Forum
Community Forum
Today's Posts
FAQ & Rules
Members List

Writing
Writing Forum
Recent Posts
Critique Guidelines

Groups
YWO Social Groups
Facebook
Myspace

Chat
 
YWA

Register

Store
Support YWO
YWO Merchandise
The Book Despository
Amazon.com (US)
Amazon.co.uk (UK)
Amazon.ca (Canada)

SBS Mag


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 02-12-2014, 09:06 PM View Post #1 (Link) case endings
bookworm (Offline)
Creative Fanatic
 
bookworm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: void
Posts: 957
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 151
To start: H. loved J. very much. J. left one day and suddenly. Didn’t take anything, esp. not J.’s time. J. took J.’s wallet, J. forgot about documents. H. sat on the sofa, documents in hand, forgetting just about nothing. The neighbours were drilling through the wall. His mind felt like the opposite of an overflowing waterfall. H. felt holes drilling like a darker hunger; H. shifted on the sofa which then screeched. As if reacting to him, a wonderful thing. Who was it being missed?

Time took a move on, it was afternoon and an occupied sofa. J. had already left town, was probably heading for another, completely prepared for collisions with traffic and none emotional. J. loved the previous town very much. H. had called it a city but H. tended to overdramatize certain things while J. just dramatized them. H.’s body strangely on the sofa may serve as proof.

Not that to J. it wasn’t all very sad. It was a leather sofa and a smooth body. One soft the other hard and twisted, animate inanimate matter (it really doesn’t now). It doesn’t matter although it’s all very sad. It isn’t televised. The government already knows. Neighbourhood watch is inquisitive, they’ve never seen such a bundle of despair on one sofa. Some of them suspect people had posed like this for Bacon or Freud; those were the days. Until today, it had been a very happy neighbourhood. The neighbours loved it very much. Sadly, it’s always today.

Whenever a hole opens beneath H.’s body, which some call flying (or falling) during sleep, H. clenches the sofa and starts to think. But H. doesn’t like thinking very much, being only an animate object, or indeed subject, of grief. Because this happens to everyone, H. doesn’t ignore the hole. H. steps right in. Not out of curiosity like Alice into W.. The eyelids of H. are like two cushions, they can only be soft. H.’s body is tangled and hard, this time in that order.

J. is being moved while sitting down. It’s his favourite invention and it’s called locomotion. J. calls things just in case they’re just as they are, as they were before and as they will be again. Sometimes they might answer back; for instance, this glass wall vibrates. Just in case, because most of J.’s certainty has so far been washed away. J. has no body to hang on to, will probably walk for days awake and aflame so as not to lose something. Will then break into the shell of some house and collapse, because fainting is like having hot sand poured through your head instead of blood. The neighbourhood will watch out for him, strange as he is, find him on the sofa, staring at the TV, recalling what he had loved, loves very much; just how much and just in case.
__________________
Originally Posted by Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
The void. Before the staring eyes. Stare where they may. Far and wide. High and low. That narrow field. Know no more. See no more. Say no more. That alone. That little much of void alone.
arcadia
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2014, 09:40 PM View Post #2 (Link)
Derezzination (Offline)
Creative Fanatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bath
Posts: 832
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 74
absurd




I will critique this.
__________________
I'm too busy spending errrything on Alexander Wang
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2014, 10:58 AM View Post #3 (Link)
Derezzination (Offline)
Creative Fanatic
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Bath
Posts: 832
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 74
Originally Posted by bookworm View Post
To start: H. loved J. very much. J. left one day and suddenly. Didnít take anything, esp. I can't quite figure out why this isn't just especially, for stylistic reasons has it been shortened? not J.ís time. So J left and didn't take anything, and then he didn't take his time? Surely he didn't take H's time? J. took J.ís wallet, Of course, because it is J's wallet, it is J's own J. forgot about documents. H. sat on the sofa, documents in hand, forgetting just about nothing. The neighbours were drilling through the wall. His mind felt like the opposite of an overflowing waterfall. H. felt holes drilling like a darker hunger; H. shifted on the sofa which then screeched. As if reacting to him, a wonderful thing. Who was it being missed? Okay, so things seem clear in this paragraph, it's just I think you could do with making everything tight and super clear because it can read in a confusing way. Personally, it's the period at the end of the J and H which I know is right, but I have my own issues here. Also, H is clearer than J, J is leaving in a rush but can you not make it a befuddled rush?

