These are rules and ideas for Pixar writers. Couldn’t we bloggers steal something here?…
Have a nice day!
Yesterday I wrote an “inspired” long article about Genesis and Progressive Rock. I was listening to Firth of Fifth and I was very excited.
But after finishing it, and publishing it, I stayed unsatisfied, I knew it was written in a rush, the building was not OK, something was bothering me. So I polished it endlessly, adding this, cutting that, quoting lyrics… I was like “Yes, but”.
Happily, later in the evening I had an idea to prolong it. I found tools, ideas, common patterns. Thus I fixed my article, I added a paragraph and published it.
I read over it this morning : it was all bouleshit – despite all the dressings I had added there and here. I trashed it immediately.
Every blogger knows that there are two kinds of “words horniness”.
It’s like a rush. You’re too excited, you look like a leaping mountain baby goat.
It’s really like when you have this : “Let’s pretend” and other as if games…
When you feel this little nausea after you just say with someone you “want to believe it’s true but fuck it’s really not” : “Yeah, we are strong !”, “Yeah, we will beat them all”, “Yeah, it will be simple and beautiful !”. Yeahhhh.
Every serious author knows this : you have to be cautious with “inspiration”, it can loose you into nothing.
Sloterdijk wrote : “To be sovereign is to choose what will you be overwhelmed with”, which contains the idea of sovereignty : you decide what you do with energy. You canalize it, you organize it.
Baudelaire wrote : “It is impossible for a poet not to contain within himself a critic. Therefore the reader will not be surprised that I consider the poet as the best of all critics”. This is exactly my point. Inspiration alone is nothing. You have to study and change what your write. And if you’re a genius, it’s the same!
Valéry wrote a lot about this aspect. He says that to write you have to find the “singing”, the little wind, easy to handle, the good temperature – But nervous freedom, fury or impetus are waste and loss. Stay a child, let it spurt, hear the gods, but then be a chief, take your brain, your tools, watch and clean it, build your thing. TAME.
OK, I trashed my article. But I liked it, in a way, this ugly child… Therefore, I re-published it, thanks to WordPress, in the past. November 1st. My bad.
Thanks for reading! Have a nice day!
“Remembrance of things past
is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.”
― Marcel Proust
Proust is a well known French writer, renowned for his… difficult style. You’ll Google it if you want to try, OK?
Thus, in France (and probably elsewhere) you often hear this “I tried Proust, but I couldn’t finish it”, with a little funny face.
Well, OK, I never finished it either! Reading Proust is like eating a feast everyday. It’s exhausting!
- Worse : you can not really read something else, because every writer looks like a dumb moron after Proust. Too much intelligence pulls you in an awe, where air is rare.
- Worse : you want to grab anyone you know to scream “Read Proust, it’s amazing!”. No, come on, it’s impossible to read him.
- Worse : Proust’s style, made of long, complex phrases, with an absolute lack of concessions (for the reader), is like dive into it, or else…
Therefore : you have to make an effort. Each time you plunge in Proust you have to. You’re like “OMG it’s dense!”, then you find the marvels. A bit like opera, you see? If you don’t make an effort, an opera is a boring story with people singing like crazy about stupid dramas. Make an effort to find your own pleasure : voices, performance, music, comparing, etc…
Once you did it, here it is : Proust is a blogger.
One day I explained it to my best friend. She was like “Meh”. OK, I said. I picked up the book, read a page (randomly), and we found an idea. So good it filled the evening in conversations.
The only secret is this : do not take it too solemnly. It’s not a cathedral. La Recherche (“In Search of the Lost Time”) is just a huge great book. If you’re bored, breathe and pass a page. YES. Go on. You’ll find emerald & pearls. It’ll kill you (it’s soo good). One day, it’s enough. Read something else.
In each page you’ll find one or more ideas. Each one could let you thinking smiling watching the sky, like “Ohh, that’s true!”.
He’s a blogger. But he’s better than you, I warn you…
Have a nice day!
“Every reader, as he reads, is actually the reader of himself. The writer’s work is only a kind of optical instrument he provides the reader so he can discern what he might never have seen in himself without this book. The reader’s recognition in himself of what the book says is the proof of the book’s truth.”
― Marcel Proust,
“Now there is one thing I can tell you: you will enjoy certain pleasures you would not fathom now. When you still had your mother you often thought of the days when you would have her no longer. Now you will often think of days past when you had her. When you are used to this horrible thing that they will forever be cast into the past, then you will gently feel her revive, returning to take her place, her entire place, beside you. At the present time, this is not yet possible. Let yourself be inert, wait till the incomprehensible power … that has broken you restores you a little, I say a little, for henceforth you will always keep something broken about you. Tell yourself this, too, for it is a kind of pleasure to know that you will never love less, that you will never be consoled, that you will constantly remember more and more.”
― Marcel Proust
Saul Leiter (1923 – 2013) was an American photographer. He worked for fashion magazines and remained unknown until late in his life.
He photographed the streets of New York in color, when everybody considered that black & white was the only serious way to be a photographer. He captures moments, empty quiet seconds, he likes to play with frames, complex reflections, blurry lights. Each photo is charged in mood : heat, melancholy, waiting, thinking, sudden snow magic, thinking, loneliness…
Google his name! Thanks for reading/watching.
If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun.
