Ze Post Poppins Blues & other “zooms in”

Mary Poppins & Teorema & My Uncle are three movies about a stranger who comes in a house, disturbs all systems, and at the end leaves the place in a mess of changes. It’s a little pattern in movies history, let’s call it the stranger/revealer. I googled the titles and spent a good time exploring this. Poppins is built on an invisible tree (she comes to “save the father”). The visitor in Teorema is a revealer/disturber – some say it’s God himself, or destiny. And Monsieur Hulot in My Uncle is just the happy French casualness and poetry messing with “modernity”, concrete and productivity.

You can enlarge it in clicking “Mysterious Visitor” in IMDB’s Plot Keywords, you’ll get plenty of, including horror movies.

But I’d prefer playing with the ZOOM today, restraining things to a more little aspect.

I wanted to write something about what happens AFTER Poppins and others. What could happen in movies, after the visit of a disturber. Struggles, changes, back to “normal”, chaos? It could be funny to imagine…

So my tool today becomes : biased Zoom in.

Choose a field, a structure, and choose to find or to study a little part of it, an unknown window, another entry, what happens before, or after. A strange zoom.

You can study resistance to change in hierarchies, but also “what if it was good?”, too. You can write about manipulators, but also about “what happens exactly when the narcissistic perv catches his prey”. You can spend months about mindfulness, but also and suddenly the contrary. How NOT to pay attention, and why.

So, well, the idea is to ZOOM IN on a field, with a deviant will, not in the center, with a bias of invention, generous wrongness, happy curiosity, to find something nobody had the idea to study before. Ideas. Seeds.

Have a good day!

helle7v

You can read also :

When to NOT pay attention is an Art for decision making

 

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Blogger’s Words Horniness & consequences

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”.

  1. When you’re in the flow, you write fast and clear, and that’s delightful. You go girl.
  2. When you’re excited and you go in many directions at the same time, happy like a fool : you don’t hold your wheel vert smartly (or you invented three wheels and you don’t know what to do with them), you have good ideas but the result is too long, you ask yourself if you shouldn’t divide it in more articles based on this one, you run after a structure you feel you’re about to find, etc.

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!

 

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Chipping off prone varnish of Civilization

This night I dreamed of a street. It looked like a Japanese suburb. In a quiet evening, I was with my family outside, behind the house. Kids were playing in the garden, though night had fallen already.

Then something happened, far in the city. We heard screams in the distance. Then some people, more and more people began to pass in front of the house. I was watching them from my porch. They were worried, like fleeing something.

I stood up, listening to the night, on the look out for clues. I heard more screams, more people, like a river. I heard someone saying : “People are really fighting over there, phewww!”.

I grabbed the kids, my wife : “Hop hop! Everyone inside!”. Then… I woke up, in a grey mood, with this word in my head : “Varnish“.

 

Civilization as a “varnish over something” is a classic metaphor. Depends on what you think about : over opaque nature, over barbarism of men, over… absurdity?

Fragile varnish, chipping off prone.

Well, cities can burn, wars and earthquakes – or revolutions – can fracture the skeleton of social structures enough to push entire counties to different strange Middle Ages.

It’s probably why many humans are fascinated by “after the bomb” or epidemic (or zombie) movies, when one or a little group of humans has to gather to protect themselves against… something.

As a bookseller I see that many people buy books about survivalism. How do you do when there’s no electricity anymore?

 

Social collapse can also lead to other things.

When the Russians arrived in Berlin in 1945, it was about another kind of survivalism. German people (mostly women, kids and old people) had to find food, water… and find hideouts not to be raped… For months.

 

Isn’t our health a similar varnish? We move forward, full of trust, until…

 

OK. How will I finish this article? A boring “Don’t take things too seriously” quote? I don’t think so. No, let’s BE serious. One day, we will maybe HAVE to be seriously serious.

No : let’s invent a meta-story full of paradoxes and lessons. Oui ?

 

An author lives with wife and kids in a wealthy neighborhood. He writes a novel about a family trying to survive after a nuclear war (no electricity, fires, looters, violent riots, nuclear winter coming).
Our guy has fun and makes progress in his writing, but a REAL terrible earthquake happens, destroying 80% of his city. Chaos ensues (no electricity, fires, looters, no more police or hospitals, etc). Confrontation between his ideas for the book and… reality.

