Monday, September 3, 2007

How Goofy and Horrible is Life

I like smitage. I'm thinking I want to use it from now on in everything I write--every story, every annotation. I'm just going to slyly insert it in my work, see if K. notices. Smitage seems like a precursor (or postcursor) to Surrealism and perhaps we should inaugurate it as such. After all, Surrealism is as much about self-obliteration as self-discovery. "I am another," said Rimbaud, and the Surrealists practiced it, impossible as that might be.

Next word: frottage.

As in: Yesterday, as evening collapsed on the boulevard, I saw her, fell in love with her, and expressed that love with a beautiful act of frottage.

Uncle Dean once wrote a poem called "Frottage" and its first line is sort of like my guiding principle in life and writing: "How goofy and horrible is life." If that's not a high act of smitage I don't know what is. I once wrote a blog on Myspace called "How Goofy and Horrible is Life." The blog was basically a defense of my "egomaniac" tendency to take pictures of myself, but the point I was trying to make, if any, was that in order for me not to fall into a never-ending terrible bout of self-serious gloom (considering, among other things, that I have a devastating, life-shortening, life-changing, pancreas-killing illness) I try to view the world and its tragedy with a sense of goofiness.

My Uncle's poems are all about "How Goofy and Horrible is Life" and so is, for that matter, some of my other favorite writers: George Saunders, for example, or even Milan Kundera. (I'm not sure whether you could call Sebald goofy...)

Anyway, I wrote a Saunder's annotation on Friday on his use of dialogue in "CivilWarLand." Yesterday, I re-read "The 400 Pound-CEO" on the beach and almost burst apart with envy and happiness: What a great story!!!

Which is to say: I share that devastating sense you have of having just (finally) finished a story and feeling pretty much that it is terrible.

Here's a perspective, speaking of Deano. In a letter to me, he once wrote:

"My new book will be out in April and I will send you a copy when I get one. It seems completely uninteresting to me although there are a couple of poems I shoved in at the last moment that are still alive for me, filling me with doubt."


1 comment:

The Man Who Couldn't Blog said...

Very nice, indeed. Alive and filling me with doubt.