Category Archives: scribbling

maybe i’ve written a successful novel

a friend read my novel last night and this morning on the bus he couldn’t stop talking to me about it. then i got an email from a friend in DC saying he’d given the book to a few of his friends and they really liked it and wanted their own copies. then another friend came and gave me $10 because she wanted to buy a copy that i’d given her awhile ago and that she wants to read it. yesterday a student read it and said he liked it, that he’d change a few things, but that it’s a good story.

odd. i’ve felt failure and silence with this book. this is because i set the limits of success and failure at having the book published by a publisher. but what happened today and yesterday with the book is success. this friend had a light in his eyes from the story, the characters, the voice. he wanted to talk about religion and politics and psychology and love and the midwest and christianity…all the things i’ve ever wanted my writing to do: spark interest in the truth, in what is, in what it is to be human.

in 2008 i left 25 copies of it all around new york city. in 2009 i left 75 copies of it all around the country. maybe there are people who are reading it and liking it out there. maybe it’s successful.

maybe i’ve written a successful novel.

(just had an idea: maybe i could go on a hunt for the books i left in new york as a publicity event, doing readings and asking people if they have a copy to come meet me and talk about why they picked it up.)

5 thoughts

1) consciousness could be located in the part of the brain that connects subjects with predicates (i see consciousness working when people say “uhm” or other linguistic tics, which i find happens in that grammatical space.)

2) if we assume that the omniscient, omnipotent God of Judeo-Christianity doesn’t exist and that the “higher” power greater than ourselves is the force of history acting upon us, then certainly lawyers are angels.

3) the sun is so strong in Quito that when it’s nice out it’s not nice out.

4) if you see with irrelevant eyes then what you see will be irrelevant.

5) while riding a bike down a steep dirt hill i sang songs to myself and as i lost control of the bike i realized that the songs couldn’t be hurt.

on the occaison of watching “Cold Souls” with Paul Giamatti

i’ve been thinking recently that we trade ourselves. reading Polanyi’s “Great Transformation” i feel as though he’s describing me, doing a kind of psychology that no psychologist will. that our relationships were dissolved and reformed in a new dimension, to what would be the modern dimension.

my thought: that my personality is a kind of commodity. an amalgam of elements that i trade on the market of the social scene, among and between the groups to which i say i belong–my ego a wallet stuffed with receipts for my various qualities. my self itself is on the market.

what am i and what am i worth?

what can i get for myself?

what will you give me for me?

i feel as though my neuroses are grounded in the extent of my exchange value, priced in a currency created from a rubric determined by forces buried in my history. this rubric is defined with imperatives crafted from the failures and successes of my ancestors rooted into the consciousness of my parents who then rooted them into me. fastened deep somewhere in this byzantium the axioms of value that allow “success” and “failure” to get their definitions is the birth of the self-regulating market: farmers morphed into workers, serfs into beggars, magic into science.

there is freedom in this, it must exist, i feel it just as strongly. the cloudy film around the solid-seeming mass that lets me write this, lets me write anything, lets me look into the byzantium and outline it. it lets me watch a movie and take something away and walk the streets, seeing. it lets me ask:

what will come next?

if exchange value was built upon use value what will be built upon exchange value?

what really comes after modernity?

who will i be?