Just finished watching Donnie Darko
. Up until I figured out what was going on I was just kinda like, "huh." (A "huh" leaning toward good, but a "huh" nonetheless.) But then things clicked right around Donnie and Gretchen in the car and I was more "wow." That was a really good movie. Just, heh, wow. ( The kind of thing I like, too. )
So, yeah, I'm impressed. Really enjoyed it. Loved the music, incidental and otherwise. I recommend it.
Yesterday Natasha and I watched He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not
, which I had seen before and also recommend. It's French, with Audrey Tautou from Amelie
and it's a "romantic thriller." The middle will make you go "What the hell?" and the second half will make you go "Oh, I see" and the end will make you go "Agh!" Yeah, it's good.
Yesterday I also went to a talk by David Plante for my English class. He's a writer and a professor at Columbia University. Mainly he spoke about the writer's vocation and I thought it was all really fascinating. There were several things that he said that really spoke to me and made me think, "*That* is why I can't write." Other stuff he said I just liked a whole lot; he spoke like a writer, his words carefully chosen. Or so I felt.
One point he brought up in the beginning was that all writers should think of English and the written word as their second language. Those people who are not native English speakers, or indeed speak a second language at all, are more aware of each and every word they choose because they understand how fully it must convey their meaning. They develop a heightened awareness of words and language.
In using these words, Plante also spoke of how he doesn't usually like to call things mysteries (He had asked us, "Why do we feel the need to transform our world into words?" and declared it a mystery.) or beautiful or other descriptive words like that because that diminishes the thing being described and the meaning of the description. He felt that when you name it, you lose it. Instead, in his own writing, he attempts to evoke the feeling
of beauty or mystery, etc. At this point I was reminded of something that a fanfiction writer and said once about editing their work and the removal of a repetitive declaration of love between two people, one of whom was dying. The repetition of "love" and "I love you" made the words mean less because they were mentioned so often. Words have power, but they lose that power if they are used too often and without taste or talent or perception.
Plante also brought up the idea of the unintentional. Whatever was intentional was of no interest whatsoever to him. "What happens unintentionally when I write is why I write," he said. This elicited questions from the audience about how you could write anything without some intention. Plante said that it is not really intention we must look at here, but craft. His suggestion to his writing students was that you should think of writing as constructing a house and "build [that] house in such a way that it becomes haunted" and thus allows for the unintentional.
All of this I found very interesting, but then he got to talking about understanding writing. "I don't try to explain it, don't try to understand [what I'm writing]." He didn't want to know. "Creativity for me is my reason for being." One of my classmates from Intertextuality said that he writes "to find out what happens when I do it."
What really got to me though, was when someone asked how he felt when a student goes to him and says, "I have an idea for a story
." Plante said that this is a problem, because having an "idea for a story" means that the idea is already received. Meaning that the idea has been picked up elsewhere and implying that you have pushed your originality into something else. "Ideas," Plante said, "can be the enemy of creativity" because an "idea" is a preconception already, before you even begin writing. The good beginning then is to have no ideas. For Plante, he begins with images. This is how he works best. But the implication was that you have to just write and see what comes out of it. Of course, all of this had the caveat that every writer and how they write is unique.
Before the talk ended, Plante also went over the problem of connection. If you can't connect your images, than don't. Leave space, he suggested, because the mind will fill in the space on its own and make it work.
So, my problem? I think too much. I over plan and I over think and then I get frustrated because I can never really get what I have in my head down on the paper. But sometimes when I just sit down and write because a beginning line has magically popped into my head, I end up with a page and a half of nothing in particular that I'm happy with and fairly proud of. Go figure. If I could just let go and really begin something without obsessing over every word and detail and punctuation mark, than perhaps I could actually finish some of the longer things I've started.
Perhaps there is hope for me as a writer (for my own personal fun and relaxation, not for profit). If not, I shall continue being a "professional appreciator," as my RA put it.
Tomorrow I turn in my reflective statement for Intertextuality. A statement's supposed to be short, right? Because mine's a page and during the movie someone said something and that made me think, "Oh, maybe I should explain that a little better." But it's a *statement* and it's only supposed to help spur us toward our final paper, so it's not supposed to be, like, really detailed and stuff. Right?
Also, my black ink cartridge has decided to begin dying and so the quality of the printed statement isn't top notch. Natasha says it should be ok as it is still legible and not too bad. I'll add a sticky-note apologizing for the quality.
My right foot, ankle, and lower leg hurt. Before the talk yesterday I fell down the stairs in Wyckoff. Like my grandma did when she broke her hip. Ow.
Watched SV last night because I didn't go to work (because of the fall and the pain and the not needing to stand on it for four hours). Couldn't really watch it 'cause it drove me nuts. Talked to Mom about it today and she was really upset at the writers' carelessness with the characters. They killed the kid, the mother, and the father. Not a really big deal was made. People were created and then thrown away just so they could try to get us a message about parenting. Blah. But the Luthor scenes were good, and the ending was great. (Yea ambiguously evil Lex!) But other than that it kinda sucked. The shinyness has left SV for me. I did go all symbolic on Natasha when it started though. Lana had a blue scarf on and they found the baby in a crater so Lana wrapped the baby in the scarf. Blue is the color of the Virgin Mary, who became a mother without having sex. So there is Virgin Lana with her Blue Scarf wrapped around the Miracle Baby. Because Lana is perfect. Just ask the writers.
I'm gonna stick with the SGs and Nip/Tuck
and BSG if I can actually watch more. They drive me crazy in good ways.