Sunday, January 23, 2005

A huge step

I have been outside again. Nothing much has changed. The air temperature is low, it gets into my chest and makes me feel consumptive. Great Russian writers were often consumptive, or they included consumptive characters in their novels. There's a character in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot, who has hectic flushes on his cheek and proclaims the worthlessness of everything. He is bitter, twisted, and consumptive. He is a nihilist.

I don't mean to be rude, but there is a chance that some of you may not know what a nihilist is, or you may have forgotten. So, here is the Websters entry for nihilist

1 a : a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless b : a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths
2 a (1) : a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibility (2) capitalized : the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination

I used to be a nihilist. I would sit around feeling sad and one thing led to another. I would wake up fairly late, skip breakfast, listen to some Joy Division records, and within just a few hours I'd pass through bitterness to despair to nihilism.

I did that for ages. Not only that, it felt so much longer. When you're down like that, time seems to last forever. Now I think, "Jesus! I am 32 years old! Do something before you're old!"

I don't listen to Joy Division anymore.

I'm forgetting my huge step. Or am I? I am attempting a wink as I sit here in Memphis, but it's no good, I still can't wink. I've tried winking all over the place (except outside schools and kindergartens), and it's never been good. Maybe I wink best on the ocean floor or out in deep space. Maybe I have a genetic predisposition that prevents me winking effectively, who can say?

On to my huge step. I am attempting, in my own hopelessly ineffective way, to find a larger audience for my writing. Given my present tiny readership, this shouldn't be hard. That's the great thing about being completely unheralded, of being an unknown, right now, just one or two more readers would literally double my audience.

To further my ambitions I have submitted my most recent story, the Kerouac pastiche, My Cat Flea Titus to McSweeney's, the website set up by Dave Eggers. Now, I'm not an enormous fan of much of Mr Eggers output, but he has helped to give unknown writers an outlet, a way to move forwards, so for that he deserves credit.

I now have to wait for the feedback to arrive, acceptance, rejection, etc

I've created tension in my personal life with this, something unpredictable to fret about, a feeling that can only be partially offset by eating cereal and playing online scrabble. Oh, I've one other thing to busy myself with now, and this is major breaking news - I bought a discounted Spiderman folder to keep my writings inside.

With Spiderman to protect me, success is a given.


Blogger bhikka said...

Glad to hear you are submitting your stories!!! Good luck and dont give up, remember : Determination is the willingness to begin again in the face of adversity.


1:13 PM  

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