You can find the last entry here with a few thoughts on the project: http://thisisroom101.blogspot.ca/
George Orwell in his Burma passport photo. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell
As per last week’s post upon finishing my retype of Joyce’s Portrait Of The Young Artist As Young Man, today I began writing the entirety of Ulysses by hand into a paper journal. I’ve included here the first two pages. Scans of all my writing for it will be posted up at the blog: Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head.
I am copying the 1993 Oxford Press of Ulysses which I bought for my English Modernism & Post-Modernism 2nd year university class at the University of Toronto. I’ve carried this copy for many years with me. It’s torn up and written on. I’ll be playing with the text. I won’t be changing the words or diverting from what is written in the original copy. I want to experiment with the letters and the words as visual mediums. It is 729 words long, therefore, it will take me 729 days to complete my writing.
Looking forward to the adventure.
For now, here’s my Pulp Hero Micro-Fic: Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus are two lost souls who are unaware of their powers. Bloom is an introvert who brings truth in the definition of self. Dedalus moves mountains in his search for identity. Together these two heroes forge freedom to a world in transition. However, it is one woman, Molly, who exposes Bloom for who he really is: the one and only, ULYSSES!
UPDATED SCANS: http://gettinginsidejamesjoyceshead.blogspot.ca/
Admittedly with my workload at full capacity at the moment (film reviews, book reviews, interviews, and finishing up my next poetry book), it’s been hard to keep up with my rewrites and retypes. However, I’ve managed. If I haven’t been able to write them up on the day, I make sure to save the page and retype them the next day, or just do it at midnight before I go to bed. I think three entries in This Is Room 101 are missing drawings, but I’ve got the originals saved up for when I have time to do them.
The sketches are really rough and that’s the way I started doing them, since I’m usually in a rush in the mornings anyway. My aim is to get an impression of the headline photo and my eyes’ quick interpretation of the photo. When passers by see the headline photo in the newspaper box or on the internet, it’s meant to provide a jolt, a provocation to read the informative text. Thus, my images are hurried like the eyes of a commuter or worker at their desk.
As mentioned before, my interests in synchronicity has exploded here and there with this project. Looking back and reading them out loud has been an fascinating experience. I hope anyone that reads the entries will have their own interpretation or view of it and will inform me of their reads. Randomness in life can be transformative or mundane, but it’s still a worthy subject to be studied and witnessed.
For Getting Inside James Joyce’s Head, I’ve had the weird need to type out more descriptors in my own works, more than I have before. As I head toward the great denouement, I’ve realized how wordy and less poetic his prose has become. Not that that is a bad thing, mind you, Joyce went from gibberish, to overly bursting with language, and now…it seems he’s achieved an interesting balance. My own work has journeyed through the same head space. As for the the rewrite, it’s going along, but I’ll have to go back and smooth out a few things for coherence.
Here’s my desk every morning. My big pile of Wall Street Journal drawings needs a box now. I’ve added a stand up desk extension to help my mobility with my increasing workload.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very happy to have the work I do and I’m learning so much in the process. I just a need a little nap. Maybe after today’s run.
P.S. Come out to my reading in St. Catherines! November 29, 2013 Grey Borders Reading Series, 7:30pm, St. Catharines with David Dowker, Kyle Buckley, Gary Barwin, and Liz Worth (!!!!). I’ll will be reading from my conceptual works and upcoming poetry book “The Alien.”
Edit: Having reposted the link to this page, I’m on day Day 147 of #thisisroom101 & Day 259 of #GIJJH. This makes it twelve days/pages left on Portrait of the Artist As Young Man. As I finished typing out today’s portion, my husband said to me, “I’d forgotten you were doing that.” It’s really become second nature like brushing my teeth.
When I first set upon writing This Is Room 101, I had a few presumptions already percolating: Would any sense come out of the project? Would there be a coherence, or if not, would there be a cohesion between Orwell’s work and today’s news stories? In uncreative writing, my main goal is to basically reproduce: I become a photocopier, a data entry clerk, an archivist, and a passive robot, if you will. I put the data before me and input a reasonably accurate facsimile into my computer. Before setting upon a task though, I have thoughts on what might happen, but I try not to let it befuddle my intent: to copy solely for the express purpose of copying. There are meditative properties in a retype/rewrite that can not be captured if my brain were racing with other thoughts. I utilize a bit of zen meditation techniques while doing so to keep my mind on course. Yet with most of my uncreative projects so far, I’ve found eccentricities afterwards that have compelled me to wonder about the weird analogous circumstances that might have invaded the work.
