...as i was writing daffodil 37 i remembered something that did not reach the digital diary this month but which kept me awake one night for several hours - thoughts provoked by a broadcast that i tuned in to at 4.18 am, 30 november, on the BBC World Service... it was a review of Godzilla on my Mind*, a book by a history professor recounting his lifelong attachment to this Japanese fantasy figure, a lizard-like monster who
'crawled out of his radioactive birthplace to cut a swath of destruction through Tokyo'and since then Godzilla has (i imagine) been cutting his imaginary way through rest of the creation...
...'this is not me' i thought 'so why is the ridiculous fantasy keeping me awake?'... 'is it because it embodies the kind of fiction i wish to be writing now - as a way of combining good-and-evil in the imagined exploration of new culture?' ... 'yes, i guess it is'... and my night notes to myself tell me to 'do nothing (except breathe and eat) until this has started' ... 'there is no doubt that this is my way (with or without my theory or message)'... hm.
As i re-read the scrappy notes written during the broadcast i imagined a story, with all the improbability or non-realism of Godzilla, or King Kong, Terminator, or any other science fantasy, which included also the more serious or literary characters who have begun to pervade softopia:
Utopia... with both utopian and dystopian dimensions but transcxending each (i like the spelling of that)... and many others who lie waiting in the archive.
Henry James with his character Isabel Archer
and also the imaginaryrock foundation
(...that would be my not-so-hidden purpose... )
...isn't it time to let these characters out of the kennels of nervousness and see what happens if they are free to go all over this website, and life itself, such as we imagine it to be, individually, collectively, or otherwise (or otherfoolish) come what may?
If that is a question the answer is 'yes' say the fingers 'so make an appointment with your fear of disreputability and literary rubbish and let us go off on our own for a few minutes at least and see what happens'...
...'please please' say the characters like naughty children pretending to be obedient - and as they do so the writer feels himself giving up his serious view of everything for all such nonsense as this but with the beginnings of a smile...
*William Tsutsui, Godzilla on my Mind: Fifty years of the King of Monsters, Palgrave Macmillan, London 2004, isbn 1-4039-6474-2.
I went to the 'Forbidden Planet Megastore' to collect the book but was so put off by the sight of so many young and middle-aged men peering at little plastic sculptures of fantasy characters (and replica weapons) that i fled the shop for a more respectable bookstore where for several hours i compared different translations of Homer's Odyssey... and now that i've begun to read The Odyssey again i'm reminded that it too is full of the kind of violence, magic and social blindness as puts me off science fiction and its almost entirely masculine readers... (what am i getting into?) ... for instance Odysseus's bloody massacre of the usurpers of his palace and his even more cruel massacre of the women who had slept with them...
**in The Glory of Hera: Greek Mythology and the Greek Family Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey 1968.Here are three of the passages that i underlined while re-reading it:
page 79: ...there is something fundamentally fraudulent at the core of organized social life [deriving from secrecy and from the exclusion and fear of women?]
page 307: ...this ecstatic and morbid mythology, which ... reveals the Apollonian myths for the self-deluding, uninsightful sham that they are.
page 307: The real futility of the Dionysian response - where there is no separation [from the mother] there can be neither victory nor resolution.
...well, if this culture fiction is to happen i will have to commit myself to it here and now - for there are no external compulsions when writing in one's public writing place!... This piece of writing has to be the voluntary beginning, not to be forgotten or set aside...
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