Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Same old script, different day

Stuck on the same film script for forty years, I am reminded of old Ezra Pound:

"For years he strove to resuscitate the dead art
Wrong from the start."

It was about a fishing trip with pals Ralph and Andy and Johnny.
All of my friends were altruists, good people and all died young.

What was my theme, me the lucky one who not only survived the somewhat dangerous Deliverance-style fishing trip, but went on to survive and prosper?

For the life of me, I could not glean a theme from the filmscript that was commissioned by the Audubon Society to do, the film script I could not complete.

Very probably, I was just out of my medium.

My intention had been to be a novelist, not a journalist, or film script writer.

I ended up being moderately successful at journalism and small luck with a novella, but I could not write for film...You need to think visually; the scenes need to be crisp, clear, and well-drawn, as in a comic book.

It was just beyond me.

But things do happen to us and it is only years later that we deduce why and how.

I am somehow a Methuselah and all my friends are dead.

All my fishing friends had teriffic jobs, marriages, children, nice homes.

I too had these things but there was somehow a difference.

I knew for sure that my mother was a witch, and immortal.

This in spite of all the science, all the religion, all the epistemology to the contrary.

There are things under heaven and hell that you can only dream of in your philosophy, old Shakespeare says somewhere.

I like to think that these things make up God.

Hedut Torah

Pequod Torah

Who dares mention all the names of the Ineffable?

One would be struck blind.

Pretty close to old Herman Melville and his Moby Dick, and the boat was named the Pequod.

Pequod Torah.

The White Whale.

All three of my fishing friends were somehow involved with their own White Whale and it seemed the Leviathan somehow turned and killed them.

The White Whale was each one's adulteries.
Nothing good comes from any adultery.

I am on this day reminded by the sad fate of once hocky adept Ti Domi and the ubiquitous MP, Belinda Stronach.

Pequod Torah
Hedut Torah


My fishing friends, though hale and hearty and and so well turned out, with their creels and flies and fishing vests--were all involved in horrid soap operas and it was only the fishing that was keeping them a little detached, a little more sane.

I was the sole monogomous guy in the group. I really did have the strength of a thousand men.
I had not yet fallen.

They had all, my three great friends, had committed adultery; they did not know the gun was loaded.
That was the theme of my film script, that adultery leads to almost unbearable pain and suffering.

But it may have been a false theme, and that may have been where the mental block came in.

On the road out of Elliott Lake, we passed a cemetary.

On one grave there was chiseled a line out of, perhaps James Joyce, out of Dubliners:

"The rain falls upon the living and the dead."

I googled Joyce.

Once you take away God, it now seems to me, you are reduced to your own cleverness, your own devices, all of this leading to personal failure and certainly pain.

But then there is also Mother Wit, Pallas Athena. God might be a woman?

She goes a different way.

But you have to be careful.

If you do not caution her, she will go Her Own Way, perhaps to your peril.

I could not finish my script because I had reached a final indissoluble antinomy.

Which simply means there are things under heaven and hell, and even in science, that we have no idea of.

Small wonder I could not complete.


Erik Ivan James said...

This post is good, Ivan. Very, very good. The truth.

ivan said...

Thank you, Erik.

And welcome back!

ivan said...

Thank you, Erik.

And welcome back!

ivan said...

Temporarily lost the website, jockstrap and chainmail pants.

We are spliced together with duct tape for the time being.

Ivan's first law of motion:
As soon as you succeed, it all comes down around you.

Ah well, other things are afoot.
...Disguised a short story as an editorial in local paper. Whole apartment complex knows about it.

If at first you don't...?

Shall I sign this as William Brag?

Sela Carsen said...

This post would make a great short story -- I can see the twist in the tale! Or is the tail? Either way.

Josie said...

Ivan, you have just written your novel. It's all right there. I can see all the characters (including me in there somewhere....)



ivan said...

Thank you Sela.

I have only tonight gotten my telephone and computer back.

For the past week, I have been crazier than a half-shagged mink on a sandbar. Almost lost fifty emails to the site...I do some professional editing and fear I have lost money...Ah well, I ain't that good as an editor anyway...More fun to write and just let it all hang out.

Great to hear you are in your new house. Be calm and cool; writers are rather vulnerable when they first move to a new location. (I for one, have to be extremely careful after the near-nervous breakdown experience of losing my computer, e-mail and telepne all at once and it was dear old Ma's fault).

Sela, I am flattered that you think this post would make a great short story, though I think old Melville and Jorge Luis Borges have had a whack or two at something like this--I am influenced by both these masters.

I do some editing, as I say, but I might well have to send you some stuff one day! It is possible that teachers of writing may well need to be schooled themselves!

Thanks for the appreciation. Coming from you, that's very cool.


ivan said...


That's very flattering.
The blog was really kind of an outline that came to me in about sixty seconds. I guess I had to be in front of my machine at precisely the right time...I sure as hell couldn't repeate the self-same process if I were to try again.
Flashes are sent to us; they seem to come from a lot of living and heretofore unprocessed material.
It is entirely possible that though a melding of our individual experiences we could write ourselves a novel.
People have said my female characters are weak.
I'm pretty sure that with someone who is a real person, to wit, you, would be quite a strong character to place in a novel of this sort.
...I was just daydreamnig about you and me writing the book together.
Come to think of it, I did write to Christie Blachford, a famous columnist out this way, and she replied that she could just imagine me sitting at that Globe and Mail desk with her.
So I can just imagine you sitting right here while I add flesh and substance to the phantom outline which I have produced.
(Don't mind me, I am recoverning from a near-nervous breakdown I had when I first learned that my site was very nearly irreparable...My son got it back in shape with duct tape and wires).

I am, every day on this site, meeting people with real talent and am seriously thinking of taking up a more realistic line of work--like sheepherding.

But thanks for the appreciation and support, Josie.


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