I think back to one of my first explorative reading obsessions: Arthur Koestler. His writing on synchronicity had me enthralled as a teenager. I had a Roman Catholic upbringing, experimented with all sorts of religions, and have remained atheist/absurdist since my university years. I’ve found more heady comfort in the proof and analysis of science than anything else. A crazy person like me likes her grounding. However, I’ve always been curious of the world of pataphysics and parapsychology. Koestler brought me to Freud, then Freud to Jung, then Jung to Nietzsche….and so on.
The Invisible Writing (1954), he underwent an experience in which he felt as if he were floating on “a river of peace, under bridges of silence”. Eventually, “there was no river and no I”; there was a sense of dissolution and of limitless expansion. Coming back to his grim reality was “like waking up from anæsthesia”.
I seem to have either misplaced or lost my copy of Roots Of Coincidence, but the quote from Invisible Writing above is how I generally feel when I retype or reassemble works. It’s as if I’ve inhabited the keystrokes of the writer I’m copying and floating through his/her works. There’s no difference between the original writer or myself which makes for a very trippy like trance. I feel that way strongly with A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man. At the beginning of that work, my writing suffered greatly from Joyce’s disjointed infantile writing. As the prose became more infused with poetics and took on a coherent voice, my writing became infected with it in turn and flourished along with it.
With the retype and reassemblage George Orwell’s 1984 and The Wall Street Journal, something kind of strange is happening. Take for example today’s retype. Winston is writing secretly into his diary about his trip to the flicks. They’re war flicks where the audience is supposed to (or has been de-sensitized to) react amused towards the atrocities of war. Today’s headline story in The Wall Street Journal was on the Asiana Airlines plane crash. After each mention of Asiana and Boeing, the journal quotes their stock market numbers. I know this is something that is logical to the journal, but it’s an interesting coincidence nonetheless.
Since I started the project, each page has been littered with parallelisms and it’s fascinating to read it back. Sometimes it’s within the texts or the headlines, and other times it’s been with the hand drawn reproduction of the headline photo. My writing has taken a slightly more clinical approach and preciseness of fact which goes with who I am writing with: 1984 and today’s news. It’s too early to tell though if it’s because I’m looking for that within my writing or if it has genuinely fed into my writing thought processes. Time and more of my own individual creative output will tell (of which I’ve a stack of poetry and short stories I must sort and read through. Then I might be able to give a more accurate analysis of uncreative writing and what it does to creating art).
1984 is a book that will be relevant for as long as we have government and people on the planet. It’ll either be a dystopian cautionary tale or a warning of what once was/ what is; either way it’s become very entrenched in the now. Presently with the NSA’s actions coming to light, the fights for privacy online, wikileaks, Western appointed dictators being overthrown, citizen’s revolutions occurring all over the place…(I could go on, really), it really shouldn’t be that surprising to find synchronicity between 1984 and modern day news stories. However, it has been quite entertaining for the pataphysics and parapsychologist in me to witness.
In the transmutation of books and the re-typer, I think the biggest thing that I’ve learned so far is that inspiration is part observation and part the work I choose to put an effort into. I may be far reaching with picking out coincidences, but it is my experiment. As a conceptual poet, I’m just here to observe and choose what I want (uncreative-ly/creatively) to do with the data/metadata. I have my own conclusions and interpretations of what is happening after the work is done, but I’m hoping that my own analysis becomes an infinite process because it is rewarding experience so far.
On a sort of related note, I’ve been reading some online debates within the poetry community between “mainstream” poetry and avant-garde work. The debate seems to stem from what is aesthetically noteworthy. I’ve been digesting a lot of what has been said and am hashing out an analysis/opinion piece on these events. Look for it in this space this week.
Starting July 1st, 2013 I am retyping George Orwell’s 1984 three paragraphs a day and consecutively adding paragraphs from the first story of The Wall Street Journal online (at the time I read it) from that day (including a drawn reproduction of the headline photo).
Today is Day 1.
You can find it here: http://thisisroom101.blogspot.ca/2013/07/one-it-was-bright-cold-day-in-april-and.html
(My scanner is currently broken so until I get a new one, the artwork will be photographed instead.)
I will create three paperback books, with artwork included, (or more, if people want them), out of this upon completion of the project.
I’m currently on day 113 of retyping/rewriting James Joyce’s The Portrait of The Artist as a Young Man: http://gettinginsidejamesjoyceshead.blogspot.ca
On a bit of a hiatus for now. I got sick at the beginning of the month and my grandma passed away during the holidays (a post on that at some point soon), and I’m still pretty much recovering. Nevertheless, time moves forward, so keep me going I drew and wrote.
This is a diagram of how I am with cold viruses.
