I cannot write poetry
without thinking about what it is
to write poetry.
In the same way
I cannot be in love
without thinking about what it is
to be in love.
Love and poetry are the same in that they are these abstract ideas rooted in emotion. I feel them before thinking about them, but try and think before expression of either. But both are about expression. Without externalization, without sharing, they are empty and useless facets of a person; beautiful, yes, but futile and ultimately frustrating.
[entire entry taken from my journal earlier today]
I started this blog entry a few days ago after watching Adaptation again, but while I knew I wanted to write about Adaptation, and how much I loved it, I didn’t realize that I wanted to write about self-referential works of fiction in film until I walked in on Nate watching the last Nightmare on Elm Street movie, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare. Both movies feature the screenwriters and the screenplay, quoting themselves and eventually becoming the screenplay that is shown in the film.
This is somehow thicker and more interesting, in my opinion, than many of the films written about on the Self-Referential Movies Website, because she (Barbara Bernstein) includes movies that just make subtle references to the fact that we’re watching a movie, not the full-on hit you over the head with the fact that we’re watching the movie being talked about in the movie movie. (Although the entry/essay on Wes Craven’s New Nightmare is quite good, and out of the context of this discussion, I do appreciate and want to read more of that website.)
So I posted on the IMDB Adaptation message board asking if anyone knew of other movies that do this–other movies that eat themselves, other oroborus movies. I think I’m going to try and write one. This fits well into my current obsession with Rudy Rucker’s work, and I think my screenplay will involve the nature of infinity. (It also occurs to me that Master of Space and Time would make a great movie.)
I should also re-read Italo Calvino’s If On A Winter’s Night a Traveler, which uses a similar (but mirror-reverse when you think about it) self-referential device, written, as it is, entirely in second person, about the person reading the book.
Playing with google sitemaps today, I discovered it keeps track of your top five search queries, but it also keeps track of the “Top search query clicks”. So here they are:
2. but im a cheerleader soundtrack
3. relationship blog
4. poems about december
5. trivial questions and answers
I think these are more interesting because they are “the top queries to Google that directed traffic to your site”. Anyway, the #1 slot is the same in both lists. (I’ve been meaning to write a blog entry about how one of my favorite phrases, “sexsweat” appeared in the recent Iain M. Banks novel.)
Two of the five results link to blog entries that heavily involve Laura. It’s a little weird reading them now. Especially the 96 question/answers, only because I had thought it was a sort of “timeless” quiz when I wrote it, but clearly it was not. Makes me want to do another one that actually gets more at my history than stupid trivial crap. Anyone know a good one?
So I’ve decided I’m going to atone for not writing a novel in november by writing at least 50,000 words before next year’s nano. But I’m going with the mindblurbs style novel-length writing idea. “No plot, no problem” will be literal in my case. The difference is that I won’t even be trying for one.
It’s all a bit like prose poetry. I had briefly wondered whether others have written novel-length stuff in this vein, but hadn’t done any searching until this morning. To be honest, I hadn’t even known what to search for until today when I somehow dredged up a phrase out of a particularly dusty corner in my brain labeled “automatic writing”. The wikipedia entry on automatic writing led me to another on Surrealist Automatism, which is probably closer to what I’m trying to do.
“In 1919 [Andre] Breton and Philippe Soupault wrote the first automatic book, Les Champs Magnetiques [The Magnetic Fields] while The Automatic Message was one of Breton’s significant theoretical works about automatism.”
I know I have read a bit of surrealist writing, and all I remember was that I found it dense and difficult to get through, but rewarding. I will be hunting down both books in the near future. (This also gives me new appreciation for The Magnetic Fields, the band, which has been a relatively recent discovery.)