Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Primordial Blobbery

Since we moved out of the 1970s in terms of the fiction syllabus provided to me this semester, a lot more light at the end of the tunnel has become visible. In three weeks, I read John Haskell's I Am Not Jackson Pollock, Dubravka Ugresic's Lend Me Your Character, and Karen Russell's St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves. I loved all of them, for totally different reasons, and the first two gifted me with a plethora of ideas, and such an open-ended horizon, for what I can/want to write in the future.

That horizon will have to wait, though. School is not finished killing me.

Thing is, all the ideas dislodging from the soil and floating up and moving around, they're all interesting but unformed. I've taken notes, asked myself questions, created little tadpole blobs of associated words. I have a blob about Kathy Ireland, a blob about a specific memory of laughter, and a long essay-blob about my brain. I've done justice to none of these ideas and honestly, I don't even know what one of them means. They're blobs. They're not even really things yet.

There's a more shapely blob I've had in my head for about two years about Roland Barthes. It's not fiction, it's scholarly, and I'm not in any position to be advancing a scholarly idea like it in the format it deserves. But it won't let go, and I am wise enough to beware of the blob. It creeps. It leaps. It glides and slides.

The point of all this is that it's good that school is not finished killing me. I need time for these ideas to gestate, time for them to sink out of the primordial blobbery and solidify. I'm impatient to return to writing rather than schooling, but all things in their own time, I think. That's what I'm being told. Time is being given to me in different ways than I want it, but we don't get to choose how time works on us.

And the other point is that this is what school is good for. The laughter idea is going to be a big deal if it comes together the way I suspect, and it never would've floated up from the muck if not for what Dr. Chatterjee said when I was sitting in class on Monday night. I never would've read John Haskell and thought you mean I could just do this and call it a short story? if not for Dr. Haake's unusual method of creating a syllabus. Education is no small help.

Other news. I meant, but failed, to post on Sunday that it was St. Crispin's Day, and the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Agincourt. I mentioned this in my Your Friday Yes video, which I also did not post timely in this space.

So there's the video, and here's the St. Crispin's Day speech from Henry V. My original idea for last Friday's Yes was to read the whole speech into the webcam, and I think we can all be glad I came up with a different idea.

There's more to say, but I'm out of time. Natch.

No comments: