October 1, 2018: On Being a Literary Weirdo

  • Still working on the second round of edits on the new novel
  • Damn, it’s weird.
  • It starts out weird.
  • It gets weirder.
  • I mean, like, Phillip K. Dick weird. Gombrowicz weird.
  • If you haven’t heard of Gombrowicz, then find time to read his novel Ferdydurke.
  • When the horror community thinks of nihilism, its go-to authors are Lovecraft and Ligotti. But there are so many other shades of nihilism out there. Gombrowicz is a sort of social nihilist. By this, I mean that his nihilism is that in which people are molded by their social interactions to such an outrageous degree that no actual “self” exists.
  • He cannot, however, be called a horror author.
  • But so what? It’s good to read stuff outside the genre.
  • What kind of author was he? Absurdist, to some extent. But he also reminds me of the French decadents.
  • I sometimes wonder who would be publishing Gombrowicz if he were writing today. And what about the French decadents? Who would be publishing them, if they were starting up in the present-day U.S.? Not one of the Big Five, that’s for sure.
  • When media conglomerates control the publishing business (and film, and TV, and news, etc.), they get to control what thoughts are think-able, what emotions are feel-able, and how these emotions can be expressed.
  • A culture fed a diet of loud crashing, melodramatic movies will develop a penchant for loud, crashing, melodrama in social interactions.
  • And social media interactions.
  • And politics.
  • If conglomerate control persists for another fifty years, will people lose the ability to understand ambiguity?
  • If people lose the ability to understand ambiguity, will they devolve into lemmings?
  • Has this already happened?
  • It’s much better for me to have good social skills than good social media skills.
  • Does a self exist?
  • Maybe, but it’s a precarious entity. A stroke or a blow to the head can obliterate it.
  • I’m not a believer in the soul, in the sense of a ghostly spirit that survives death. But I do think “soul” is a helpful poetic term for that part of ourselves that remains relatively unaffected. Our nightmares, our yearnings, and other deep matters.
  • My cat is cuter than your cat.
  • The Bengals won yesterday.
  • One of my softball teams made it to the championship game in the league tournament.
  • We fell short, but supposedly will be given runner-up T-shirts.
  • Another of my softball teams won later yesterday.
  • I’m a pitcher.
  • It’s slowpitch softball.
  • I love the game so much.

Posted on October 1, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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