Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pieces come together

Soundtrack: Los Lobos, Santana, Eminem, husbråk. Steve Buscemi-monologer, Tarantino-vitser, Salma Hayeks hviske-sang. Mye rart og mere til og jaggu fikk jeg ikke en telefon sent på natten også.

Short summary of past week; including university start-up, lecture times, lecturers in funny outfits, but with great skills too, and frequent socialising; measured, moreover, in entertainment business and busyness and all the things with which I'm occupied, at this very moment and will be - for numerous weeks to come. I seem to be drifting; along some rocky, roughened path, still chasing that ancient routine with which I am not yet familair, and reaccustomed to. It's all about tiny adjustments; getting used to different hours, doings, performances, every day all day. And it sure is demanding. Am still learning, to be redeemed in being learned, once again; and on the way, attempting to educate myself - of sorts - at least to gain the appropriate sense of schooling back into my system, being the dutiful student that I can be, if I try hard enough and really aim to do my best, which I don't always manage, but I'm getting there. I know where I'm headed, at least, making an effort to continue onwards, in that same constructive, effective manner; blah blah blah self-fulfilment; upholdning the promising tendencies and those magic, positivity-filled vibes. Yo. Spending my time gaining knowledge from that old and steady library of lust; opening books, disc covers, consuming the material, leaving it to be processed, later on, pondering as I go along. And (constantly) adding new points of reference, thereto; anchors to lean on, from various sources, impulses, impulsuve resourcefulness. You give and you get. Like, I been watching too many gangsta movies lately. No particular reason, or idea why; just needed to divert myself from all the serious studing, I suppose, and look up something rather contrasting - which translates to rewarding; in a diverse, yet stylistically reminiscent way. Culture is culture, whether it's "high" or "low", in my opinion, for I require elements from all levels, and I see (quite clearly) the wonderful advantage in being able to utilize the varying examples; classic versus western versus gangsta movies, per say; on varying occasions, each being perfectly fit for its own, specific one. And thus, maximizing the profit of the experience, since you adjust your own choices and preferences to your own state of mood; whatever you should feel like watching, reading, listening to; that very instant. Wishfulness, right there and then - and hence, you never grow uncomfortable with any of the cultural aspects, regardless of status; seeing that one follows the other, directly, due to a natural, logic-based order, and they don't get mixed and messes up the brains of those receiving. Makes sense to me. Sometimes, of course, we're talking obligarory course reading; one might be "forced" to delve into, say, the literary world - both reading and interpreting in a rather out-of-the-customary-way, as opposed to how I tend to do it; how I'd rather do it; after which the gain also differs vehemently from what's usual. That being said, it doesn't mean I love the pieces any less because I deal with them differently; having to study them, not just enjoy them; since the two methods can, actually, be combined - and, for my personal sake, often work very well together, too. I don't see them as disconnected, opponents, I see them as parts of this logical chain (of events). So I start with a 18th century burlesque novel, for my university course, and continue with some obscure years-later-poetry, my for own enjoyment solely, more or less, or - preferrably - second task on my to do-reading list, and end the whole seance with "Training Day", to blow off built-up steam and abreact, as it were. And I can happily admit, that I appreciate this pattern of daily topics. That I induldge in their likes, every day, as I alternate between the mandatory, the mundane and the merry. And BOOM!, that is one fine technique you got, right there. Applies to the strictly literary studies too, even.