You have a week.

Have a great day!

 

PS : In my dream, should I have had taken my family out of my house, or was it a good idea to hide inside?

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Proust : “Beautiful books are written in a kind of foreign language”

“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 :

  1. I make mistakes (I’m sorry for that!)
  2. I make mistakes on purpose
  3. I add French words in the phrases (so there), et voilà !
  4. I often hesitate between two words and then I aggregate them in a forfun way…

 

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!

 

Tools :

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)

 

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<< 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.” >>

 

 

Are Bloggers Proustians?

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!

 

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First Ever & Hitherto Unheard, a words combination game

Fool’s dew – Heartened letterbox – Heavy-headed butterfly

Well that’s an easy game, keeping in mind that a little minibell could ring somewhere each time you pronounce a new combination of words. Ding!

Today you can even check with Google. Then you could be surprised : I googled “grapes in fire” and I found one. And I was wrong to imagine a Ding! with my “heavy-headed butterfly” : there’s one in a poem – by a Kathy Walden – with this one.

You get easier unheards when you :

  1. stick words together
  2. watch names on a “not my country” map and translate each
  3. combine words from different languages
  4. try to invent titles
  5. random play with a dictionary
  6. poetize
  7. combine three remote-fields words

 

What’s the purpose, dear?

Invention? A game to be “aware” of words? Seeds for poetry? A tool to find good article titles? An invitation to learn other languages?

Butterfly (flying butter, really??) in French is Papillon, in Spanish Mariposa. Play, combine, invert, etc…

 

Let write a poem (or a country music song, lalère) :

Hey heavy-headed butterfly
Grapes are on fire in the West

My heartened letterbox awaits
The fool’s dew for y’all

And a caterpillar cheek kiss

Are you all safe?

 

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Non Finito : Inchoateness in #Art

There’s a Wikipedia page about sculpture : Non Finito. We could begin with this.

Non finito is a sculpting technique meaning that the work is unfinished. Italian in origin, it literally means “not finished”. Non finito sculptures appear unfinished because the artist only sculpts part of the block, the figure sometimes appearing to be stuck within the block of material.

An unfinished piece of Art can be caused by the death of the artist, obviously, but now it’s also an esthetics purpose. You can imagine many ways of reading it :

  • Showing you a little of the act of creation
  • A failure, fatigue
  • No more money/no more inspiration
  • A refusal to decide it is “done”
  • A way to say it could be improved indefinitely
  • Impossibility to find perfection
  • Something finished or “too beautiful” is exhausting, disagreeable
  • It makes the audience think and wander within the “what could have happened”

 

In some fields, the “never finished” thing is constant : there are, for example, no finished Cathedrals in France. And I should explore it about Orson Welles, for example, who constantly seemed to be away and off with the idea of finishing and editing a movie.

Of course, there are problems with that concept. The “unfinished” thing can make the artist appear as a smart-ass doing is “non finito” thing. If it’s a trend to do this, what’s the point?

“This can be finished later” : some composers (or theater plays writers) constantly work on their stuff, and Proust, the French writer, is well known for his “quillings” : he added and added hundreds of little papers, adding fragments of texts to the existing text, and, as says Wikipedia : Proust died before he was able to complete his revision of the drafts and proofs of the final volumes.

In fact, it’s difficult for an artist to know, therefore to decide, when a piece of art is DONE. Some artists, like the painter Turner, decided to come back to work after a long time, and to put it further. Thus, you can finish is… many times.

Of course, this makes you think about the way it’s done. You can work back on a poem, even on a movie, but it’s harder to do it on an album – I read an interview of Peter Gabriel who was telling that he would love to redo some of his CDs. It can be remixed, remastered, but the record companies would unlikely allow him to change them really.

Mike Oldfield did it with Tubular Bells. He said in an hilarious interview that the original album was full of mistakes and flaws, so he redid it completely with a perfect sound and digital recording. Decades after the 1973 one, the new version was a success, but after a few months, the good old one was back on the shelves…

Tools & Dials :

What about YOUR art? How do you blog? How do you write? When do you know it’s over? Do you ask someone? Do you think about it if you paint?

Thanks for reading!

(So sorry for my bad English)

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