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Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Thank you very much, Kat. It is good to know whether or not the telling works. I hope to get a few more pages up today.

Tere
Apr/2/2011, 12:57 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


New installment posted. Just above I remark on the narrative's courage to show vulnerability. Typing today, a connecting thought occurs to me.

I think we've touched on how modern, now post-modern lit is characterized by its tone of irony. The poet's or author's ironic stance taken towards her or his material. I seem to remember Kat introducing another of her juicy links pointing to as much. But it might have been someone else.

What occurs to me is that this story has to be put down as a failure, since, unmodern, or unpost-modern. Nothing ironic in its tone.

Something else occurs to me. What is the motive behind the ironic stance if not as a means for the narrator to keep safe, at a distance, from the narrative?

Does this make sense to anyone?

Tere
Apr/2/2011, 5:20 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Hi Tere, that irony thread is in Discussion 1,
"Something David Foster Wallace Said." Not a bad thread, if I don't say so myself. Seems relevant to this post. Hope you're feeling better and recovering from work-related physical insults.

Chris
Apr/9/2011, 9:12 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Thanks for the reminder, Chris. I couldn't remember who brought the discussion to the board. I see it was you. Reread what you posted and I still agree.

Tere
Apr/9/2011, 12:49 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Another weekend's installment posted. This is my favorite part of the novel. But the one I probably agonized the most over. Sometimes a sentence a day. Never as much as a page. The story soon comes to one sentence, maybe it was a few sentences, that so blew me away I wrote it out on a piece of paper and took it into work that night at the restaurant that served as the model for the novel's Jacaranda. I showed it to a couple of waiter type friends. Can't remember what one friend said exactly. Something [sign in to see URL], I can't remember. But I remember he too got excited. He too got caught up in it. I knew I was right about that sentence. I got something else. In the same way every line in a poem is absolutely determining, so too is a novel's every sentence.

Another thing I've decided. The hardest thing to write about, flesh out, develope, lead up to in such a way the moment is set in high relief is that phenomenon called falling in love. In comparison, fleshing out a death scene is a cake walk.

Tere
Apr/10/2011, 5:07 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Another installment posted. What to say? In love this Richard is almost bearable. And Melissa? Whoa.

Tere
Apr/18/2011, 12:05 am Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Tere,

I finally got caught up your postings.

"Another thing I've decided. The hardest thing to write about, flesh out, develope, lead up to in such a way the moment is set in high relief is that phenomenon called falling in love. In comparison, fleshing out a death scene is a cake walk."

Yes, I think you are right, especially if one approaches the material in the way you have:

"What occurs to me is that this story has to be put down as a failure, since, unmodern, or unpost-modern. Nothing ironic in its tone.

Something else occurs to me. What is the motive behind the ironic stance if not as a means for the narrator to keep safe, at a distance, from the narrative?

Does this make sense to anyone?"

It makes sense to me in light of what I have read. Falling in love as you have depicted it is very nuanced and a slow tease. Several times while reading the falling in love sequence, I caught myself remembering long forgotten and fleeting emotions/ sensations from bygone times and a bygone self.
Apr/20/2011, 3:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Thank you, Kat. For reading, for the encouragement, and for getting it.

Now I need to ask something of my readers. It must be clear, by now, that Melissa's and Richard's first day together will end in consummation. In a few pages the tale takes an erotic turn. I need permission to depict the scene. If one reader finds erotica unacceptable I can pass it over.

Funny huh? When does the author ever feel compelled to ask permission to depict scenes of violence?

Tere
Apr/20/2011, 6:46 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


Tere,

I have no objections, but two options if someone does: 1) post that section in Ateliers; 2) post it here but put a note at the top indicating the following may be objectionable to some readers (probably get more readers that way!).
Apr/20/2011, 7:24 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Christine98 Profile
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Go for it, Tere! I'll be playing catch-up as I haven't read the last post but now I'm thinking it'll be better to read them both together.

Chris
Apr/21/2011, 10:25 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Thanks, Kat and Chris. Reread the relevant portion. Finding it softer, more subtle, more suggestion residing between the sentences than I had remembered. I think it is good to go.

Tere
Apr/23/2011, 1:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Installment for the weekend posted. Sorely tempted to comment on the Jackman sequence. But that would ruin the surprise of discovery. I'll say this much. Cannot think of its precedent in literature.