For instance: more specifically, uni-related, I have been reading Sarah Kane's "Blasted" for my English course, and - immediately after turning the final page - felt somewhat blasted myself, in my own head. And really confused, shocked, abhorred; you name it. She certainly knows how to evoke feelings. Then I decided she's so downright, unbelievably brilliant, too, that the related provocation could - without doubt - be easily forgiven. And that the play, as such, is one of the best things that ever came out of the British theatre scene. Including quotes such as: "I've seen dead people. They're dead. They're not somewhere else, they're dead." Most inappropriate place to laugh out loud, of course, but I must confess I did. Moreover, cried and shook with dread and got the chills and felt my heartstrings being pulled to pain-inducing lengths. Cruel intentions, there you have it. Cruelty personified and displayed for all the audience to see. It's beyond dark, it's horribly vivid, it's off-the-scale paranoia, madness, all of it, but so fascinating. And beautiful, in its absurd ways. Albeit Kane does leave you (in) an emotional mess, exhausted to the point of worry. So, in the end, with all that over and done with, I figured it was time to read something slightly more accessible and less unsettling. Consequently, I turned to T.S. Eliot, the master himself, my absolute, never-disappointing favourite, and that beloved "Love song of J. Alfred Prufock"; at which I found myself completely out of breath - until I realised it was due to the poem's being so breathtakingly beautiful, and then I almost started weeping out loud, of joy and sadness altogether, because it's so goddamn heartbreakingly, breath-deprivingly, sinisterly smashing, magnificent indeed, and - thereafter - I managed to recompose myself and had some cake and all was very well again. Not that it had been any worse, just a bit strenuous. Anyways, getting in touch with one's sensitivity, those infamous emotional centres, never hurt. It's more of a healthy confirmation. A small reminder, too, based on own reactions et cetera, of the indisputable grandness of both Kane and Eliot, the latter providing some impossibly fabulous poetry, some of the finest lines ever having been produced by his hand; such seemingly random and sudden rhymes, which then form a perfect unity and hold a continuity that can hardly be fathomed, far less copied by anyone at all. Truly masterful, a single outstanding poet genius. Strongly admired, and one for whom I hold a very strong affection and will never tire of reading. This one poem in particular; it's truly exceptional. A life story, with philosophical considerations, common concerns and observations of an elderly wanderer. Utterly descriptive, very wise. "For I have known them all already, known them all - Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons". Not to mention that it inspired an entire "Doctor Who"-episode, both with regard to thematics (Lazarus) and dialogue (time to murder and create). Yup, righty-right, "The Lazarus Experiment", ep. 3.7, The Doc knows his literature as well. And I, what more, I love the city-by-night perspective of rain-covered asphalt, cold facades, dark alleys, fading lights, coming sunsets, forgotten sins. Cats on the corners, non-figuratively speaking, and some extremely touching points of human observation. None could describe loneliness, emptiness, failure, demise and despise - but also passion, admiration and yearnings - such as Eliot. And for that, I've idolized the man. Next piece on the agenda, however, was of an extremely dissimilar kind; and much less inspiring; being one of the so-called mystery plays, namely "The Second Shepherd's Play", which had me simply confused. Nothing more, nothing further; just absolutely, unpleasantly bewildered. Boring prose and one-dimensional, commonplace characters; in terms of "new-age-criticism" and modern standards. Which perhaps is the wrongest basis for compariosn imaginable, but I couldn't help placing it on the same scale as Kane, Beckett, and the rest - which, after all, is the very purpose of my study; to draw lines and make connections between the new and old - and, compared to the others, this one was deeply inferior. Some re-rendition of our Christmas Day Gospel, nativity play and all, with some shepherds and their sheep and a misplaced angel. Not very exciting, probably needs a bit of explanation, I can't wait to hear it discussed. For the time being, I went on to read said Beckett's "Breath", to recover from the decline of quality, and got at least my breath back; and more; to the extent that I felt "inspired" into hyperventilation, and had to calm myself by adding some Whitman to the list; feeling compelled to end the reading sessions with "I hear America singing", which is about as far from any of the above-mentioned as you can possibly get, but it was a pleasant change and a wonderful poem and a delightful tale, of typical Whitman-ish detail, explicitness, and sophistication. The voices of the working class, united, pretty political in its orientation - but fortunately, very poetic too. Just like Eliot, Whitman has a peculiar ability of presenting the world - urban, gritty, dark or romantic - in an imaginable, painting-like fashion that allows you to picture for yourself the scenery, word-by-word; pulling you in with mood-reflecting imagery and striking metaphors. He tickles your nerves, challenges your soul, plays with your heart. Apostrophes, similes, fanciful means. But it's elaborate and it's got a deep sense of purpose behind all those illustrious designs. However, when you've had your share of the slightly inaccessible, difficult, complex and very mind-challenging stanzas, that they undeniably are, with all their poetic components, set to register, whose conveyed meaning you might still feel attached to and thus, don't completely wish to leave the roughness of their depicted underworld; then, practically enough, you may turn to poets of another spfere, another genre, another class - like Eminen. And his semi-bio-thriller-movie, "8 Mile", which I watched for the first time this Saturday and loved wholeheartedly. Say what you will of the politically incorrect, immoral, uncontrollable brat; he knows how to write good songs. Also, he battles like a demon, he's got this subtle, sulky look that completely suits his character, and he's got Kim Basinger for a white trash mother - with style! I absolutely adore that woman, and she was the main reason why I wanted to see the movie in the first place. Then I discovered it had Brittany Murphy (apparently wearing her "Sin City"-outfit again, lol) in a leading role, some really cool minor characters, who - like Eminem in the lead - gave surprisingly apt performances, literally speaking, plus an overall depressing, but similarly appropriate atmosphere, some swell photography work, and the major star himself was rightfully awarded an Oscar for the stunning movie tune, "Lose Yourself"; possibly my favourite hip hop song ever. It has some of that old school feel to it, that I like; being a fan of the old days hip hop of 2Pac and Biggie, only; and so had the film. None of the unbearable glossiness of the new features; all about street cred and wheelers and bikini babes and shit. Instead, the almost over-realistic, dreary world of under-priviledged, midwestern teenagers, just longing to get out, get away, get a life. Trying to pursue their (often) overambitious dreams, for which they have to strive inhumanely hard. Like Eminem himself, of course. And the movie tells his low-life story in a heartbreakingly truthful way; definitely not 100% flawless throughout, but pretty intense nonetheless. And yes, no doubt, a brilliant way to be shaking off long hours of literary study. Adrenalin kick, arms in the air, heavy beats, hoods and spinning discs. Just like the order of my life, these days. One by one, impulse after impulse, purpose versus purpose; I grab my share of each and every piece.

1 comment:

Randi said...

Og jeg syns det er kjempekjekt at poeten tar meg med inn i hennes litterære hverdag - og det er spennende men energikrevende når litteraturen lar deg kjenne på hele følelsesregisteret - som det levende menneske poeten er....