Friday, May 18, 2012

My dog don't read no books...

Glancing back at my previous, coincidentally also my first, posting on this blog, it occurs to me that it may have been something less than an auspicious beginning. And not because it is for the most part haphazardly written gibberish, or that it refers to an obscure fictional event conspicuously unrelated to the everyday concerns of the average hypothetical blog reader (assuming such a person exists and that his/her concerns can ever be known). The issue here, it seems, is figuring out how to connect; as we all live within our own fictional worlds, discovering common ground can be a serious challenge. If we're willing to concede that the world is exclusively as it is perceived, and that no two person's perceptions of any single event can ever be identical, then the entire notion of commonality is very likely an illusion. 

A case can certainly be made that the whole point of fiction is to remind us that there is no such thing as a shared perceptual experience. Fiction is the admission of our inherent existential isolation. It's also a fairly pleasurable way to explore this uncomfortable reality; clearly better than, say, being hit by a bus in Shanghai and having to lie there suffering in the street for an hour while half a million Chinese walk by ignoring you. Once we accept the probability that we're on our own, we can relax, cuddle up with a dense, disconcerting, hopefully deranged novel and begin the task of re-imagining ourselves and, for the more ambitious, the world.

Those who claim to want fictional characters they can relate to on a deep and profound level - i.e. characters who will somehow validate their own muddled emotional/intellectual states - belong reading somewhere in the 19th Century; reader remnants of the Enlightenment, which, lets face it, wasn't particularly enlightening, considering the amount of darkness that continues to pervade the planet.  I personally prefer my characters to be abrasive, alienating and blatantly shallow.
"There is no depth!" shouts the postmodern coal miner trapped a mile underground.
There are only obscure, shifting surfaces, quantum field states within which nothing exactly is and and anything can in theory be.

And yeah, yeah, we all get the idea that nature, the universe, is a vast interconnected web. You burp in New York, a star in the Cygnus Constellation twitches and some guy in Cape Town gets a migraine. Cosmic cause and effect in the no-time zone. You want to buy into this with all your heart, but then you try having a conversation with the guy across the street and it doesn't take long to realize that his quivering, mutating brain is light years - perceptually speaking - from yours. You might be able to reach an uneasy consensus on the weather, but beyond that you're forced to conclude he's a totally witless psycho on a mission to annoy the crap out of you. His wife, you can't help noticing, appears to be in a perpetual state of seeing ghosts. He ices the cake on your accelerating sense of impending doom by admitting that he supports the Tea Party because he is an avid tea drinker, and is confident that with enough Tea Party candidates in office the price of tea will surely go down.

At the very least you're forced to consider the possibility of multiple universes.
Or that you would like the guy a lot more if he was a character in a novel.

But getting back to the original point:
This blog purports to be purely fictional.
Only through the fictional act can the non-existent soul be redeemed.
The best fiction writers (and readers) are monsters at heart; phantoms, beyond desperation, a bit like serial killers, but with a better sense of humor.
The best language is employed as a weapon; the optimal result a bullet-ridden insight into the possibilities of a disturbed mind.
Realistic prose is an oxymoron.
The most interesting fiction cares less about describing the world, more about convincing the reader there is no world to be described.
Random, seemingly gratuitous sex scenes are more important in a novel than a consistently believable plot.
True suspense in fiction always occurs on the level of the single sentence.
Fictionists are by definition fictitious. They assemble/disassemble fictive versions of themselves with the ease of a skilled schizophrenic; they are generally transparent and mostly insubstantial, which explains why people are continually trying to walk through them.
Welcome to the void / part 2...


  1. I'd simply like to add as an addendum to this a list of the names of people (none of whom I know) that have added me as a friend on facebook in the past couple of months. I have made no exaggerations:

    Drew Theunissen
    Alan Estime
    Demario Smith
    Photz Mhaechester
    N-rapture Outerwear
    Rick Ra
    Chris Incongruities
    Can Usta
    Marichu Japos
    Jo Applejack

    Can I suggest a blog post using all of these names in the text?

  2. I don't trust that Chris Incongruities any further than I could throw him.

  3. I can usta do that too. Hey, I find that I enjoy discussing meteorological matters.