Saturday, 12 April 2008

Has She Gone Away?

Well, the answer is "yes". I am trying to write, and think, in the style of Betsy Byars's "The Midnight Fox" but this is really, really, hard. It requires, firstly, an infinite adaption of an adult mind, and a remarkable ability to think like an innocent, but intelligent, and moreover, fictional, character. A fictional character. Someone who winks in and out of existence when the pages are opened and closed. But someone you'd want to exist. Tom is one of life's, and fiction's, really darn good guys. The odd thing is: he doesn't exist: but having read, studied, and taught the book over and over I find this really hard to believe. So, is it more important that you're brilliant and not real, or that you're flawed and somehow exist, against all chance and change and desire? Aha- well, you fall for the ontological argument, of a kind, in assuming your existence predicates some kind of betterness than non-existence. The "X" (why not call you Bob?), the "Bob" of someone else's imagining is always and everywhere better, deeper, more original, than the "Bob" that you actually are, because it is more perfect and more coherent. You're a collaboration of ideas and organs, and things-always-tempted-to-switch-off and so your being here could be said to affirm St Anselm, but then again it doesn't because the versions of you in your mind or someone else's are always so much better: more evil, more intelligent, sexier, more good, whatever. You reach your perfections as someone else's fantasy.

What happens if you are no-one's fantasy? If you just have to blog your way through the greyness of streets and life? The answer is nothing. Nothing happens. You just are, and, worse, you just have to _be_. For example, I am currently nursing my copy of "Viz: The Turtle's Head" through its final stages of collapse. This comic book has sustained me over 12 years of fart and poo jokes, and also some jokes about wanking. Now it is succumbing to entropy and I will lose 12 years of comfort and assurance: the bastard world is in fact full of incoherence and ridiculousness (as I've pointed out in previous posts, taking the human body seriously is stupid - but somehow there are legions of people po-facedly talking about sex, while refusing to acknowledge poo). You are, with Viz, with drink, with news, with blogging, with whatever, even work: and you leave a trail of some kind, you make a brief indentation, like your fat arse on a sofa, then it's all over and you're gone and no-one gives a toss.

Still, never mind, "Bob". Why not just piss off down the pub and leave everything else, which is just management bollock-speak, to sort itself out? After all, no-one will remember, after things have changed, after things have moved on and gone forward: after you've fucked off, which is what everyone's really waiting for.

"You were a photograph" - of the worst, unsuspecting, short-necked, fat-gutted kind. With a head of hair that would rather be down the drain than on your head.

So it goes.

I never did catch Betsy Byars' style.


Crushed said...

Can't beat Biffa Bacon, eh? :)

No, Betsy Byars, had to read her as a kid at school. Can't remember the style.

Try the Rupert the bear style?

The Tin Drummer said...

Hmm, not quite. She writes fluently, softly, "pleasantly", but somehow with devastating character analysis.

Did you read Midnight Fox by any chance, such a beautiful book.