Thursday, May 26, 2011
What on earth, people ask, is a roman à clef, a novel about real life? It seems almost a contradiction in terms. If you write a novel in terms of a peceived truth, then it must be nonfiction, fact, truth, a kind of journalism.
Yet the truth can and will adapt itself to the cunning of some fictional techniques. The form has been successfully
tried by French 19th century novelists under the category of livier a clef.
Later, Truman Capote and Norman Mailerl used the form to great effect, using the novel as history and history as the novel.
I am an admirer of those French writers, of Capote and Norman Mailer. I am also nearly mesmerized by the late Jorge Luis Borges, a fabulist, and spinner of pure, God-infused fiction, which makes all our journalism, all our fictional output (at least in Canada) seem like clumsy scrawls.
While I add my own clumsy scrawls to what may become the first dark- side skeches of a Central Ontario town, I realize that Newmaket, of all places, is taking its first halting steps to producing its own literature. I am not alone in this enterprise, as others have been involved--and for a long time--even local politicians notably Frank Klees, MPP, and John Taylor, Regional councillor, among and others. . Furthermore Regional Chariman Bill Fisch has received money from Ontario to fund local artists.
Hey, I want it. I want to write a roman à clef.Yes. The creation of Newmarket's first roman a clef.
Hey, that sounds so French, so cool.
Three-quarter- ton pickup!
Let's see what happens when a literary mechanic tries his hand at a roman a clef.
I am still working on the roman à clef. If any interest is generated here, I will be posting the roman in my next blog...That's if I ever finish it.
(Drum roll here)
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
One of these days I swear I'm going to register in a self-help course like How to Cure Yourself of Creative Writing.
Of the writing of books there is no end, says Ecclesiaste the preacher.
And yet like some kind of trained seals, we persist, hoping, I suppose--for a seal-bottom seal?
What does it matter that the last five projects ended in disaster? Andalay, andalay! Keep hitting that piñata funny face. Crack its skull...Maybe go on crack!
One of these days the goodies will drop, as they once did before.
What does it matter that the doctor says I picked the wrong career, maybe even the wrong wife...At least the kids are great. But the scribbling, not so much.
And so, with half the faculties gone, one final novel. I swear, God it will be the last.
Let's see now:
I was born a child of the moon under a threatening sky, my parents themselves under the monstrous shadows of two competing dwarfs, Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin. The endless autobiography!
Heh. Will I one day thank God for an unhappy childhood?
Cindarella did drive out of the ashes once.
But I swear the sisty-uglers are going to win this round.
But the condition is golden. This I know.
It's just that the gilt is tarnished all to hell these days.
Monday, May 09, 2011
Monday, May 02, 2011
After age thirty, I'd often pause on the even decades of life to, sort- of, mourn the passage of my youth.
Ah, thirty. Borderline between youth and maturity...But harder and harder now to get over the monstrous all- nighters, working all day and having a twelve pack that evening just to get over it all. But by 31, you can't do the entire twelve bottles; there is a liverishness now to your liver from the gin of the last debauch, and, as you try to play the role of lover at night, there seems to be a problem with your shift-lever mechanism. Maybe it's the cigarettes....Coughing frutily--or in the language if those days, turning fruit?
Wha' hoppen? My youth is passing.
At forty, I once again mourned the passing of my youth.
Mid-life crisis. A Dr. Smith character now, out of Lost In Space. "Oh, dear. What will become of me?"
Younger partner tired of my neuroticism, even less impressed by my eroticism. "Here's a vacuum cleaner, Ponce de Leon. You can rhuminate and fantacize while actually doing something useful. You were once my friend and lover. Now it' s more like friend and loafer."
I had to laugh. Well, at least the ole sense of humour is not gone, either in her or in me.
But no sense of humour when I was caught at something naughty. Oh, Ponce de Leon! Do not go fishing in borbidden streams! Do not attract moonbeams in a strange bed!
Kicked out, I was suddenly Fritz the Cat, meeting all sorts of denizens down there near the sewers.
I complained to a new drinking buddy, that I had been caught at cheating.
"You think that's something? I was caught in the showers with George Hyslop, the President of Toronto's Community Homophile "Association."
I'd answered, "Well, at least he's not suing for divorce."
At fifty, among the pipes and old hissing radiators of rooming houses, I once again mourned the passing of my youth.
Listening to Bob Seeger:
"Twenty years, where'd they go
Twenty years, I don't know
I sit and wonder sometimes
where they'd gone
At sixty, residing in my old Dodge hatchback, I one again mourned the passing of my youth.
A gorgeous brunette passed where I was parked, near the Walmart. She saw my look of abject need.
"You poor thing. You look like you need to get laid...Can't help you right now, 'cause I just did. ...But I'll come around tomorrow..."
I turned that night from mourner to optimist.
And the next day from loafer to lover.
Even with half an erection
I had all these years, forgotten the bounty of the woman, the cycle of life.
Strange realization, as I sit today, at seventy,up to no good at all, when the phone rings. "I think you need to get laid....Will that be a prooblem for you?"
I am Nat King Cole.
Ponce de Leon, finally arrived in the country of flowers.