't immerse myself in William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom!, but I have fortunately got really into it during the recent days. As a result of getting into this book, the second half of this month has been really eventful. This book - simply put - is a masterpiece. Spanning centuries, it is a titanic novel that covers the full scope of southern USA. It is the book where Faulkner achieves the most; it is his magnum opus. It even surpasses a work like The Sound and the Fury in its ambition and scope. I will be reviewing it in the forthcoming 'Review' regular.
In the 14th I went down to Huddersfield to see a conversation with Mark E. Smith. My sister studies at university there, so I stayed with her. This conversation was everything I expected it to be - Smith digressing and evading the questions. It was a surreal night and very, very funny. When the interviewer quoted him phrases from his autobiography, Smith kept replying "The ghost writer put that in." I got quite nervous during a moment of the event because the interviewer started talking about a dream he had in South America, and Smith said "What country?" And I was wearing a shirt with CHILE written with big letters. Fortunately, he didn't point at me to draw attention on me. :) The audience also asked him questions, but I didn't have the courage to do so. But the question I was going to ask him - "do you draw on dreams for your lyrics" - was asked anyway. After the event ended, I could have gotten his signature. But I was so stubborn that I phoned my sister to pick me up right away. :(
On the 19th I went with my dad to London. That night I saw Ornette Coleman live in a reflection of The Shape of Jazz to Come. We got into London, but we got lost. We finally arrived to the place just on time for me to see the end of the support group, The Master Musicians of Jajouka. This Coleman concert was mindblowing, it is the best gig I've gone to after performances from The Magic Band and The Fall. What I loved about this concert in particular was how when they improvised after the theme, you forgot the initial melodty - a bit like a digression in a novel by Pynchon. They performed a few newer songs to begin with, and then Bill Frissel came on as a guest. He stayed on for the remainder of the concert and he was quite restrained, allowing the other guitarist to go all over the place The interplay between him and the other guitarist was phenomenal. They played 'Peace', but they didn't play 'Lonely Woman', sadly. :( Coleman's sax wasn't at high volume to begin with, but when they turned it up it was immense. I wasn't too pleased when he alternated to violin and trumpet, though. :p Patti Smith came on and improvised some lyrics, and Coleman bounced off her beautifully with his sax. The bassist played the famous Shubert melody with the drummer conjuring a rock beat, and Coleman bashing out dissonant sounds with his violin. He got the bass to sound just like a cello with his bow. Then the support band, The Master Musicians of Jajouka, came on and this was the highlight of the concert. Again, the interplay with Coleman was phenomenal. After the encore, the audience was just as gripped as me, giving a long standing ovation.
The Day after, I walked along London with my dad. We went all over this magnificent city. I went into a gigantic book shop, and I went through the A-Z of authors and bought myself Dead Souls by Gogol. I drank a lot of Coca-cola, and we went to the British museum. I stayed at the Cafe on my own and read Faulkner, and I drank 2 coffees. I then proceeded to wander around the museum, and I went to the section devoted to Japan. I then returned with my father to the house of one of his friends, where I read Faulkner and went to sleep. I really like London, and this proved to be a great day.
There is a girl who catches the same bus as me, and I am in love with her. She likes me too, but neither of us has the audacity to speak to one another. She gives indications that she likes me because every time I go up the stairs of the bus, she goes there. And on Wednesdays (the day I catch that bus), she even goes out of her way to go to my bus stop! Whenever she goes to the stop, both of us are silent. Unfortunately, I won't get a chance to meet her again. Last week, instead of going to my GCSE math lesson, I sleeped in. The instant I sleep in and the instant she catches that bus, I dream that I'm chasing the buss which goes down the hill, and as I chase it she gets on it and the bus drives away. This dream is quite possibly a psychological suggestion that I have lost all chances of talking to her and creating a relationship with her. I doubt whether she'll still be going into Chesterfield next year. :/
I left the short story The Prostitute's Customers aside for about a month because I couldn't get it going. :( It's a bit like a John Cage piece - interesting in its method and conception, but futile when created. Fortunately, I have returned to it and I am trying to make the most of it. I will be writing it every day now; I am half-way through it, and I'll be writing it every day. It is 5 sides of A4 so far (not very much :/). I think it's a failed experiment. The segment I wrote today is an allusion to chapter 7 from Cortázar's Rayuela. I have got ideas for 4 more short stories, and I'll plan them soon. I will make a start of them when I finish this story and Poetry Reciter. After I finish Reciter, I will display it along with Penis Woman, The Desolate Valley and The Prostitute's Customers on my website. I got quite a lot of ideas for new short stories during a walk in the nearby park yesterday and while watching Godard's Alphaville today. :)
I always tear friendships apart. I often insult people, alienating others away from me. Whenever I'm on the brink of creating a friendship, I will do something that will create a distance between me and another person. When I've had a friendship for a few years, I will inevitably lose contact with the person and the friendship will wither away.
During the beginning of the month, I spent my first break with other students! In the short breaks between the lessons I usually hide away in a little path no-one goes to. But while I spent my break with these people, I came to the realisation that their friendships have no depth. I'm not being prejudgemental, I had an objective and fully-formed decision on this while I spent my break with them. I'd rather have no friendships than friendships without depth.
I didn't do any of the A2 transition work. The teachers might take this as an indication that I don't want to do A2. :/ This is so typical of me: self-destructive just at the last, final moment. At school, I didn't do a little more work that could have got me a few extra marks and I didn't get enough GCSEs. When I did the first diploma work I didn't do a little more work that required a little more effort, and I failed it.
Instead of going to my last two lesson on the Tuesday of the week before, I truanted. I also Truanted from a GCSE maths exam in the process. :o In this day I went for a wonderful walk where I discovered new places in the woods/countryside that I hadn't been to before. I wish I could photograph all my walks at a great depth, but my camera doesn't take much photographs even with giant memory cards. The next three days, I went for a walk every day. These walks lasted for hours and hours. Some of it (only a little bit of it) was documented in photographs which will be displayed in the 'Remoted Edges' post. I feel a great uncertainty because I didn't do any of the college work. :/
Recently, I had the wish that I wanted to erase my memory and start again. I don't feel like this now, though. :) But I had the overwhelming feeling that I wanted to start anew with nothing, to recommence life. I wouldn't like this so much, however, because my childhood memories would be gone and I would forget all the books I've read and the films I've seen!
I would like to submerge myself in books for the rest of my life without obligations and detractions. If I was left to my own devices I would read for the rest of my life, and I would hardly do anything else.
I get the impression that many people I know are reading my blog and my fiction without telling me, because they give me cryptic clues. This isn't far-fetched or paranoid because many people I've met briefly said they have found my blog. My literature teacher told me "in A2 we will be studying gothic. And there'll be lots and lots of vampires, Simon. I think you'll like it a lot." Has he read my miniature Vampire Woman? :o And my occupational therapist recently asked me if I wrote reviews. Did she read my Trout Mask Replica review? :o It's perfectly feasible that these two things are true.
I'm unsure if I still want to study Spanish and Latin American studies at uni. The course itself looks very, very interesting, but I think it would be better if I studied philosphy on a topic I really like. I'm not sure... Well, I have a lot of time to think about it.
I ordered my book collection alphabetically last weekend and it looks really, really good! :) I will put up photographs of it in a post next this month.
Recently, I've felt very anxious. It's an intuitive feeling with no real reason behind it. I feel uncertain about something. I don't think it's anything to be with college; I think it's a new phase which is been opened up in my life. In any case, it's great that I have 2 months ahead of me where I'll be able to do everything I want. After this comes A2, and the workload will be gigantic... :/