Tere
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Christine98 Profile
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Re: Open Faces, Opening Places ( an explanation)


hi Tere,

Just finished the last two posts and felt immersed in a palpable atmosphere. The "Jackman" [sign in to see URL] a compelling sense of what was happening but why call that dark, self destructive urge "Jackman"?

Chris
Apr/24/2011, 9:07 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Thank you, Chris, for reading so soon after the installment was made. I am very curious about how it reads to others. Every man has his anti-self, right? You know the old saying: he is his own worst enemy. Every hero, I figure, has in him the capacity for being the anti-hero. I named Jackman after the actor, Jack Nicholson, whose career has all but perfected the anti-hero type of character. There it is.

Tere
Apr/24/2011, 12:42 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Installment made. So hard to get this kind of thing right.

Tere
Apr/30/2011, 4:54 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Installment for the weekend posted. Melissa's chapter almost finished, only another page or so. For reasons I'll not get into I hate to leave it. Again I note I am not sure I have the kind of courage anymore to write this way. And again I note how much more difficult it is to write about love than to write about death.

Tere
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Christine98 Profile
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hi Tere,

I'm caught up with you now. Whew. The world lovers create and inhabit, the brain bend! Good thing it doesn't last--we'd all go mad and starve to death.

Chris
May/10/2011, 9:37 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
Terreson Profile
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Chuckling here, Chris. You suppose that three weeks, 21 days, after her first night with Richard the "mind bend" Melissa heard in the screetch of a night heron is what scared her? I'll bet so. But not too fast. We are not through with our lovers yet.

Tere
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Katlin Profile
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Hi Tere,

I'm caught up too. Can't help thinking of the Frost poem:

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

The ending of the latest installment is very powerful, kind of takes my breath away:

"He can’t exactly say what happened two nights ago when they were lying in the indigo of an ink well and resting on the after-side of making love. Maybe there is nothing either of them will ever be able to say happened. Which, Richard has a feeling, can sometimes be the really queasy heart of a woman’s once-in-lifetime surrender. Or, maybe, it was a deeper kind of opening, an untimely sort of widening, in the middle of Melissa that brought her to where she saw herself hang over her own life’s well in her own moment of vertigo. Richard doesn’t know. He doesn’t know. He isn’t even certain he can ever know what shadow’s child came over her and scared her into, maybe, not wanting to keep with him. All he can say is that he heard that scream, a night heron’s screech and scream, running across the night so close to them like fingernails scraping across a chalkboard. And that the girl lying next to him suddenly cried out as pitifully as if her first home had just been taken away from her. Richard has never heard so much fear, and unwanted desire, as when she pleaded with him, tears streaming, or with no one in particular, as when she cried out in so few words and said – Please don’t steal me away! – What could Richard have done, what can journeyman have said or done, except to hold his brown eyed girl, his heart close twin, while patting her damp eyes dry, cradling her, rocking her, quietly, finally saying to her – I’m still not a thief. - "

May/11/2011, 8:06 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Whoa. Somebody types back at me the passage and my breath gets caught too. Thanks for keeping up.

Tere
May/11/2011, 7:27 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Okay. Melissa's chapter is now finished. I've decided on something once again. A success or failure, nobody has ever done or gone to where this novel goes. Nobody, not even Colette, has peeled back the surface tissue and pulled up a certain species of emotions. Early on I defined rock n roll as a way of life, something I once read about Flamenco, a way of life. And its logic is the feeling logic of living by the emotions. Not a safe way to go I ween. By the way, did anyone catch the run on sentence of the first night Melissa and Richard made love? That sentence is about a page and a half long.

Next chapter simply, and aptly, called Saturday Night The story not what one might expect.

Tere
May/15/2011, 4:06 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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hi Tere,

Truth be told, I didn't take conscious notice of that run-on sentence. I was aware of the unpunctuated, seamless, even oceanic quality of the experience described. So I hope that counts for something.

"the feeling logic of living by emotions," makes for a way of writing that is somewhat foreign to me. I've read a lot of conventionally structured novels and not ventured into much that challenges my expectations. Not making excuses here, Tere. I do get the feeling you're growing impatient with your readers.

Chris
May/17/2011, 11:43 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 
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Hi Tere,

Like Chris, I am more used to reading conventionally structured novels. A novel without dialogue or direct action challenged my expectations as well. The run-on sentence read like prose poetry to me and conveyed a feeling of blurring, merging, a space of time outside of time.

