Saturday, April 28, 2007
It's A Gas, Gas, Gas
Right now, I'm desperately trying to finish the last 5K or so words on a piece I've been fucking ducking since November. It's a nothing little piece of crapadoodle, but it might be something that gets mama paid a bit this summer and it needs to be finished yesterday. I'm determined to finish it tonight. As I bang away on the keyboard, I've got one ear cocked to the tv, which is showing one of my favorite what-the-fuck- films from the 1980s: Jumpin' Jack Flash.
Can I just interject here for a second and say that, on my way to finding that link at imdb, I hyperlinked my way through, like, 15 pages, eventually winding up back at wikipedia (naturally) and its entry on a novel and film that loomed large in my childhood. The setting -- Green Town --the same as that of Bradbury's other meditation on adolescence and maturity, Dandelion Wine. I bring all of this up only to share with you the joy I felt in realizing that that brief layover at wikipedia reminded me of Macbeth, a play I steadfastly refused to read while an undergraduate
Can I just interject here to say that I'm surprisingly -- and horrifyingly -- ill read for someone with a Ph.D. in English? And I mean that in terms of both literature and theory, sadly. I mean, I can fake it when in the company of my peers; but just today, as a matter of fact, I thought about how I've never read this, which, honestly, on a day-to-day basis doesn't cause me any motherfucking consternation...except for those occasional (but guaranteed) times when a student will stoke the inner fires of thought and make some random damn connection in class and then it's all "blah blah blah tell us more about The Well of Loneliness; blah blah blah I want to know about Jomo Kenyatta and the Mau Maus; blah blah blah I don't think I read Macbeth until I was way into graduate school and even then I didn't read it for a class but because I was really conscious of not knowing as much as everyone else and if you tell anyone that I never finished The Faerie Queene I will have to kill you."
...and anyway, thinking about Macbeth was both a blessing and a curse, because it helped me think through a new scene with a character in another piece I'm working on (a novel, I think...I'm actually not sure yet what form this thing wants to take); but it also forced me to recognize that, as much as I want to Pynchonify myself, I want to do more than quote, allude to, or reference: I want to write things like this myself:
Malcolm: ...Nothing in this life
Became him like the leaving it: he died
As one that had been studied in his death
To throw away the dearest thing he owed
As't were a careless trifle...
Or how about this?
2nd Witch: By the pricking of my thumbs,
Something wicked this way comes.
But this...this imprecation I absolutely love--
Lady Macbeth: ...Come to my woman's breasts,
And take my milk for gall, you murdering ministers.
Bitches. I need my own Lady Macbeth. I would have finished this screenplay by now, I'm telling you.
I wouldst be great. I have art: but alas, no ambition.