Tag Archives: reading

Some Unshaven Thoughts on Reading

A video in which I improvise reasons why reading my book (and reading in general) are good for you. Watch a mind at work, overworked, but sure to make you smile. Thank you for watching.

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Creative Writing: How I Wrote Electric Delirium

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Last month I published a series of ten lyric essays at Fictionaut. The collection, ELECTRIC DELIRIUM, was an experiment that I undertook for the sake of better understanding the work of two influential thinkers. Here was the basic approach:

1. Take one page of notes from Lee Thayer’s, LEADERSHIP: THINKING, BEING, DOING noting interesting phrases, ideas, questions, diagrams, etc.

2. Take one page of notes on one precis from E.M. Cioran’s A SHORT HISTORY OF DECAY noting interesting phrases, ideas, questions, diagrams, etc. 

3. Read the notes separately and taken together. What happens when these two mental models rub up against each other? What thought-path bubbles to the surface? How can I make a connection between Thayer’s, Cioran’s, and my own thought?

4. Make the connection. Make it work. Make is real. Make it strong. 

5. Write the essay, but let the mind express the manifestation of the thoughts as it will. Blend story (both personal and fictional) with idea (sticking closely to the previously made connection) to create a piece that revolves around the intellectual connection between the two thinkers in the context of some unfolding narrative (in this case, a troupe of actors preparing for a performance). 

6. Edit profusely: trim fat, grease, skin, gristle. 

All in all, the results are satisfying, although I found myself making last minute edits even minutes before uploading each piece to Fictionaut. Now that they are public, I feel I can let them be, but fleshy essays like these, for me, are perpetual works-in-progress. I received some constructive and positive feedback from certain essays and for that I am content. 

Although the link to my Tumblr where I have neatly arranged all of the essays has been given above, here it is again, if you are interested in reading ELECTRIC DELIRIUM

 

A Book Before Bedtime (Six Aphorisms for Contemplation)

THE RABBIT HOLE: Reading is a collaboration between author and reader, the shared creation of another world – a world that could be, but isn’t.

THE MELDING VOICE: The more time we spend with those authors, the more they penetrate us and we end up finding their voices among our own voice.

INFILTRATION: Reading a book on a place I have never been while, simultaneously, fraught with the irrevocable influence that is occurring, with my permission.

HAVEN’T WE MET?: With each page turned, I create a new and ever-evolving image of the author – a relationship with a ghost!

MORPHOLOGY: Sometimes, I fail to envision the facial details of the main character, yet he spins around me with more reality than a “real” person. Then, suddenly, his face warps into a thousand faces, renewing themselves upon each new read.

WHERE AM “I”?: Re-reading a book is necessary for me. Each time upon entering the text, without fail, a new thought emerges, a new reconfiguration of “me” takes form.

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Denis Johnson: Two More Audio Pieces (Readings + Conversation)

Two more Denis Johnson audio pieces have come to my attention.

1. The first, readings from The Incognito Lounge, Jesus’ Son, and more, was generously introduced to me by the artist behind the website, Horse of Bone. It is an hour long reading well worth listening to. The audio file can be found by following this link:

A Beautiful Magical Hour of Denis Johnson

2. The second, I found simply by searching via Yahoo. It is an hour and twenty minute reading/conversation with Denis Johnson. The reading is a long excerpt from Johnson’s magnum opus, “Tree of Smoke,” read by Johnson himself. This is followed by a conversation between Johnson and executive editor and founder of Salon.com magazine, Gary Kamiya. The conversation, in particular, is insightful as they discuss the craft of writing, the success of Jesus’ Son, influences and much more.
The audio file can be found here:

Lannan Foundation: Readings and Conversations – Denis Johnson

Thank you and enjoy.

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