I talked ten minutes with an old man, an organ maker. I bombed the poor man with so many questions! One was : “As the organ’s sound is made with pipes, how do you standardize the sound?”. Well it was interesting. He was really happy to tell me these things, and admitted he was writing a book. “Organs & Frigates”. Boats?? He gave me some hints :
Write a short story of a person, after a break up, who is angry to be stalked on the Internet – but he/she is not.
Similar pattern : a TV star is stuck in an elevator with another person… who never watches television and thus has NO CLUE the first one is a celebrity expecting to be recognized.
My father had a first aid certificate. He taught me that a wounded person absolutely needs a beautiful dressing, a clean and well done bandage. A real need.
“Words are nothing. Actions are everything. Don’t tell me. Show me.”
Ahhhh we like that, right? Dumbsimple and satisfying! I found another outrageous quote about that :“Don’t talk, just act. Don’t say, just show. Don’t promise, just prove”.
Blah blah blah. My sarcastic mind agrees, nods, and immediately jumps over the fence of fake simplicity to see what happens “really” in life. The facets of plain stupidity are innumerable… because :
Words are nothing? Ah lalaaaa… These motivational quotes are so moronic that I want to die. Or to hit the author on the head with a good hammer. BIM. Then I die, scouic.
Talk to your lover, silly. Don’t be that “He’s silent” type! Act when necessary. If your spouse is like “Don’t tell me show me”. Well : climb a ladder if you like…
If you hide a Family Secret, it will seep out messily and everywhere in your story…
She puts her hand on her heart, to show she is wounded
Bonne journée, messieurs dames !
“Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”.
Isn’t it true? What about other textfields? Articles? Theater plays? Dialogs in a movie? Blogs?
It’s about style, but not only. It’s about strangeization (adding little strange elements in the words flow to raise the reader’s eyebrows) but not only.
I blogged for eight years in French, and then now I write in English, precisely because it’s not my native language. I have to stay simple, to let go, I have to admit I’m not skilled enough to write as I would have liked to. I wrote an article about it : Writing in another language.
…until I realized it can be pleasant or funny for English readspeakers to read my warped little articles here :
But I think Proust says more. I like this idea of inventing a slightly weird style in your own native language, when you write. This is a little string in the harp of writing creativity, I agree, but to me it’s an important string.
When I discover a new blog, I explore the ideas it presents, of course, but I really LOVE to find little leaning elements, the raising eyebrows kind…
…written in a kind of foreign language
Yes sometimes it goes a bit far. I remember my shock when I began to read Faulkner, with his risky unpunctuated flows of conscience pages. Or Joyce, of course.
In France, the infinite, complex and delicious pages of Marcel Proust, the false spoken style of Céline, the gorgeous style of Colette or Jean Giono, the toxic pleasures of Marguerite Duras. I’m French. I read them in an awe, surprised and amazed by how they dare to write.
I do wonder how translators try to… transmit this in English!
Is it a tool? Do you think about it when you write? How?
I could hands can see cooling fingers invisible swan-throat where less than Moses rod the glass touch tentative not to drumming lean cool throat drumming cooling the metal the glass full overfull cooling the glass the fingers flushing sleep leaving the taste of dampened sleep in the long silence of the throat I returned up the corridor, waking the lost feet in whispering battalions in the silence, into the gasoline, the watch telling its furious lie on the dark table.
Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury
(yes it’s about a guy in the night searching of the carafe of water in darkness)
<< Virginia Woolf would sit down to thank a friend for sending her a slab of nougat from Saint-Tropez, but, put in mind of France by the package, she soon found herself talking only of the novel. “My great adventure is really Proust,” she wrote, “I am in a state of amazement; as if a miracle were being done before my eyes. How, at last, has someone solidified what has always escaped—and made it too into this beautiful and perfectly enduring substance? One has to put the book down and gasp. The pleasure becomes physical—like sun and wine and grapes and perfect serenity and intense vitality combined.” >>
We’re all the same, us bloggers. One day we ask ourselves : “WHY do I blog?”
You can read this article about it : Why do you blog?.
…my theory was that you blog because you want to be loved…
But tonight I think about Proust and La Recherche.
In his long suite of books (“In search of the lost time”), the narrator, little by little, realizes that he has to remember, that memory in important, that he has to WRITE… the book we just read.
Clever loop, right?
I’d like to add this paragraph from Wikipedia :
Gilles Deleuze believed that the focus of Proust was not memory and the past but the narrator’s learning the use of “signs” to understand and communicate ultimate reality, thereby becoming an artist. While Proust was bitterly aware of the experience of loss and exclusion—loss of loved ones, loss of affection, friendship and innocent joy, which are dramatized in the novel through recurrent jealousy, betrayal and the death of loved ones—his response to this was that the work of art can recapture the lost and thus save it from destruction, at least in our minds.
(I bolded the bolded…)
Let’s get to my point : Bloggers are Proustians.
If you consistently write and publish, it’s to be loved (that’s OK, dear), but also maybe to… remember.
To remember what? What you’ve been thinking at? What you ARE? Who you’re becoming? To remember that you like to share?
What?? You would blog because… you blog? Just because you feel you have to?
Nope. Maybe you blog to understand WHY you want to blog…
Clever loop. Proustian. QED.
Thanks for reading!