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December 01, 2006

I Am A Sad Fish

I don't know why fish.

When I'm writing, I don't read. It has taken me a week to get through six chapters of "The Quiet American." A couple of observations on reading slowly and reading while writing:

1. I can see the seams. Yes. I can see where Graham Greene himself (yes, himself!) was thinking, was making shit up, was reinventing stuff that actually happened, was straining to get to the end of a scene, etc. Yes, I am projecting. Nevertheless, I can see the seams. They are there.

2. Graham Greene is a fucking good writer. Fucking. Good. I just read a scene which is pure, unadulterated symbolism from start to finish (an American spy and a British journalist meet in the Brit's apartment to discuss the disposition of the Brit's Vietnamese mistress, whom the American covets. The Brit is married to a woman at home who won't give him a divorce, so he stays in Vietnam and lives with his mistress comfortably, with no intention of ever going home. The American is young and single and wants to marry her. The two are discussing her fate in her absence. The American brought his dog along, who growls at the Brit -- in his own house -- when he starts to get aggro. The mistress comes home in the middle of the negotiation, watches them making fools of themselves, and then simply says "no.") Like I said, point-for-point symbolism of the coarsest, most obvious kind. Yet it works like gangbusters.

3. I am going to write about this, "Mavala Shikongo," the Terrence Malick film "The New World" and all kinds of stuff like that. Just you wait.

InNoWriMo Tally:
Today's torturous wordcount: 2023
Total wordcount: 28,433


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O yeah, I notice that too, how your perception of writing changes when you are writing a lot yourself. Also I get so hungry for reading when I hardly have any time for it, such a treat to have a 45-minute train ride to a client, because I will get to read!

hmm, i'm not actually hungry for the read. that's why i'm reading so slowly. the writing takes up a lot of that reading energy. strange.

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