—Charles Simic ("Charles the Obscure")
Mark opens the newspaper and is shocked to see his OWN obituary.
In a panic, he phones his friend and asks: "Did you see the paper?! "They say I died!"
The friend replies: "Yes, I saw it! So, where ya calling from?"
Two general notes to myself that always seems to work is give your characters quiet moments that dramatize character, especially early in the script/story, and give the big emotional beats time to play out. Let it breathe when it needs to breathe.
*Breathing satire into ghosts of genocides under colouful pseudonyms - The Death of Jozef Stalin aka Vladimir Putin
MEdia Dragon is one of the few soldiers who survived Czechoslovak army in the late 1970s without getting a tatoo ... While older soldiers ensured that during the latitudinal struggle few teeth were lost and at the end of the day the result is the body remained tatooless. So no geckos or Austwich numbers ... How things changed even girls these days get the mark of the devil on their bodies -- to boot they even pay for these body tattoos ;-) At least in the communist army and navy the tattoos were free ...
The Tattooist of Auschwitz
Cow runs off to live with Polish bison
↩︎ Atlas Obscura
↩︎ San Francisco Chronicle
My friends, if our heads rollsomewhere into a deep pit,
may the world know: among the poets,
MEdia Dragon was the brother of us all.
“Of all the cities in the world,
of all the intimate homelands
that a man searches for (to deserve)in the course of his travels ...
The world is a vast, magical place with so many places to see, and for those fortunate enough to be able to travel, Europe is often a top destination–not only the beauty and history but also for the fun and exciting environment. Head for Praha ....
“…Books, texts, magazines, are tombs … tombs that eventually will be opened. The duty I say again THE DUTY of the writer, of the poet, is not to go shut himself up as a coward in a text, a book, a magazine from which he will never emerge again but on the contrary to go out to shake up to attack the public spirit … if not of what use is he? And why was he born? … the quest for a speech that any road mender or dolt would have understood ….”
Erik Bulatov, I’m Going, 1975. Books, paper, plastic sphere and wood
I believe,” he said, “there’ll be big waves of crime after the war. You can’t have so much killing, so much teaching to destroy, and then stop it suddenly. . . . The old kinds of crime, and new crimes against the holiness in the heart. There’ll be fear, and shame, and guilt, guilt. People will be mad. There’s no such thing as victory in war. There’s only misery, chaos and suffering for everybody, and then the payment. . . . There’s only one victory–over the evil in the heart. And that’s a rare miracle.” His voice faltered in defeat. “I’ve been trying to make the attempt. But the air I breathe is full of poison
Gone is the century of the self. Now we inhabit the century of the crowd. What will it do to literature? Early indications are not promising... crowd
The question lurking behind these attractions and choices is not one of enchantment but: how does one overcome the wall? But perhaps this question is misleading. When discussing his early frustrations with writing, the author who described Saul Bellow's tone of voice talks about what he learned from certain authors:
Proust had given me the confidence to fail, had driven home to me the lesson that if you come up against a brick wall perhaps the way forward is to incorporate the wall and your effort to scale it into the work. I had read Robbe-Grillet and Marguerite Duras, and been excited by the way they reinvented the form of the novel to suit their purposes – everything is possible, they seemed to say. But when you start to write all that falls away. You are alone with the page and your violent urges, urges, which no amount of reading will teach you how to channel. ‘Zey srew me in ze vater and I had to svim,’ as Schoenberg is reported to have said. That is why I so hate creative writing courses – they teach you how to avoid brick walls, but I think hitting them allows you to discover what you and only you want to/can/must say.