Saturday, 14 August 2010

On Poetry and a Novel - Gainbourg Vie Heroique

The previous Poem, Two Mystics, was written over a few hours at night, after reverting back to Sylvia Plath's poetry, which I hadn't read in a while, and she's a huge influence on my poems. It is basically my experience around people and the actions between them. How I could give a person so much - feeling like I've "had to" give something - and then feeling like I have given not enough: "I have given you less than your smiles," and "I have given you hardly a thing."
I suppose it ends with feeling ashamed; with the obvious symbol of "red,"
which then bursts into flames. The title came to me right at the end of writing it, when the line "mysticalstill" came to me (forming one word is apparently Joycean, I got from a friend at our writing worskshop), and I decided to call it, not Mystical Still, but Two Mystics, making the two people seeming exactly the same, as they act so awkwardly around each other in the exact same manner.
Havva I got from Bob Dylan's song Hava Negeila, which is a Jewish song
of the same name. I wanted to put that word in, so I looked up it's meaning and it means "Eve" which I think fits perfectly.

I have begun writing my novel. I submitted the first section of the first chapter to the workshop and got some really good feedback, so I must be doing something right. However, the thing I was worried about was true, which was I wrote something impressive, and then as it went on, it lost the impressiveness to the end. It's like I've push out every bit of stylistic writing I have in one bit, and the next bit its diluted. But with the advice I received, I think I know how to go about writing it.
It's a 4 year old story. I thought of it in 2006 and never wrote it because I
liked it so much I was worried I'd ruin it. I told this to a friend back in May, as he'd already begun his novel, and he'd said to just write it and then see where you stand. But I hate that, when people say "just write." It's really not that simple. It's so comlex that it's taken me 4 years to adapt my writing style to be good enough, and I can now use the previous mad experiences I've experienced into which I can form a somewhat semi-autobiographical novel, which I think Hunter S Thompson used in Fear and Loathing which is called a Roman-a-clef; a story based on real events, turned to fiction.
Because a lot of things have influenced me 4 years after I had the original
idea for this novel, I wonder how long I should take with anything. So if I write and publish and novel and then see it some years later, I'd probably have some better ideas for it.
I'd been using David Foster Wallace, which a friend had lent me, as an
influence. And I was also looking between Catcher in the Rye and Naked Lunch as two distinctly different first-person narratives as influences. But I recently saw the French film Gainsbourg, which I saw after I'd started writing the chapter. The life of musician Serge Gainsbourg is illuminated through Johann Sfar's portrayal in this film, which uses Absurdist-like charactures, including a giant walking head of a Jew that comes out of the propagandist poster of Nazi-occupied France and walks with the young Gainsbourg. Another is La Gueule (The Mouth), which is a 7 ft. tall persona of Gainsbourg, with a long nose and long finger, very creepy to look at, but very funny as you understand that it's just Gainbourg's thoughts personified. This is something in what I wrote, in which the character is somewhat divorced from his own body. Someone had mentioned Beckett's Molloy, (though I'd only read Malone Dies out of The Trilogy). Someone mentioned to me that at the end of season 4 of House, there is another similar concept, in which House views his own mind in the form of a dead person. I will have to watch this. I will have to get writing this thing, having been reading up on more of Pinter and about to read Hamlet for the first time.

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