Tag Archives: style

Offstage (II)

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I’ve moved, with utter conviction, too far from the centre to (want to) return. The margin. The margin and the Underground. That’s where it is happening. Where I feel excited.

 

Two nervous breakdowns, one attempted suicide, hair loss, one tooth…

                                                                 The strongest pain I feel is just me

                                        something like this but still not near enough…

 

They told me, Get your ideas down on paper. Called it, what was it again: a therapeutic measure. I just made it up and made it sound nice, plus She’d copied some of what She writes in Her diary, Use that, She’d written and when I read it it could’ve been me, in other words maybe.

Those therapists are all so bloody full of themselves they haven’t got a clue. They think A + B, you’ll end up with C. In this case maybe, or something approaching, but what about, say, her in Isabelle Morton? What if you end up with a letter of the alphabet you’ve never even heard of, then what? Are you gonna lie to me?

Analyse (what they think are) my thoughts, proclaim or suggest (depending); you are, turn the mirror to face me. Their You Are becomes my Am I? I take a good look, touch my cheeks, unbelieving. What is it they say: you say pig but it comes out sausage?

Undone

Gunther dame edit oct 2014
copyright © Martin Gunther

He had loved her. She hadn’t Loved Him Back said the way he had painted her mouth so delicately, perfectly set somewhat back in her face out of his reach, a shadow perching on the other side. Love had painted a mouth about to speak words he feared for those he could not control. Love, those black eyes sizing him up or were they closed they looked different every time now they looked as if (what if???) she might be crying over whom?

Straight indecisive line leaving the direction of the nose open. Klee to the left? Anyhow, angles –  he never got hers, not really – but for the triste arch of her unyielding eyes, that mouth, that chin, it had been Love up a one-way street and there he was with his gearstick all broken. She would never know never know how many strokes he had taken or where he had placed his last. How many times he had taken the effigy of her into his dreams how many cups of coffee, instant, how many rizzlas till the last. How many times she had resisted, resenting his intrusion and how many yielded how many times he had changed his mind, painted it over and what was the intention of that oblong of blue anyway was there room for symbolism in a portrait? Life is symbolism? Ahhh. Ok.

Black is a hard colour to paint with. He grafted shades of her skin onto it. Mille feuille. Breathing life into its cosmic potential like the Lord God who saw what He had done and was Pleased.

Her shoulders disagreed. This could hurt.

Copyright ©, Joan Barbara SImon, 2015. From Verses Nature, forthcoming.

**

I’ve been working on a novel for the past four years which I now know will never be written. Why? It was the wrong novel. Why did it take me so long to find that out? Because I was following a plan, not following my heart (queasy from the word Go). And yet I maintain: it has not been in vain. Allowing my new plan to be guided by my heart,  I’ve now got a hell of a lot more to say about creative writing as praxis. My reading in the field makes more sense. My theoretical contribution to the field will make more sense, just as I know that my initial doubts made sense, as much as my fear today makes no sense.

Get it down. Get it done.

she who preoccupied thought has seen words come like foreseeable attacks and she changed their course. (Brossard, 2006)

style is not much a matter of choice (…) it is both a response to a constraint and a seizing of an opportunity. Very often a constraint is an opportunity. (Barthelme,1997)

A desire without a horizon, for that is its luck or its condition. And a promise that no longer expects what it waits for: there where, striving for what is given to come, I finally know how not to have to distinguish any longer between promise and terror. (Derrida, 1996)

After Paris

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copyright © Martin Gunther

Take the time to see my juice? In Paris? Just spit on me then barge right in.

The Authoritative One.

As in: sit there in an L shaped of tensed muscles, misunderstanding. Stutter several times something about the impossibility of knowing I would feel that way about it he could only say he was sorry

but his voice is bitter and he makes no attempt to cover it up

As in: reach under the bed for the coloured hankies, take a couple, double them over. Wedge them between the legs to soak up
i) his ejectamenta: hurry-came
ii) pubic whimpers unstoppable, body-fated, pointless ovarian holler
iii) echo wakes up, lonely:

this is the closest I can get

***

“Either all around or in its wake the explicit requires the implicit; for in order to say anything, there are other things which must not be said.” (Macherey, 2004)


After Paris: from my novel-in-progress, Verses Nature. Context of excerpt: He took her to the City of Love. It was supposed to be a dirty weekend to pep up their marriage, backbroken by years of Catholic sex. Of patriarchal righteousness. Her explanation, not his. His’d be that she wasn’t making an effort, he’d show her how.

So many on the erotica bandwagon, out-trumping each other with steamy love scenes. What about when it’s just a lousy experience you’d rather forget? If you know what I mean, say: Aye! Me louder than the rest: AYE!!!

This is an entry in her diary. The diary comes in handy after her nervous breakdown. Helps her to retrace developments she will have to analyse with her therapist.  I like diaries. Emails. Letters. Like the idea, as a reader, of peeping through the keyhole whilst keeping an ear open for footsteps approaching. Also: the diary, here, hovering between documentary and fiction, between the literary styles associated with each. Diaries have me scooping up stylistic liberties by the armful that’s why I love this form as much as I do direct speech. Documentaries are more prescriptive though their (apparent) neutrality (can we ever stand outside of ourselves?) allows a certain detachment I have come to value when off again scrutinizing.

The challenge for me, in this scene and elsewhere, is to offer a different picture of relationships, of sex, to the one portrayed by my (irresistible) male protagonist, Tatar. Cue card: to which extent do genre, gender and voice overlap? Polarization factor: high. Wo/men speaking a different language (and all that). Need to keep an eye on this so I don’t write my way into any camps I’m none too keen on being/becoming a member of.

In a nutshell

dirty little angel

Dirty little angel. That sums me up 🙂

I’ve collected some wonderful visual data these last few days. Excellent propositions for my (long due) business card, but if I share these on FAKEBOOK before the cards are even printed, who do the images belong to? THEM, no doubt.

Daughter’s on the cross-trainer in our fitness room, heart-&-soul with Lady Gaga’s Born This Way. Could be my anthem too.  Next track: Work, Bitch (Britney Spears).

Yes, that dirt is real (not placed there for deliberate effect). No, we’re not at my place!!

Not dusting the angel. Not dusting my angel either. My thesis is getting a good spring clean, though. Reading my notes 2011-2014. (Too?) Much has lost its relevance. Let’s call this process: honing. Now the real work starts: the writing of a novel (Verses Nature) for the creative component of the thesis. And for the theoretical part: my understanding of William Faulkner’s take on authoritarian texts and how this relates to heterodoxy of voice and style (hence language and genre). If this were a song, the main background singers would be the Russian scholar Bakhtin (read in translation) and the French philosopher Jacques Derrida (sexy. dead. pity. read in original and in translation. texts often abstruse. pity). Two years of discipline ahead. Stick to my cue cards! Will I be able to complete the first draft of the novel and the first theoretical chapter by the end of the year? Should be able to manage the abstracts for three chapters (and one publishable paper?) by the summer. Glad to have my blog(s) to bring variety  – and fun! – to the task.