The Labor Pains of Dancing Stars

Today’s gem from the ‘ol term-paper mill:

“This is really easy job! Only make 5minutes speech please anyone save me thanks!”

I’m not your paradise, girl.

Via Arts&LettersDaily.com

Creative Mindsby Roger Dobson from The Independent:

“According to new research, psychosis could be the answer. Creative minds in all kinds of areas, from science to poetry, and mathematics to humour, may have traits associated with psychosis. Such traits may allow the unusual and sometimes bizarre thought processes associated with mental illness to fuel creativity. The theory is based on the idea that there is no clear dividing line between the healthy and the mentally ill. Rather, there is a continuum, with some people having psychotic traits without having the debilitating symptoms.”

The article discusses the impact of so-called psychosis on some of the greatest innovators – Albert Einstein, Salvador Dali, Tony Hancock, and Brian Wilson.

I’m reading William Gass’ On Being Blue and he has an interesting take on the connection:

“The mad, as we choose to speak of others who do not share our tastes, provide cases galore of color displacement: they think pink is blue, that brown is blue, that sounds are blue that overshoes are condoms, and we have only to describe these crazies directly and they will smuggle the subject in all by themselves.”

“Freud thought that a psychosis was a waking dream, and that poets were daydreamers too, but I wonder if the reverse is not as often true, and that madness is a fiction lived in like a rented room.  The techniques, in any case, are similar” (P. 30).

Charles Bukowski constructed an infamous career out of being mad.  The first book of poetry I bought of his was Play the piano drunk like a percussion instrument until the fingers begin to bleed a bit.  It’s gotta be one of my favorite titles in literature – it’s almost a poem in and of itself.  He’s also of course the writer of another great title, Tales of Ordinary Madness.

Ayer I read an interesting debate over at Frigg Magazine.  They are a quarterly lit publisher of microfiction – a genre still being defined and maneuvered according to its practitioners – right now the the word count cannot exceed around 200 words, depending on whom you ask.

Here’s contributor Joseph Young’s take over atFrigg Magazine

“To be its own genre, microfiction needs to do something that other forms won’t. It needs to use language, description, dialogue, character to tell a story that can’t be told any other way. It’s not just compression, and it’s not just leaving things out, background info on characters or such. Microfiction needs to carve out whole worlds in a space small enough to fit the eye. You look, just once, and there the whole story is, on the page.

Microfiction is an experience of time closest to zero. Narrative necessarily moves through time; this is its nature, to express an event unfolding in time. But the world, the experience, of microfiction is so pared down that it occurs in the span of a single second, perhaps less, ideally much less.”

Does anybody have time anymore to read anything longer?  The rise of the Twitterati, Facebook Updating,  Smith Magazine’s hugely popular Six-Word Memoir, a publicized resurgence of the short story, and ADD on the rise, it looks like micro-fiction may be the next gambit.

I eyed through a few to get a feel and they read like a cross between prose poetry and the inside cover of a book.  It is quick hitting, heavy with allusion, and normally the last line is the punch.  They are more of a glimpse than a look, for better and worse.

According to the guidelines I could be considered a micro-fictionist, but I think I’ll stick with amateurish hack.

I was fortunate enough to reach Rumpus Editor and seven-time author Stephen Elliott through E-mail in regards to his offer of receiving an advanced copy of his next book, The Adderall Diaries: A memoir of moods, masochism, and murder due out this coming Fall.  He’s taking an interesting marketing tactic with this book by sending out advanced copies for people to borrow for a week and read before they forward it on to the next person.

I’m the last on the list for our particular copy so I’m hoping it will be marked up with people’s thoughts and ideas and coffee and wine stains.

I bought some sunglasses last week and I’m afraid they might have been made with women in mind.

See?  Microfiction, baby…except it’s not fiction.  So nevermind.

Hunter S. Thompson was a madman.  I’m reading his oral history compiled by Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner.  And now, like Doc, I’m gonzo.


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~ by garcialoca on May 5, 2009.

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