Thursday, 22 September 2011

kerouac points of spontaneous prose

reading beat poetry from the 50s fills me with visions.  i also found this explanation of jack kerouac's method refreshing:

1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
3.Try never get drunk outside yr own house
4.Be in love with yr life
5. Something that you feel will find its own form
6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of the mind
9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon object before you
13. Remove literary, grammatical and syntactical inhibition
14. Like Proust be an old teahead of time
15. Telling the true story of the world in interior monolog
16. The jewel center of interest is the eye within the eye
17. Write in recollection and amazement for yourself
18. Work from pithy middle eye out, swimming in language sea
19. Accept loss forever
20. Believe in the holy contour of life
21. Struggle to sketch the flow that already exists intact in the mind
22. Dont think of words when you stop but to see picture better
23. Keep track of every day the date emblazoned in yr morning
24. No fear of shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge
25. Write for ht eworld to read and see yr exact pictures of it
26. Bookmovie is the movie in words, the visual American form
27. In praise of Character in the Bleak inhuman Loneliness
28. Composing wild,undisciplined, pure, coming in from under, crazier the better
29. You're a Genius all the time
30. Writer-Director of Earthly movies Sponsored & Angeled in Heaven*

*from The Portable Beat Reader ed. Ann Charters (Penguin, New York:1992) 58-59.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


oh my gosh everyone, i  just sent this one act i've been working on into a competition.  and i'm kind of nervous, because reading it over, it seems a little, what's it, not empty, but unfilled, like a line drawing that hasn't been filled in yet.  minimalistic. a blueprint, like tennesse said.  that's what a script is, i suppose, but i have this river shack in my head already built. maybe it's too crude, won't keep warm in the winter, but it's the best i've built so far, in some senses. characters, for one thing.  usually i can't keep them straight, but i kind of have faces in this one, some really interesting personalities only half-explored. kind of exciting, maybe i'll tweak it a bit.  i wanted the play to deal with family relationships, but it turned out to be powered more by guilt and forgiveness. maybe i didn't need a deus ex machina, but that's all that myrna seemed to be - though her arrival was inevitable. i wish deluge had been more of a christ figure, and that he and skitters could've made something more happen in the end. oh well. it's sent, it's done, and that's that.

Monday, 12 September 2011

new books

It has come to that time of year where I cease to choose what I read.  It's September, I have my booklist, and a substantial amount missing from my wallet, but a sacrifice worth making.  Must admit, rather a good line up: beat poetry, Atlas Shrugged, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for American Lit; a gothic novel and Dr. Jonson for The Age of Sensibility; Midnight's Children for International Lit.  I'm ready to be inspired!

Friday, 2 September 2011

through the wardrobe

One of my favourite series from childhood (and I'm sure one of yours) is C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.  I remember sitting cross-legged amongst twenty other nine-year-olds taking turns reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe aloud (as I skimmed three chapters ahead).  I remember watching the BBC videos and thinking the White Witch was scary.  I remember my favourite scene from Prince Caspian in which Aslan calls the schoolteacher.  I remember Puddleglum choosing a real Narnia over a lamp in The Silver Chair.  I loved the charm of The Horse and His Boy and its unique viewpoint.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, however, was always my favourite.  A huge sense of adventure on the high seas, episodes of strange happenings, and good old Eustace.  I admire Lewis' style in general, an accessible storytelling that is clever and clear. And such beautiful pictures and metaphors!  The sweet lily-strewed oceans at the end of the world gives me shivers to this day.

I finally watched the new film version of the Dawn Treader, and though I was disappointed in some of the dialogue quality and the changes they made to the plot, I was still inspired to stay up and scribble down the opening of a fantasy novel.  Lewis has written one of the greatest works in children's (and fantasy) literature - I wonder what inspired him?