Posts Tagged ‘biography’

survivor lit and the mythos of the typewriter

December 11, 2009

short post tonight, just a couple of articles i am plucking from the london times. Neither is very long (they don’t seem all that longer than my own blog posts, really) so I’m not going to quote them – really, just go read them. They’re quick.

The first is Erica Wagner having a McCarthy inspired rift on typewriters and that puts my own McCarthy inspired rift to shame. really, didn’t know Isaac Bashevis Singer was nuts…

the second is a playful slap at Survivor-lit. Admittedly, I rarely venture into the non-fiction section of bookstores any more – isn’t that was libraries are for? – but the cheapening of life stories has been something I’ve noticed in other respects as well.  Other than these stories of “survival” I’ve noticed more and more memoirs and biographies being pushed onto the public documenting the life of some 20-something (or even something-teen). Excuse, but if you can’t remember more than seven presidents, and I mean really remember, not just have some vague recollection of, you haven’t lived long enough to write a biography. Biographies for people younger than that should only be written because that person died before they reached the requisite age.

Bending Sinister at 1230am

October 2, 2008

There are nights where I can’t sleep despite how desperately I want to. Everyone probably has these nights. Maybe something happened during the day that has keyed you up to the point where sleep is veritably impossible or maybe there are too many ugly whispers inside your head to shut out and relax.

And then there are nights, like tonight, where you just don’t care to sleep and you find yourself pouring a cup of coffee at thirty after midnight. The caffeine’s not good for you. you’re too old to not be affected by it, it’s not like you’re twenty any more and can shrug the stuff off and collapse into sleep regardless. It’s also not as if you can stay up til four or five, sleep for two hours, and be fine. You won’t be fine at all. you’ll feel like shit. You might even feel physically ill from it.

So why do I do it? Why does the old man not learn? I don’t know. But it was just one of those nights for midnight coffee. It makes me think of the episode of West Wing where they are flying back to Washington at 3 in the morning, having meetings and what not on the plane and someone asks why they couldn’t just go back in the morning. Martin Sheen replies along the line that there’s just something about meeting at 3am that allows you to speak your dreams. Then admits that it’s simply because there isa meeting in the morning that he can’t postpone or something.

While I don’t have a meeting in the morning, maybe tonight is the night to speak dreams.

I hope so. The writing is going slowly. If anyone looks they will see a massive gap between posts here. I sit down and start writing something here or anywhere and it just dies. I have stuff in my head but it just doesn’t want to budge right now, I guess. This isn’t to say that I haven’t pushed a few things across the finish line. A few short stories or prose pieces have gotten done but the larger projects have just gone to pot. I almost feel like putting them aside and working on something else entirely. Nothing like spreading yourself too thin that gives you the illusion of work and progress while actually standing still.

Even with these longer projects I have the ideas in my head, I know what I want to say but I can’t bridge the gap to knowing how to say it. It’s like we’re on opposing sides of a canyon and I keep trying to shout them across but they’re not making it. They just reveberate off the walls of the canyon below, crashing into itself and creating a garbled mess.

Everytime I sit down to work on Green, it feels like a garbled mess. I might be worrying too much about the fact of the history rather than creating a history of facts. It’s largely biographical and I think that’s hanging me up. That and I’m not trusting the narrative that I am establishing. it’s very loose and roaming. It just sort of meanders from connection to connection, time to time. It’s fun in a way but it’s also…odd. It’s almost like walking down a street and every time you bump into someone you follow them for a bit until you bump into someone else. Except after awhile I’ll just be bumping into the same people over and over again and wandering around a clustered group of interrelated stories.

Which could be really cool, if I can get it moving and pull it off. I’ve considered doing an outline. Nothing too exact but just a loose listing of points to hit and places to go. The problem is that every time I have done an outline I haven’t followed it and for a brief moment I end up filled with anxiety over not following it. I feel like I am deviating too much and that I am destined to crash but I always right the ship and keep moving and the worries prove unwarranted.

On a late night side note, I share a birthday not only with Earth Day but with Vladimir Nabokov as well. Go Vladdy Go