My write up of the 8th story in Brian Evenson's Fugue State is live now at the EWN, please check it out?
As I typed that I was brought my contributor copy of Dzanc's Best of the Web 2009, in which I have 3 pieces and an interview, it looks amazing as an object and to hold, I can't wait to dig in.
Recently I have been writing a series of short paragraphs in the mind of Bernhard's The Voice Imitator one at a time, on Saturday I started one and ended up writing 2000 words, which since then has become 6000 words, and I think there is a novel in the oncoming, as the further I go in the writing the more there is to need to say.
I haven't felt in a while like I was writing something that feels the way this does, but it feels good to be in the presence of something moving.
The paragraph had become inspired directly by reading Evenson's 'Bauer in the Tyrol,' which hit me, strangely, with an idea rather than a sentence, as I had not written in the mode of 'ideas' in a long while, but instead being thrown forth in chasing an initial sentence, and following the sound and rhythm of that sentence to its end.
Evenson is interesting I think in that his stories manage to both have the battery and brains of an idea based text, in that there is a mode there and a palpable growing of mood and direction, but also sent forth on sentences that are driven by sound and tone.
This is different than, say, Beckett, who is less about ideas and more about sound completely, letting the sound dictate the ideas more than vice versa, and also different than most 'narrative' texts, where the plot or pushing forward often seems less interested in sentences that carry themselves than they are about sentences that carry forward some propulgation (even if they sound good).
Writers I like that I would say let their sentences dictate the mode more than the idea (which then fuels the idea): Christine Schutt, Joyelle McSweeney, Ben Marcus, Jean Genet, Diane Williams, Ander Monson, David Markson, Peter Markus, Robert Lopez, William Gass...
Writers I like that I would say let their ideas dictate the mode more than the sentence (which then fuels the sentence): Donald Antrim, George Saunders, Dennis Cooper, Gert Jonke, Derek White, Stephen Dixon, Paul Auster, Matthew Derby, Donald Barthelme, W.G. Sebald, Robert Coover, Steve Erickson, Jesse Ball, Jose Saramago, William Gay, Amy Hempel, A.M. Homes, Kelly Link, Norman Lock, David Foster Wallace, Julia Slavin, Nicholson Baker....
Barry Hannah I think falls into all of these camps in different hats, as does maybe Cormac McCarthy and William Burroughs. Michael Kimball and Stanley Crawford also both have made works that might, in feel, seem split between the two modes.
zodes soda hats eeky
It is an interesting divide, somewhat, in that the authors whose sentences seem the inspiration more than what is being said are of a certain ilk, as is how is the saying, while those of the idea tend to have a different texture, which is communicable among the reading as clearly as it likely feels to be in the minute of the word.
I have spent all of this year so far entirely writing in the moment of the sentence first, with the story therein divising itself from the language, leading me without really knowing where I am going. This has always been a much more palpable way of saying something that surprises me, which as I have said before, How can you expect to surprise anyone if you are not surprising yourself?
But what about when the idea comes first, and then asks for you to divine the sentences that push it? This has always been slightly more difficult for me, a mixed bag wherein I often fail more often than I succeed, though when I do use the idea first and am able to make the sentences live up to it, it often seems the thing that resonates even longer. Why?
Sentences carry their own ideas, in the blood.
Ideas do not carry their own sentences, the sentence must be derived or divined.
Humans are ill at ideas, rare is the human idea that is new and good, and yet ideas can likewise be divined, perhaps? Ideas can shit down out of nowhere like a money box, and stutter through you like the words do, maybe?
Ideas can be channeled, funneled, too, in the way of not knowing,
so the question then begins about impulse
becomes about how in the body to trick the mind into saying the thing it did not know it was going to say in its front part of its face but knew in knowing that it wanted to say, and had wanted to say, and will continue to try to keep saying
The less-thought thought borne from the sentence or from the idea being the cake meat you were hiding
and can then walk on
and be less hungry and more hungry
dualities being the bomb
4 $$JK$JIU$ oIUOIU
ass talk is fun, how bout i eat my dick eh
as is what makes you say what you should have been saying is doors to teach yourself mmmm light