Wednesday, June 27, 2012

More Noir

Noir story continues to be whispering in your ear that it is, after all, about you, trying to explain that when you took your first tentative steps along the written path, it—the entire concept of you making your way via writing, was all about you.  This was because you knew so little of yourself.

It was natural, in that condition, to “look up” information, to read things “about” it and apply a kind of calculus that was part recipe, part formula, and part an unquestioning faith in what you considered your education.
There was a time toward the end of your high school career when you had considered yourself well read on the basis that you were in a relative sense, better read than many of your contemporaries.  You went on to college-level courses in which you “studied” literature, meaning you became aware of individuals and their work you’d not heard of before.

Ah, the arrogance of it.  Only a few days ago, you came across lists of things students in England of your approximate age then should have familiarity with.  Arrogance does not put the matter with enough force or clarity.

What you needed to do, you accomplished on a level of competence but not significant competence.  You had to learn to read for actual sense of meaning and authorial intent, sometimes in situations where you scarcely knew your own intent.  You had to feel so far off the mark of standard you’d assumed to acquire by your mid or late twenties that you must come to doubt you could even compete with your goals.

You were setting yourself up in part for noir.  You say “in part” here because you can never prepare for noir with complete certainty.  You can recognize its nature even to the point of inviting it inside of you to see where and how it would fit, but you cannot know the enormity of it within you or about you until you see portions of it at play in the world about you, within persons you know, and within that individual you’d come to despair of knowing as much as you’d begun to despair reaching your artistic goals.  This individual, of course, was, and still is you.

It is easier to see noir in things you read and in persons you come in contact with than it is to see into your own cavities of noir, your storage compartments, as it were, where the first two months are free.

There were times during the ageing process when you mistook noir for cynicism, stepping aside as if to avoid a dog dropping on a sidewalk, but you have come to see noir as more than mere unstructured cynicism.  Noir is more a sense of awareness of humanity at all levels, struggling for things it may not achieve, then taking the sour grapes way out, rationalizing your way toward a negotiated awareness about how far one may dream without giving way to absolute fantasy.

Noir is not anti-romanticism, nor does it seek to discourage such visions, rather it is the awareness that everything comes wrapped in ultimate pain.  Even too much noir is painful because it reminds us of what we thought we had to have, how we achieved what we had to have, and what we had to have has made of us.

Noir is one of the most difficult stories to give an effective ending, thus so many noir stories end in death or uncertainty, others still end with someone waking up and finding next to him or her in bed the person who had to be had.

Noir is not all about you; noir is about the wiring and genomes of the human condition.  These are things to be learned.  You are noir, looking at someone or something in a simple act of observation then hearing the message being tapped out on a cellphone keyboard.  It is telling you that you are no longer a mere observer, recording this remarkable someone or something.  The IM comes chirping in through your sensory on-ramps.  You have to change your furniture because of this person or thing.

From a perspective of numbers, you are more accustomed to the changes and planning if the remarkable thing is a story or an idea, but even that has limitations.

In another sense, noir is all around you, daring you to find ways to cope with the notion that you can’t quite grasp it, however close to hand it is, however acute your abilities to capture a tangible essence of it with words.

Noir is the post coital tristesse without the coitus.

1 comment:

Querulous Squirrel said...

This is very moving and I read it with a lump in my throat. I have been searching. This gives my current writing and reading interests some focus and direction. With my recent brain injury, I can only do one thing at a time and this helps.