Sunday, December 30, 2007

Meaning

1. One of the often forgotten surprises about life is that its meaning often goes on hiatus while the novel, short story, and poem persist in having meaning. In the midst of life, even a life of comfort, there may well be event but there is not necessarily meaning. The we turn to reading, which has the effect of opening a vigorously shaken bottle of soda; it spews event and meaning all over us.

2. How easy it is, coming from the reading of a story or a novel, to turn to our own writing, enthused to get down the events of our own story but not necessarily the meaning of our life or of our story.

3. It is so easy to read, listen to music, to take in the visual arts of dance, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture because each of these has reminded us of the need for meaning. But unless we are careful, we are leaving half our intent in the cloak room, along with our lunch.

4. Question: Does writing to entertain one's self and readers merely distract the self and the writer from meaning?

5. Question: On the other hand, could providing meaning without entertainment or disturbance provide unrelenting boredom?

6. Is there any entertainment in Dante and the Lobster, one of Beckett's finest short stories? Guy is invited to his aunt's for dinner. She asks him to pick up a lobster on the way. He (Belacqua) watches as auntie prepares to drop the lobster into the pot of boiling water.
It had about thirty seconds to live.
Well, thought Belacqua, it's a quick death, God help us all.
It is not.

7.
Write this story from the POV of the lobster.

8. Make it funny.

9. Remember what funny is.

10. Funny is one way of giving meaning.

11. Machado de Assisi Epitaph of a Small Winner written in 1881. POV of Bras Cubas, an ironic voice, reminded of it by the lyric Lee posted of the gambler, who died even, which is to say he died in his sleep. Cubas writes from the grave, adding irony and humor and, yes, meaning.

12. Amazon dot com, here I come.

13. I think I see Exit Pursued by a Bear lurking around again amid the clutter I have unloosed while trying to rearrange things in my room.

1 comment:

Lee's River/Zlatovyek said...

ahhhh. Zee bear is back!!! Davaï, Shelly! you'll wrestle him yet, (or he'll wrestle you, don't quite know what the pov is in your story...)