I've been thinking about Melissa and realized that for me she comes across more as an archetypal woman than a flesh and blood one. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that the archetypal woman and the flesh and blood woman are merged together in such a way that it is difficult to parse them apart. Not sure what this observation means but thought I'd share it in case it speaks to something you had intended about the rock n roll life and living by the emotions.
May/17/2011, 6:04 pm Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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Thanks, Chris and Kat. And I am absolutely not getting frustrated with my readership. Just the opposite. I could not be more delighted, pleased,...and encouraged. You two are the only ones who've gien input, let me know you are keeping apace. I hope others are reading and enjoying the read. But if not I am perfectly good to go with a readership of two. Mentioning the run-on sentence was made in the spirit of conversation. Kind of cool it struck you both the way it did. "Blurring, merging, a space of time outside of time." That was my intention, so thanks, Kat. When you think on it, isn't that how the act of love making should always be? An "oceanic quality of the experience" also and very much works for me. So if that is how the passage comes across then it succeeded to its mark.

Melissa as an archetypal woman and/or a flesh and blood woman? I rather hope both fit. Here is a clue to intention. Plato said there are two Aphrodites: one he called Celestial and the other Vulgar. Later they became known as Venus Coelstis and Venus Naturalis. I'm sure you know the more common dichotomy, a little too reductive for my taste,of Madonna and Whore. I don't rightly know to which sort Melissa belongs. I am rather hoping she transcends, while integrating, both categories. But I don't want to give too much away. Thanks again.

Tere
May/17/2011, 6:53 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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Next chapter, Saturday Night, started in on. A small step, a baby step. I am tickled by the vantage point Richard has assumed for telling this part of his story. An after-hours, emptied out bar room. I am tickled for two reasons. It perfectly suits this part of his tale. Also, when a bartender, I would frequently do what he is doing after the last customer was gone, bar cleaned, money counted, report of receipts made. One bar I remember especially, housed in an old library. I would sit for a half hour or so and nurse an after-shift Irish, then call for a taxi. Great time for thinking it was. I suspect it is a guilty pleasure all bartenders savor. At least those who enjoy cultivating late night thoughts.

Tere
May/22/2011, 4:59 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Katlin Profile
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Hi Tere,

The setting--an empty, after hours barroom--is a good one. When I was in college, I worked as a waitress and sometime bartender, and I remember the feel of the place at closing time after everyone had gone. Very different from the feel in the early morning hours (it was a golf course bar and restaurant) just before we opened and fired up the coffee machine. The only vibe comparable in my experience was the one I got, also in college, walking through a shutdown nursing home that still contained metal beds and nursing stations, etc. A "lost souls" feeling prominent in both spaces.
May/28/2011, 8:48 am Link to this post Send Email to Katlin   Send PM to Katlin
 
Terreson Profile
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You got it, Kat.

Tere
May/28/2011, 1:18 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
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Another installment posted, a little longer than most. I had to get through a scene I cannot get through without rum, the tears, and the reflux reaction in my stomach.

I had an argument once with my oldest brother and father figure. Like me, and more so, he is an anti-war proponent and against all forms of American imperialism. I confessed to him that maybe he and I were both compromised in our stance against the Nam war, since, we didn't experience it. When the man gets angry he goes sharp, pupil pointed in his eyes. He said quite directly "I have never needed war in order to encounter death." He was right.

I've said before I don't much like Richard. He is too much like me. A moralizing prig. But I will give him one thing. When on the scene he bears the honest witness. And Saturday Night just begining. Where did I find the guts to write this chapter? Maybe it was here:

[url][sign in to see URL]

Tere
May/28/2011, 6:51 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Terreson Profile
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A second installment for the weekend, it being a long weekend. To paraphrase Chuck the Nam vet, when does a story ever leave you? And when does it stop sitting so close?

Tere
May/29/2011, 6:26 pm Link to this post Send Email to Terreson   Send PM to Terreson
 
Christine98 Profile
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hi Tere,

Just to let you know I read the last two posts.
They are harrowing. Don't know what else to [sign in to see URL] written, of course.

Chris
Jun/3/2011, 8:47 am Link to this post Send Email to Christine98   Send PM to Christine98
 


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