Sunday, September 12, 2004

Mara Centerfold....

...and this week, drooping out of the center of MaraBoy and MaraHouse is the voluptuous MISS MARA.

YUCK!!!! Here's a picture of my Mara (if you can stomach it)...when I'm not a full-time librarian or when I'm not off scribbling away my dreams with creative writing crayons I write very ARID, TURGID, ICKY academic papers....not becasue I want to (I Just want to WRITE!!!!) but because I am a student majoring in English and the longer you live under the financial shadows of the academia, the more they expect your prose (and your life) to become completly tasteless.

Well screw 'em. My life's not tasteless and neither is yours, even though I just monopolized the entire day hammering out the mechanics of this one paper. It was a response to Italo Calvino's bitching-cool postmodern-just-like-life read titled If on a winter's night, a traveler.

Ironically (TC quit-making-so-many-correlations-all the @#$%^ time) this novel was written in the second person like my "Heading Avenue cyclical symphony" so I guess I'm just not as original as I thought I was.....but maybe that's what Mara shows you. Whatever you wanna do, whatever you want to accompolish with your shot at life has probably already been done before by somebody with bona fide skills, which, in my books, leaves you with two options. a.) You can
say screw it with your dreams and live a very comfortable life like most opulent North Americans who have a mortgage in their bank accounts and sex-help manuals benath their mattresses or you can b.) just follow your dreams anyway and see what happens. When you do this you either succeed or you fail. but I guarante that you'll have one hell of an extraordinary ride. When I castrated my future four years ago and decided, whatever, I was just going to write everyday, the only person I could think about was Eddie Vedder. When Vedder was twenty-five (25!) He was, in his gruff-verbatim, "The happiest mother-f''''ing gas-station attendant on the face of the planet." He would tell people that he was going to make it or either die trying.

(I used to look kinda like eddie with long hair so that's why I idolized him)

Three years later Eddie spontaneously met rockers who lived ten hours north and the next thing...BAM...Pearl Jam.

My gist is that, even when your all alone and MARA forces you to momentarily succumb to something like pumping gas (or writing arid term papers) don't loose your inital vision of what you are and who you can become!

So anyway, here's my Mara up close and naked. Here's her centerfold. If you squint cloesly enough you may be able to make out the staple in her glossed navel.


You are about to compose a critical response paper to Italo Calvino’s If on a winter’s night, a traveler. You have begun your composition several times already but at the moment of absolute clarity, you find your thesis blurred; your ideas clipped. You think about the novel’s second person protagonist and about how he tries so hard to maintain a solid connection within the scattered boundaries of the text itself. While you observe the Reader’s antics, your own persistent quest for textual identity was also challenged through skewed storylines and truncated plots. As malleable Lotaria posits, “What is the reading of a text…except the recording of certain thematic recurrences, certain insistences of forms and meanings” (186).
After reading the first three chapters of Calvino’s novel, You note that the text mirrors the reflective ambiguity and emotional melee of contemporary life by eschewing traditional linear conventions for textual disparity. Instead of smoothly transitioning from point A to point B, the text itself contorts into the narrative equivalent of a mathematical fractal. The context surrounding each of Calvino’s disparate multi-authored stories at first seem to spontaneously split into a random narrative void granting credence to Porphyrich’s late assertion that, “The world exists only as artifice, pretense, misunderstanding, falsehood” (239).
However, the text exists independently of itself, even when the context is (in some cases literally) effaced. Though seemingly thwarted, the narrative context of the text becomes a fractal. Rather than simply capitulating to the vicissitudes of the traditional novel where the linear conventions of narrative and plot cultivate and inevitably punctuate in the familiarized concept of a traditional ending, Calvino’s postmodern approach allows the narrative of the text to exist ad infinitum long after the book is closed.
This is how You, the writer of Calvino’s response paper and “You” the protagonist of novel form an integral allegiance to Calvino’s textual aesthetic. It seems like the book that all readers truly yearn for is one that validly depicts the anarchy and confusion of life, not by, “following an exact taut trajectory” in our various intellectual and romantic discourses but by, “seeking a pattern, a route that must surely be there…and you don’t know which direction it will carry you” ( 27).


daku said...

hey mistuh D, where did you go for your smarts, i wanna get some too.

David Von Behren said...

I believe you're the one who's brilliant and bi-lingual here!!!! I even squinted inside the oracle and they agreed!!!!