Time took a move on, it was afternoon and an occupied sofa. J. had already left town, was probably heading for another, completely prepared for collisions with traffic and none emotional. You're purposefully wording your sentences like this, J is showing not emotion. J. loved the previous town very much. H. had called it a city but H. tended to overdramatize certain things while J. just dramatized them. H.ís body strangely on the sofa may serve as proof. strangely? that's a bit ambiguous for an example of over dramatisation. The reader might not believe you, unreliable narrator, or is even 'strangely' a purposeful lexical choice.

Not that to J. it wasnít all very sad. It was a leather sofa and a smooth body. One soft the other hard and twisted, animate inanimate matter (it really doesnít now) you say it doesn't matter in brackets then say it again next sentence? Can you not pair the two together to give a double meaning like I'm reading?. It doesnít matter although itís all very sad. It isnít televised. The government already knows. I don't like the inclusion of the government as this seems a very personal affair. Neighbourhood watch is inquisitive, I want a semi colon here theyíve never seen such a bundle of despair on one sofa. Some of them suspect people had posed like this for Bacon or Freud; those were the days. Until today, it had been a very happy neighbourhood. The neighbours loved it very much. Sadly, itís always today. I think, I want the inclusion of the neighbourhood so H and J are not so isolated, that there is another presence, but I want more and not in such a sketchy way, the way you've written it feels weak compared to the rest of the piece.

Whenever a hole opens beneath H.ís body, which some call flying (or falling) during sleep, H. clenches the sofa and starts to think. But H. doesnít like thinking very much, being only an animate object, or indeed subject, of grief. Because this happens to everyone, H. doesnít ignore the hole. H. steps right in. Not out of curiosity like Alice into W.. The eyelids of H. are like two cushions, they can only be soft. H.ís body is tangled and hard, this time in that order.

J. is being moved while sitting down. Itís his favourite invention and itís called locomotion. I really don't like these two sentences, it just seems slightly unintelligent and unnecessary and alien like, 'oh look, I am moving whilst sitting down, did you know that it is called locomotion'. I read this as condescending, which is odd. J. calls things just in case theyíre just as they are, as they were before and as they will be again. Sometimes they might answer back; for instance, this glass wall vibrates. Just in case, because most of J.ís certainty has so far been washed away. J. has no body to hang on to, will probably walk for days awake and aflame so as not to lose something. Will then break into the shell of some house and collapse, because fainting is like having hot sand poured through your head instead of blood. The neighbourhood will watch out for him, strange as he is, find him on the sofa, staring at the TV, recalling what he had loved, loves very much; just how much and just in case.
I feel like I've written pieces similar to this, but this requires a lot of concentration to read. Either, this is very complex and there is a lot to read into, to decipher, this is deep and intricate and I can't quite yet decide what is truly going on, only because I fear nothing is going on and that I will be wasting my time. On the other hand nothing could be going on, this could all be meaningless, a mirage, but I somehow do not think so.