1. Foggy head. Where everything is mixed up and clear all at once. Depends on your temperature and the amount of medication you’ve taken. At this point, however, anything will set off a case of Foggy head. Lemon and honey. Perfect.
2. Damp messy head. There’s no use fixing it or even caring. Just let the nesting happen and if a bird happens land and lay her eggs, go with it. Your new inhabitants will provide you with warmth while you help with the miracle of birth.
3. Schizophrenic blankets. It’s too hot! It’s too cold! It’s too hot! It’s too cold! OMG IT’S A FORT!
4. There are never enough tissues in the world.
5. Lemon and honey. Medicinal tea. Coffee. Water. Doesn’t matter what was in the cup, it is the unwashed cup you will use over and over again until the plague leaves your system. The result? Lemon vodka coffee.
6. Thermometer. I don’t really use one, but I should because my mom asks me too. Let alone, I’m 39 and have two kids. I just know that if I start seeing horse riding mimes jumping over my bed that maybe, just maybe, I should take my temperature. My face is melting.
7. Plastic bag or garbage bin to throw out the hazard waste. Just don’t dispose of it in the trash. Set it on fire with the rest of your clothes.
8. Everything aches, including your antlers. I swear my eyelashes were burning holes into my eyelids.
9. It is your bed. Your friend that carries you in times of rest and dreams. While your sick, it becomes your home. Or a boat, or a car, or a submarine.
10. Pillow aka the place you hide under before they give you the medicine that makes you make that face you can’t even Instagram the scary. YOU LOOKA LIKE AN AMOEBA. Be an amoeba.
11. The cavern of unholy things. My throat felt like I had swallowed razor blades. My throat also had the uncanny ability to birth that slimy creature from the end of Starship Troopers. Left me sounding like Kathleen Turner.
Bed head + sexy gravel voice + projectile slime = SEXPOT
12. I’d cough so hard and phlegm’d so bad that I couldn’t breathe through my nose or my mouth. I got a nasty bronchial infection where I was prescribed puffers (those things make me paranoid about getting thrush). And an attractive case of raw red nose.
13. Flushed and red everywhere, which with my complexion, is quite the feat.
14. Somewhere, in that hair, are the ears. Popping or hearing things wrong. Every episode of Star Trek: NG had me thinking, “Who’s Lieutenant Woof? Who’s that guy? Oh that guy wasn’t there before. An alien has invaded the ship and nobody remembers who they are. Yeah, I like that episode.”
15. Bedside table. It holds your tissues, cup, phone…burn it also. Just don’t look at the alarm clock. It’s depressing.
16. Wall. It kept my head from falling off while coughing. Still ended up with a fun case of whiplash.
17. Either your nails hurt, your hands hurt, or your fingers don’t do the things they normally do well when you’re healthy. Sanitize them or set them on fire with the rest of the detritus.
18. Keep your eyes closed. “I can’t sleep!” Keep your eyes closed. “But Star Trek…” NO! If you watch one episode you have to watch all the seasons until the end. Goodbye cruel world.
1. I’ll be reading an excerpt from my story, “A Clown and Lobster Are Walking In The Desert,” at People Who Read Aloud: https://www.facebook.com/events/298167023635848/
2. My book, “The Octopus Complex” will be published by Lyrical Myrical Press in March/April 2013. I’m very excited about this project. Some of my favorite poets have put out works on it including Luciano Iacobelli and Rocco de Giacomo.
3. My graphic novel will be coming out around the same time. It is based on my Run Comics illustrations of Charlie and Crash. An accompanying art exhibit for it will be up at Playful Grounds in August 2013.
5. Another one of my illustrations in Amelia’s Magazine: http://www.ameliasmagazine.com/music/favourite-christmas-indie-tunes-for-2012-listen-to-the-best-here/2012/12/21/
There is much more, but that’s what comes at the top of my head. For now, I wish you all a Happy New Year and happy holidays. May 2013 be a year full of good things.
I started my year off with a circus tent:
P.S. I’ve been asked to compete in Write Club Toronto in January. This shall prove interesting and terrifying! Awesome. http://writeclubtoronto.com
*I’ve received notice that the Quattro books poetry course by Luciano Iacobelli I signed up for (http://goo.gl/Er3gQ) is now a go! That means that at the end of January I will have a new hardcover poetry chapbook published. How effin cool is that?
* Click to enlarge.
You can find all future episodes and my comic site, Run Comics. http://runcomics.wordpress.com/2012/10/29/charlie-crush-1-hurricane-sandy
And I met Chester Brown yesterday at the International Festival of Authors. I managed to gulp down a lot of shyness and had a nice conversation with him. He’s awesome.
Seaming, ink, pencil, and digital