Monday, September 1, 2014

Excerpt From This Book I Will Probably Never Publish

Just remembered that it’s a Monday and Mondays are my blog days so yeah, oops.  So in lieu of anything thought up on the spur of a moment, I will share with you something that is probably very embarrassing for all of us. 

It is an excerpt from a book/novella, that I have been stabbing at for about a year or so with many months of me just pretending it doesn’t exist.

I feel like sharing it with you all because I am at the moment making a concerted effort to edit it and every time I read it I karate chop it down by many words and have a general glazed over ugg expression while I re-read it.

In all likelihood I’ll be too chicken shit to ever actually present it to any living soul let alone to have it published but hey, who knows, maybe in a moment of drunken delusion I will press send to this or that literary connected person.

Enough self-deprecation for the moment though, I give the below with only the sheer determination to not have to make a substantial effort at a post on this hot Labor Day.

P.S. It’s fiction ya’ll

(Excerpt from Searching for Something/(LA, Mexico City) working title)

Evan has a few books in his bookcase. I look at them for the first time since I have been in his apartment. I have felt very vulnerable all day. I pick out a few that look interesting. I start to read one of these books. It is Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s, Reveries of the Solitary Walker, I think this is a fitting title for my situation. Me being in LA and spending almost every day alone. The translation and introduction is by Peter France. His introduction is informative and sharply written. Those are the types of introductions that I like. They reveal the translator to be competent and dedicated but also having form. Peter writes about Rousseau’s beliefs and biography. He writes about how Rousseau thought a person living in society is unable to be their natural self and that solitude is the only place one can truly be oneself. I think of this and feel better about my current situation. The situation of not having any purpose. Of self-exile. Of wanting to escape New York and the life I have there without fully understanding why. It makes me feel not as absurd. It makes me feel like I am in good company. In the company of Rousseau. This makes me feel better. This imagined similarity of conflict of being. This feeling happens sometimes. A lot of the times perhaps. People come across things by other people and it confirms things that they feel or understand in an instinctual sort of way. This makes people feel less alone. It makes them feel like they are a part of and know something bigger and greater. Affirmation of this makes people feel authorized of their feelings and their way of being. When this happens to me, I feel affirmed. I feel authorized. I feel unique and at level to the person more famous, smarter, more cherished then me. I also feel immediate distrust and a slight revulsion because a thing like this, an affirmation of something that was once a private or untapped thought or feeling, then seems common. Reveries of the Solitary Walker was written in 1776-78. Nothing has changed. Evan underlined and made notes in the book. I never underline books. It makes me feel like the words are being battered somehow. It is interesting to see other people’s underlines and notes though. A tiny window into their brain as you read what they were reading. He bracketed an excerpt from Peter’s introduction from a passage of Rousseau’s Emile:

Dragged along contrary roads by nature and by men, forced to divide ourselves between these different impulses, we follow a path of compromise which leads us to neither our goals. So we are tossed about as long as we live, and we die without having been able to reconcile ourselves with ourselves and without serving either ourselves or other people. 

Evan wrote Terrific after the word people.