Your wording is clunky, it feels like you've read something, gone 'I know, I'll write like that', and then written like that. You've watched how to do something and then done it, but with no flair or personality. This is deadpan impersonation almost, I get that feeling. Almost a tribute, there feels little that is unique, no magically touches, if anything lost it in the middle as if it was too much and brought it back surprisingly well, the final paragraph being my favourite, and it felt the least formulated even though you were only beginning to divert. I would like to see how this progresses, is this the beginning or are we mid-way through your experimental prose writings?
__________________
I'm too busy spending errrything on Alexander Wang
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 04:50 AM View Post #4 (Link)
Isis (Offline)
Global Moderator
 
Isis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 1,732
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 355
I think it's interesting that H. is male but that J. is genderless, and this is done with obviousness and attention - it would be easier in some places to say "her" or "his" instead of "J.'s", but that doesn't happen. In a few places it seems like "it" might be referring to J., especially in the third paragraph - is it the inanimate matter, the sofa? Or is it J, thinking about or imagining or remembering the situation?

Something about the wording, the diction, feels intentionally strange in a way that reminds me of "Tender Buttons" by Gertrude Stein, even though I don't think you're emulating her or going for the exact level of domestic strangeness and language modernism that she was going for. Here's the first section, Objects, in case you've never read it. I feel like one of the goals in Tender Buttons is to make language strange, and to arrange sentences in a way they haven't been arranged before. That happens a little bit in this piece too, maybe not as the most immediate goal of the piece. I notice it mostly in these sentences (picked from throughout the piece):
H. shifted on the sofa which then screeched. As if reacting to him, a wonderful thing. Who was it being missed?

Time took a move on, it was afternoon and an occupied sofa. J. had already left town, was probably heading for another, completely prepared for collisions with traffic and none emotional.

H.’s body strangely on the sofa may serve as proof.

Sadly, it’s always today.

H.’s body is tangled and hard, this time in that order.

The neighbourhood will watch out for him, strange as he is, find him on the sofa, staring at the TV, recalling what he had loved, loves very much; just how much and just in case.
They all seem to be making language intentionally strange. In some cases I find those moments of strangeness interesting, and in some cases I find them hard to work out. For instance, I like the image/idea/scene where H. shifts on the sofa and the sofa screeches. It's like the sofa is acting out H.'s misery. It's also bizarre and funny and absurd. It takes out of H.'s sadness for a second and kind of screeches us awake, reminds us that the whole piece isn't going to be about one guy's sadness at his lover's leaving, but that it's about more: a bigger story, a bigger statement. I find the question at the end of the paragraph odd though - I'm not sure how to make sense of it. Why "it", who was it being missed? It feels like a deliberate word choice because it's sort of odd, but it's throwing me - I can't work it ("it") out.

The lines that seem most similar to the approach in Tender Buttons is lines that make one thing into another thing without obvious metaphor, like the first line of the second paragraph: this suggests that time was afternoon and that time was an occupied sofa. I find that absurd or implicit metaphor interesting, though it took me a few reads to work it out.

Other lines, like "H's body strangely on the sofa may serve as proof", felt like really conscious, maybe self-conscious contortion of language and sentence structure.

What kind of effect were you going for? Is this meant to evoke another writer's work, or was it primarily a self-contained experiment? I feel a little bit outside the piece the whole time as a result of these sentence structure choices (plus others, like the initials) - I feel like the piece is challenging me, asking me to pick it apart, wanting to become something academic. Note I don't mean academic in a bad way. It's like the sentences want to be studied and are twisting themselves around so that will happen.

While I found some of the stuff in the third paragraph a little difficult (pronouns, J.'s point of view shading into the collective point of view), I did like the idea of the body on the couch like something from Bacon or Freud, and the neighbors imagining this. It gave me something to imagine and made a difficult, conceptual part of the piece a little easier to connect with. It's like the image tided me over.

I wonder about the transitions between H.'s story and J.'s story. In the third paragraph, we hear a lot about how "it's all very sad" - like the screech of the couch, I found this fun - it sounds sarcastic or at least knowing. This paragraph starts: "Not that to J. it wasn't all very sad". But it seems like J. is so distant from that sadness, like J. knows it's sad that J. left intellectually, but that J. doesn't actually feel any of it. I guess that makes J inanimate like the couch or like H. But this also makes me wonder: how is J. seeing this, seeing H. on the leather sofa, feeling the new despair and the gossip of the neighborhood left behind?

