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This journal is likely to be like a pole-barn in the high-rent district, but I thought I would just give it a stab.

I am not sure what this online culture consists of, or which of you fellow journal keepers are my friends I have not yet met.  I don't suppose everyone just throws their Nobel Prize ideas up here for grabs, or do they? 

I am merely hoping, being somewhat isolated from folks of "like mind"--wherever they may be-- that this could be a valuable way to reach out and share ideas.  Not being currently affiliated with a university somewhat limits my chances for scholarly conversation.  I have a master's degree in Comparative Literature from IU, with a Medieval Studies focus. Not that I am an actual scholar-- more a pseudo-scholar.  In fact, a librarian, who would rather be a writer, but shamelessly has never developed the discipline to try to make a living at it.  I am a shepard of books instead.  I read as many as I can, but alas I spend most of my time wondering where they have all gotten to, and other deep questions such as why religions are all lumped together in the non-fiction section, and yet seldom agree.

My interests have always been so far-ranging that it seems almost formulaic that I will never be any good at any of them.  Not that I suffer too badly because I find the world to be such an interesting place. I don't have to do much to stay entertained.  I mean, I truly do think that watching paint dry is pretty fascinating.  If you really watch.

Since I am pushing 60 now, I have become concerned that my Renaissance Man goals of writing a good novel, writing a good piece of music (no I will not even say symphony now, flute solo maybe) directing a good motion picture (hmm, a slight anachronism), and drawing like Rembrandt ( I will forgo painting also unless a miracle happens), are all beginning to slip out of the reach of my charter of days.  Of course, there are the performing arts also: piano, harp, guitar, lute, viol, voice, drama. They all beckon to me like Ahab.  What's a boomer to do?

When my thesis advisor died, I changed from a Middle High German translation project to writing a screenplay that was the imagined life of the great writer/poet Hartmann von Aue.  It's a story that explains why he might have written the tales he wrote in his life, while tagging along behind Barbarossa to the 3rd Crusade, and then undertaking a grail search at Mont Segur in Languedoc. It is told, or revealed, through the trance state of the Abbess Bona, a spiritual god-child of Hildegard Von Bingen.

But back to topic (what IS my subject?). Another reason for me to set up housekeeping in this neighborhood is because John Crowley is nearby, and I am reading through the Aegypt Cycle after reading Little, Big, and I think I can learn much from the way he writes, and his "table talk" with friends.  It has put me into a "fictional mode" (his actually) that I must emulate if I want to be able to sustain a long work.  So I want to explore some things about Crowley's writing here, without worrying that I will "clog his blog."

One of my problems that I hope reading him will help me solve, is that I tend to collapse directly into aphorism, and therefore do not know how to unwind the ideas in the magisterial format that he makes so effortless-looking.  I know it's not.  But that's the craft-- to stay in HIS story and not wander into others.

When I read a good writer like Crowley for a few hours, it makes me feel like I could put the book down and go on for a chapter on my own. That WOULD be a great excercise perhaps, but the illusion fades rapidly. It's his world, and while we like to visit, we must live in our own. 

Crowley writes with largesse, and his characters are worthy of our esteem.  It is often said that characters are the stuff that Stephen King is all about. That's true, but I don't often like them particularly. Crowley's characters are gentle fables in their own right. 

The above reminds me of  the late Mark Saxton who did write three books of fiction about Islandia,  Austin Tappan Wright's world.  I checked on him today to see if there were new books, and found instead his obituary, dated today. He died last Thursday.

I would welcome any posts about sci-fi, and utopian fiction here. I am a fan of, currently, in addition to Crowley, Robert Musil, and Robert Acikman.  I would love to see stuff on A Man Without Qualities, or any of Aickman's stories.  I just finished The Model.

Would anyone like to start a reading group to discuss our way through In Search of Lost Time?  I have read the first chapters many times, but my petite madelaine gets soggy and breaks off before I begin to taste its miracle.  Fortunately they have those at Starbucks now, so if I stock up, I may make it to book two.

Please post your literary allusions, illusions, delusions, conclusions, and confusions here.  The salon is open! 

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
dyvyd
Nov. 27th, 2007 07:04 pm (UTC)
Sample "HI" post
Hi Davross,
glad to see you are learning to share your angst with the world!
Did you stop to think that perhaps the day before Thanksgiving was not the time to open an Internet Salon?
And what is the name of this intellectual haven? Davross' Place?
You might send out some calling cards?
I will check back later to see if you have done something interesting, but frankly, you realize you will not replace Facebook,
don't you?
Basically, you are just talking to yourself here...
dyvyd
Nov. 27th, 2007 07:35 pm (UTC)
Re: Sample "HI" post
Well, Hi Davross, and thanks for the post.
I am somewhat of a hermit, so I do not desire to compete with the big social
sites.

