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Thursday, May 8, 2008

Theater of Nothing

Extraordinary rendition screenplay has collapsed, subject seems too big, I'd have to fake too much. When I'm between projects I feel as if I've never written anything at all, that I in fact do not know how to write. And if one is asking oneself Am I a writer? the next step on the downward slide is Am I anything? When a project is underway one is under a kind of spell and when the spell has disappeared one feels like a passenger thrown over the rail of an ocean liner and one treads water watching the liner get further and further away, wondering how one managed to get oneself into this predicament. Or as Truman Capote put it: "Finishing a work of art is like taking a small child into the back yard and shooting it." The other new project I tried was an absurdist comedy, wrote maybe 30 pages, all the while knowing that Hollywood has no time whatsoever for Theater of the Absurd material, so that too collapsed. And when one is not writing one's day revolves around--nothing. I suppose I'll go up to Barron Plaza and people-watch, buy a paper, read more about the supremely idiotic Democratic brawl. I'm sure both candidates get a good 8 to 10 hours of sleep a night and probably spend every other afternoon napping; I can't buy into the myth that they "work hard" or "work non-stop"; there's no way they could keep up the pace of making a speech or two a day for months on end without substantial rest to keep their strength up, so they can look fresh and energetic--as they always do--when they're behind the podium. When I see one of them nodding off at the podium and fumbling their way through a speech, then I'll know they're "working hard."

8 comments:

Medjai de metal. said...

I must say spanish is not really difficult to learn. I´ve been studying english for 8 years or so. I passed the FCE, but as far as I know, that´s british english. I´m not very good at it, but I do my best, and as long as you can understand at least 3 words of what I´m saying, I think we´ll understand eachother.
I write too. It´s not exactly poetry.. Actually, I don´t know exactly what it is, but I kind of..like it. I published some papers on an "under" magazine, from my hometown.
I´m from Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego (with, translated it would be something like "Fireland"),which it´s known as "The end of the world", it´s the last city of Argentina. I´m studying laws in Buenos Aires. Before that, I studied at an art highschool.
I think writing is somehow showing our souls, and even if it´s the worst shit we´ve ever writen we should be proud of it anyway. Not everybody can write. It doesn´t matter if it´s good or if it´s really bad. It is, and that´s enough. If (while you´re writing) you feel ok, then it´s ok. Words are made for us to feel, to enojoy them, nothing else.
Tell me about you. Are you married? Do you have a family? How is your city?

Richard McNally said...

Writing is a black hole nightmare of near insanity (ever read Thomas Bernhardt?) and an overpowering almost uncontrollable joy, or something like that, and the human mind, as I heard a psychologist say on TV the other day and mentioned in the Waiting Room, is a "tissue of contradictions," which is to say human beings are walking yin/yang diagrams, or a strange mixture of the finite and infinite, as Kierkegaard said, also saying, you may know, that human beings go through life pushing inward on doors that open outward, or something like that. I picked up a copy of Catch 22 at my daughter and son-in-law's apartment in Brooklyn this weekend, a novel I read in high school in the 1960s (where I met my wife Betty) and was not surprised to see that I had forgotten virtually every word of it--though not the concept of Catch 22, or the name Yosarrian, a name I find irritating, plus the movie was a bore; I can't stand outlandishly successful writers, they make me feel like I'm four inches tall.

Richard McNally said...

Writing is a black hole nightmare of near insanity (ever read Thomas Bernhardt?) and an overpowering almost uncontrollable joy, or something like that, and the human mind, as I heard a psychologist say on TV the other day and mentioned in the Waiting Room, is a "tissue of contradictions," which is to say human beings are walking yin/yang diagrams, or a strange mixture of the finite and infinite, as Kierkegaard said, also saying, you may know, that human beings go through life pushing inward on doors that open outward, or something like that. I picked up a copy of Catch 22 at my daughter and son-in-law's apartment in Brooklyn this weekend, a novel I read in high school in the 1960s (where I met my wife Betty) and was not surprised to see that I had forgotten virtually every word of it--though not the concept of Catch 22, or the name Yosarrian, a name I find irritating, plus the movie was a bore; I can't stand outlandishly successful writers, they make me feel like I'm four inches tall.

Richard McNally said...

Writing is a black hole nightmare of near insanity (ever read Thomas Bernhardt?) and an overpowering almost uncontrollable joy, or something like that, and the human mind, as I heard a psychologist say on TV the other day and mentioned in the Waiting Room, is a "tissue of contradictions," which is to say human beings are walking yin/yang diagrams, or a strange mixture of the finite and infinite, as Kierkegaard said, also saying, you may know, that human beings go through life pushing inward on doors that open outward, or something like that. I picked up a copy of Catch 22 at my daughter and son-in-law's apartment in Brooklyn this weekend, a novel I read in high school in the 1960s (where I met my wife) and was not surprised to see that I had forgotten virtually every word of it--though not the concept of Catch 22, or the name Yosarrian, a name I find irritating, plus the movie was a bore, I can't stand hugely successful writers, they make me feel like I'm four inches tall.

Patty McNally Doherty said...

Allright already, I heard you the first time - writing is a black hole. I get it. I get it. Writing is a black hole.

But if writing is a black hole, then designing is your next door neighbor, because that TOO is a black hole. Sometimes. And maybe it's not really black. Maybe it's orange. Yes. It's orange. No yellowy orange. But somehow it just looks black.

And dear MdeM, you are studying law, not laws.

That's it from me, for now, till later,
Patty

Richard McNally said...

Designing is an afternoon on the beach.

Patty McNally Doherty said...

I know. It's really hard.

Richard McNally said...

There should be a law against any profession as easy as that.