And then again, between the fourth and last paragraph, H. falls into the couch/wonderland and the piece shifts to what's happening to J. It's like H. is dreaming about J. now that J. is gone. But it seems like in this dream that J. becomes H: on the sofa, recalling what he had loved. Maybe the two were never separate people? Is the last paragraph really a dream, or is it the narrator, who seems omniscient, telling us a true different side of the story?

I'm not sure how to interpret the last line. It resists me: "just how much and just in case." I see "just how much" in relation to J. (or H.) recalling what he had loved. But just in case … what? The combination sounds good but I'm missing something.

I think this piece would be fun to discuss ... I don't know if my interpretation/thoughts were helpful. Should I look at something in particular? Questions? You know the drill.
  
						Last edited by Isis; 03-05-2014 at 05:03 AM.
					
					Reply With Quote
Old 03-05-2014, 07:25 PM View Post #5 (Link) This post is a reply - don't critique it
bookworm (Offline)
Creative Fanatic
 
bookworm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: void
Posts: 957
Points: 30
Times Thanked: 151
I think as you've both asked about the goals of this piece I should do some explaining (which is a very bad sign). Not that I wrote it with very much in mind - it was a quick scribble among many that I became particularly fond of. I was sitting around thinking about human relationships, with the purpose of trying to write something strictly emotional. My mum's friend came to mind. He's a painter (hence the Bacon? I don't know) who moved from Berlin to New York quite recently; it was an enormous life change, and mostly a sacrifice for his partner, who wanted to study there. But his partner suddenly left him - one morning he said "I can't stand this any more" and walked off. There weren't any conflicts, there wasn't any tension before. Now when I think of it again I remember my mum telling me about her friend sitting there on the new sofa in the new flat in the middle of his new life, paralysed with surprise and grief. Then the first sentence came to me (or maybe it came before I remembered that story, anyway they are interconnected) - ... loved ... very much. That structure. For its ruthlessness, for a clear and nearly childish statement of love, of the state of affairs, and how that banal thing couldn't really change much in the end. It wouldn't make things bearable. That childishness, though I understand Derezz's point about being condescending, is very important to me.

I didn't write the piece to emulate anyone else, as Derezz suspects. I didn't have an academic goal, a riddle, anything but wanting to continue with that raw and vague sensation which the first sentence provoked in me. I've been thinking about privacy a lot lately (haven't we all?), how the outside world interferes in everything, watches you on that sofa , while J. or H. or anyone you 'love very much' leaves without the intention to ever glance back. This privacy problem is partly why the initials are there; it's the sense of anonymity, of it-could-be-anyone (but also that it's someone very particular). I may have played with the language because that's what I like; of course there's some of Tender Buttons there, some of Worstward Ho, some Finnegans Wake, but I wrote the way I did because, at least for me, it made all things seem extremely vulnerable. I think I was trying to feel something through writing this (that's the whole "experiment", conveyed here not just through language), and when I read it again it seemed to really work. It might not for anyone else, I don't know and this is why I posted it.

Originally Posted by Derezzination View Post
is this the beginning or are we mid-way through your experimental prose writings?
It's not the end, I hope. It's definitely not the beginning - I could never help being experimental on the edge of unforgivably pretentious.
__________________
Originally Posted by Samuel Beckett, Worstward Ho
The void. Before the staring eyes. Stare where they may. Far and wide. High and low. That narrow field. Know no more. See no more. Say no more. That alone. That little much of void alone.
arcadia
  Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools

 


All times are GMT. The time now is 01:27 AM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7 - Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
All writing Copyright © its author(s). All other material Copyright © 2007-2012 Young Writers Online unless otherwise specified.
Managed by Andrew Kukwa (Andy) and Shaun Duke (Shaun) from The World in the Satin Bag. Design by HTWoRKS.