Thursday, May 18, 2006

Real life is a pale imitation...

...of the circus that goes on inside your own head.

First proper post, so I thought I'd wax on about writing.

After immersing yourself in the vast expanse that is a blank page, frittering about with hieroglyphics and ellipses and unreliable narrators, occasionally you think maybe it's time to open your front door and take a look at the outside world. But reality often disappoints, for the following reasons:

Humans have front-positioned eyes, which mean that unlike when you're playing omniscient narrator, you can't see in all directions. Looking only forwards is unnerving, like you've got blinkers on. And god knows what's happening behind you. I mean, what a design flaw.

Time just keeps moving relentlessly bloody forward. Whereas in your fevered imagination, it can rewind, freeze, skip hop and do cartwheels, out there in the real world it ticks onwards, in one direction only.

There's no proper way of editing real life. Apologies and retractions are just not as clean as cutting and pasting - which means you're liable to make glaring errors at any minute, and there's no way of undoing them.

And most of all, unlike a story, life just keeps on trucking...things coagulate sometimes into what looks like a neatly turned-up narrative, but before you know it, something else goes off the boil and the denouement turns into a tangent, which opens up another kettle of fish which drifts off into a very unsatisfactory non-conclusion, which begs the question...

Why bother with reality?

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