An update on the eve of Aug. 1

Three new fics due to be published in August, and one new one in September.  Stay tuned…

In the meantime, classes are (almost) over, and I’m working on a paper on dystopian fiction.  Hope to squeeze in some time for writing — as in: non-academic/creative — this summer, though it’s looking increasingly doubtful.  Let me revise that: I will make some time for it, but probably won’t have enough to start anything longer than a short story.  But, we’ll see…

In other news: I watched “28 Days Later” last night.  It actually wasn’t too bad.  Note to self: you should be more open-minded about these weird sf/horror blockbusters in future.  They can actually be quite entertaining, even slightly thought-provoking.  Also saw “Children of Men,” which I thought was great.



Is real life stranger than fiction?

“A Reflexive Lake”[1]

By Marc Lowe

He writes: Do I have any ideas for a new story today? 

He has just finished reading a short tale about two “mes,” and has also recently watched a film about doppelgangers and broken mirrors, yet the theme of the double to him seems a bit repetitive for a new story: worn-out, outdated.  Why, in fact, should any person have a double anyway?  What purpose would this double serve?  Would the double, as in Poe’s “William Wilson,” act as a foil?  Or would he exist solely to drive the “original” mad?  Perhaps even to suicide?  How should one react upon meeting one’s double?  Shy? angry? afraid? speechless? Would it be rude to assert that one was the “real” whoever?  What if one’s double were in fact older than oneself by a day, a month, a year?!?

Perhaps there’s a story somewhere in here, perhaps not, he tells himself.  The question is whether or not it’s one worth pursuing.  There are so many stories in the world, but not all of them are in fact worth telling.  He looks up from his red notebook,[2] in which he has been writing, and there, sitting across from him at the dimly-lit café, is another him.  You’re so derivative, the second him says.  Don’t you know that everyone has written doppelganger stories already, from Dostoevsky to Nabokov to Saramago…?  Yours will just be one more drop of water in an already flooded, reflective lake. 

The writer frowns, looks back at his notebook, and wonders whether or not he ought to keep writing.  He decides to keep the pen moving for now, even if his story is derivative, unoriginal, even if it reminds him of another story he himself wrote at another café in Hiroshima many years ago with an equally clever title.[3]  When he looks up from his notebook again the double is gone.  Perhaps it was no more than an illusion, a projection emanating from his unsettled brain.  Or perhaps there really were two “hes” sitting in this café across from one another just moments ago.  Stranger things have happened.

He closes his notebook and gets up to leave the café, when before him appears a thin young man, who looks around eight or so years his junior, with dark hair and glasses, a book entitled Repetition[4] tucked under his arm, along with a red notebook that looks rather like his own…


[1] Originally an untitled notebook entry, written on 7/15/2012, the author’s daughter’s first birthday.

[2] After Paul Auster (see: The New York Trilogy, etc.).

[3] “Sui Generis,” though in that story the doubles were Japanese Scubrats employees.

[4] French title: La Reprise (2001) by Alain Robbe-Grillet.

A (hesitant) update

I’ve decided that over the break — which, for me, begins in August — I will try and read Haruki Murakami’s massive, three-volume 1Q84 in translation.  I’m currently reading two books, both of which are slightly disappointing (though I have a hunch this has something to do with my frame of mind right now?), though I really, really want to be bowled over / inspired by something that is both profound and, at the same time, “fun to read.”  Hopefully this will fulfill both requirements.  We’ll see.  I have to wait for September for Dalkey Archive’s reissue of Alain Robbe-Grillet’s A Project for a Revolution in New York, at any rate, and The Library of America’s 5-volume David Goodis set has recently gone up in price (at least here), so…

In the meantime, there are roughly two weeks of regular classes left, and things are quite busy.  I’ve decided on which books to teach next term, and am looking forward to it.  Tomorrow (July 15) is my daughter’s first birthday.  I will have three new publications online in August.  Writing-wise, I’ve not produced much at all over the past couple of weeks, though hopefully there will be more time for it come August/September.  I’m also seriously kicking around the idea of starting my own online journal (something I’ve been thinking about for a long time, actually).