In fact, I am just waiting to see who might wander by, and why. I would like
Leonard Cohen or maybe John Crowley to be the first visitor, but until someone shows up, I intend to, as you say, just talk to myself. It's my journal after all, and dialogue is always worth practising.

I have thought about the name carefully, and now, "just now" in fact, you have helped me find a name.

The name of this place is: Waiting for the Miracle to Come

But I am not quite sure where in the widget that stuff goes. So stand by until my crack technical team gets right on it.
(Anonymous)
Nov. 29th, 2007 06:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Sample "HI" post
Say,
Leonard Cohen is such an icon that phrase is all over the Internet.
Can't you find something more original?
dyvyd
Nov. 29th, 2007 06:44 pm (UTC)
Re: Sample "HI" post
Yeah, good point.

How about Spira Mirabilis?
I'll try that for a while and see what happens.
(Anonymous)
Dec. 6th, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
New Title idea
Ok,
this page is not about mathematics and not about Nostradamus, so you really need a title that reflects your dogged dilettantism and psueudo-intellectual
drivel-driven prose. May I suggest that "Lorem Ipsum?" may be the perfect match for you?
dyvyd
Jan. 21st, 2008 03:51 pm (UTC)
Re: New Title idea
Ok,
true, I know nothing about Nostradamus. I just liked the cool title page. I also like celtic stuff. I have this nice picture of the Stones at Callanish. Actually, I should take down this site and start a new one under the user name of dyvyd-- davross sounds a little too menacing, or like I can't remember the evil Dr. Who character only had one "S."

But truthfully, it appears to be very difficult to put a phrase or title on the Internet that is not already there somewhere.

So, I will take down the "borrowed" stuff and attempt to duke it out with my own demons only until I find something that is uniquely my own.
joculum
Sep. 16th, 2008 04:12 pm (UTC)
You should have stuck with Waiting for the Miracle to Come, because that is what we are all doing.

Amazing how one meets so many Unmet Friends this way, since of course bits of the early phases of the joculum blog (to which I never gave a name except the Latin for "little joke" or for "I'm kidding" that was a friends' pun on my office- email username) were all about John Crowley and Robert Musil and the connections between the Ægypt cycle and The Man Without Qualities...I have never been able to get through Proust, however, even though involuntary memory and madeleines are a standing reference for me and have been ever since I read Thomas Altizer's chapter on Proust in Mircea Eliade and the Dialectic of the Sacred.

I have been assiduously trying to get a major conversation started on joculum for over two years but almost nobody who knows exactly the right stuff will come play with me. John Crowley has been on board from the beginning, and Rodger Cunningham and a few others like the friend who who gave me the latinate username joculum.

My issues are not entirely yours, but you have one of the best takes on Crowley and Musil I've ever seen, better than mine. Glad to make your acquaintance through the comments section of crowleycrow.
dyvyd
Sep. 16th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)
Indeed! This page should now be called: The Miracle is here! Oh, the evil Internet! I say this because I am at work trying to get a grip on my priority list-- and should wait until after supper for this. Shame on me. However, such an historic event as a personal response to my postings, cannot go without an immediate "Hurrah!" Raise the flag! No longer am I Robinson "livejournal" Crusoe.

Strange that you should have such an overlap of initial postings. We have had similar readings and musings, it seems. But it's not too surprising that people who like JC's books might have similar characteristics, and that's one reason I wanted to look for allies here. John's fans, I find,(and I hope I can say this without sounding too elitist) are a relatively "special" group of readers. I have tried to get a half-dozen or so of my friends to read John, but they say they become overwhelmed and confused. Or maybe not confused, but "all at sea," or without moorings, lost.

I find that "not-knowingness" pleasant, while my friends seem to find it distressing. John also manages to raise rather complex feelings in me as does someone like Lawrence Durrell, but in a more benign way. It happens often that I feel I have gathered information just below my level of consciousness. I get a huge shadow of meaning sometimes from just a simple-seeming sentence from John. I would like to figure out how he does that to me, because I would like to be able to do it too. As a musical analogy, it is like being exposed to occasional grace notes that you sense are gathering into a monumental theme.

Thank you for your kind words. I have not been posting as regularly here as I thought I would, the last few months being in the mundane world of building a new branch library, somewhat outside of the Crowleyian universe. But having a visitor has refreshed me, and so I will update my posts.

dyvyd
Sep. 17th, 2008 12:28 pm (UTC)
I have been over on your journal site and getting an idea of what your thoughts are, and found your Durrell thread. I have been meaning to get back to him for another reading, and I prefer the Avignon Quintet over the Alexandria Quartet because of the setting, mostly, and characters more resonant with my psyche.

ZO, Vell, Herr Doktor Freud, vat do you tink consists a "major conversation" of? Ich, K. Jung stand hierbei uber etwa/alles zu dialogen.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Cydonia photo: ESA

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