Jul. 26th, 2013 07:43 pm
jbeauvert: (Default)
[personal profile] jbeauvert
so I've had an epiphany and I am about to make a grand statement. it will pass. that said:

I have exquisite taste. I knowingly and intentionally like a lot of bad things, but when I deem something good I am absolutely right. I am not judgey james for no reason. I reserve the right to change my mind, but I'm at least a little bit inflexible in my opinions; swaying me to another way of thinking is possible but only the presentation of previously unknown facts.

I'm famous for having opinions about things about which I know next to nothing; movies I have not seen, books I have not read, etc. because I am part of the media elite when it comes to consumption of groupthink on a subject when I become interested in it. I knew that I would fall asleep watching The Tree of Life from the reviews before I actually fell asleep watching it. I'm good at these sorts of judgments.

but often my expectations are confounded: Saorise Ronan is a goddess, and I assumed because of this that the film of The Host, despite being adapted from a Stephenie Meyer book I found intolerable past about the tenth or twelfth page, would be good. I was so so wrong. I was so wrong that I almost think I had a stroke and died forever while watching it and I am in fact writing this blog post from the after life. SO BAD.

here's the epiphany part of things: there's no point in holding up a self-made object and going, here, I hope you like this, if you're (being I, being me) not sure you already like it. fucking approval, man. fuck that.

this isn't to suggest closing oneself off to a feedback loop. readers and editors are good, show you things you can't see about your work. if you think your work is doing some particular thing and three people outside of your head says it is not doing that thing, then you have more work to do so that the work does the particular thing you want to think it does - for it to work, you have to work, and a lot of that work can be letting other people into the process.

WHERE THAT PROCESS FAILS is doing work to be process proof. "tell me you like this."

I need to look at myself, my face forward to my work, and use that work as a mirror. and like what I see there. because I can do something about it if I don't like it. and only I can decide that there is something to be done there. maybe that's why I'm going back to the well.

I worry that I'm going back to the well because I have nothing else to write. I think we can say that is not fair or true. I have things, and I want to write. I want to write new things. I have #EBFT (and I cannot wait for that to be a trending hashtag on twitter, jesus). I will always have Lucas - he will fly through the night hunting motherfuckers again, oh yes, he lives.

I don't know, man. soberly (while drinking, obvs) I can say that Unnamed/Anonymity (I think I'm going to hastag it #AITMA for short now) is a fucking mess. I can see what it is missing, the life I didn't give it despite the richness of some of it. there are passages (and not the ones I'd historically loved, p.s.) where the imagination soars and the prose - line by line, there's a lot of sentences I wouldn't change, would, in fact, still write today if I'd never written it in the first place. I was going to post an example of something that made it into the new draft utterly unchanged. Whoops. I think I've edited every single line I've retyped. LOL

So instead I will post an example of something I think is dramatically better than the original document (of course it's one of the sex scenes, man they were gratuitous back then - they still are, but ... idk, more literary now - taking full advantage and trust in the knowledge EVERYONE at school is A-MAZE-D by my unflinching descriptions of sex and of peoples attitudes about sex - god bless you, Sara's Secret, thank you for, at least, that). So:

"In their bed she felt his body close to her for a moment, but knew he was still running. He was running down the streets that ran through her body. He sought some destination far within her that he could only reach through the action and exercise of fucking. His hips shifted up and down as he kept her legs spread wide beneath his piston thrusts, each one like a foot connecting with the sidewalk, the internal clack of the heel bone and the pressure shooting up through the spine. The kind of pounding that makes you shorter. When he’d run through her, he went to the sofa to sleep."

I think it's better, anyway. this is not a "here like this" although of course I like it if you like it. this is an "i like this". this is an I like that I can make things better. I like that I have great taste. I like that I can bust a cliché open because I know all the clichés. I like that I'm insular and self-referential and a fucking mess and a drunk and that I hate everything I do. Finally, the truth of the realization, what I'm paying my therapist to sit there and listen to me and not tell me:

I hate everything of mine that I hate because I know it's not very good. because I know that it's not up to my standards for something I would personally consume. the publication of Unnamed: the rough draft was to a degree mortification. I'm so glad I did it; as an art object and an experiment (hi ho, Ciro) it is a success and I think it is good. A messy, sloppy secondsy success. As a book, it is awful. just scenes and some good, rough prose that I'm glad has had a limited audience (although I'm pretty sure I'm going to make part of my - inevitable - book deal be the deluxe republication of the rough draft, for comparison. or possibly simply included as foot notes to the real thing, wouldn't that be fucking grand?)

But Anonymity in the Modern Age might yet manage to be good. I might not have to hate it. I might not have to hate myself because of it. I might even want to read it if I hadn't written it. It might live up to those standards. And those standards are mine, and they're the only ones that matter.

Like I said, this epiphany will pass.
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