Beckett, Proust and the Butterfly-borne Archetype

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I knew as soon as I picked Beckett up and leafed, discovering his essence for the first time, ten minutes ago, in this bookshop, that this was it. Having singularly failed to find any other writer whose voice carried the same thrush-laden yearning for absolution as mine, or whose contra-mendacious spirit of supreme and sublime disaffection came anywhere remotely close to Proust’s, I could feel, within two paragraphs that here was the missing axis; the schizophrenic fugue and counterpoint of the very process of artistic creation that I had been unable, until just then, to batten down in my guts. Until that moment, every other piece of literary writing, however ‘great’, remained only too firmly mired in fabrication and the conscious effort of construction; in the loss that falls from every word into an ineluctable void, when that word is part of some larger manifestation-in-the making; when the word, so-to-speak, knows its place in the firmament, the tiny peg in the architecture which it purports to hold in place. This degree of deliberation only succeeds in creating the most dizzying and nauseous of artificial edifices. It was the organic nature of Proust, his alchemical, improvised composing and conducting of a symphony of nature in flowing word after word, striking at the very essence of being and of consciousness, that I simply had not seen nor breathed elsewhere until Beckett only now. And only now, too, suddenly, I know what it is that I am actually doing; that a literary-artistic realm hewn in the spectral, essential insanity of Nietzsche and Cioran can actually exist in itself, like a universe with every-but-no-meaning, just like Proust’s and just, it felt certain, like Beckett’s.  And, quickly, excitedly, compulsively researching Beckett right here on my smartphone, how affirmatory, how synchronous, how comical and absurdly exhilarating to learn that he wrote an early monograph called Proust, having felt that metaphysical connection between them within seconds of scanning Beckett, before I came to ‘know’ about it as a matter of historical record. And Jung’s shadow now bouncing with agitated glee at my subsequent attempt to deconstruct whichever archetype it was which I suddenly felt fluttering in my chest, as if a ghostly butterfly had been set free when I opened the Beckett book, its translucent wings beating their papery spell on my aorta, even still as I write…

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Naked Illusion of Reflection

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What is truth but our own interpretation of chaos? How can we know more than the instinctive beasts about objective reality? Does not the folly of our conscious mathematics of the soul add confusion before clarity; fog before acuity? In computing our senses and quantifying our shifting and melding emotions, are we not then mere machines of translation – conduits for endless streams of ethereal and corporeal data, churning out approximations and misjudgements whilst the crux of reality lies in a truth prior to the machinations of our reflexive and interpretive systems? It is within our nakedness before the universe that the genuine truth lies, untouchable by pure conscious effort, and, in the linear order of perceptual time, before the light of our unclothed body reaches the mirror, rebounding to our cerebral machinery with such rapidity that the primal mistake is all too quickly made, as we err in believing an objective truth stands before us in this reflective glass; acquiescing all too willingly in the grand illusion of encapsulation projected back to us; the fear and complexity of the real story all but too much to contemplate – that even our so called self, that grand epochal myth, is in fact a myriad and multiple diaspora of matter, of phenomenon, of the physics of eternal history, and most of all, an illogical and intemperate stance against the impregnable mass of infinity and impenetrable archetype of nothingness.

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Between Sentience and Pure Negation

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As this deliriously exotic and unfathomable set of metaphysical potentialities shifted and
swirled in and around the sleeping souls, with hardly a semblance of consciousness to
behold, their ostensibly inert bodies lay under an undulating, purest white and silken
sheet, its folds and contours casting oblique and delicate opportunistic shadows, like
those of sand dunes viewed from high in the air, the gestating sunlight of early morning
gradually intensifying its grip on the world outside this room and therefore, within it; the
room itself almost shedding its inertness in a most mysterious way, in the absence of any
physical observers, shifting some significant ground towards a profound and mystical state of
practically observing the space within that defined by its physical boundaries, in a realm
barely decipherable, but unsettling enough, somewhere between sentience and pure negation…

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The Divine Providence of Sensual Touch

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Here is a draft of the beginning of Chapter Two of my novel The Obelisks of Remi Soul.

Remi rolled over in the bed and felt the transcendent warmth and softness of a lithe and naked female form. He edged himself closer into a delicious and comforting spoon position where both forms faced the same direction and he curved his body gently into the shape of her back, buttocks and legs. This could easily have been a blissful pure dream state and if he were not so sunken into a near-sleeping semi-consciousness in the first place, his regained alertness, on slowly waking, would quickly have assumed that it was indeed bringing itself out of dream; for it had been a very long time since he had been suffused with that particular type of soulful succour that comes from the intimacy of skin and the privacy of a close, mutual nakedness known only to lovers. This most delicate and uplifting of human feelings which strikes at the roots of our ceaseless battle with the ultimate reality of solitude and mortality – the gentleness and sensuality of two familiar, or even indeed, unfamiliar bodies, either in the gently reducing arc of the post-coital senses as sleep encroaches, breath by breath, and the quiet and spiritual glow of physical satiety and emotional connection morphs beautifully from a state of conscious awareness into the slow vacillation of a breathing rate gradually reducing to the perfect and embalming rate of sleep; or else bodies that find themselves thus entwined even outwith any recent frame of that even more vibrant and tantalising form of intimacy derived from intercourse; and which so often, time, place and the inter-step of two slowly emerging-consciousnesses permitting, will lead, like seeds will lead to shoots and burgeoning, pregnant clouds will lead to rain, slowly, surely, intrepidly and without hesitation to that most dizzying and enlivening journey up the whirling, inspiring vortex their sweet notes in the erogeny of touch and the joyful dance of neurons and synapses given only to the love of another, as our deepest and most systemic instinctive totem of being and feeling truly alive realises itself in an all-too-short but only-too-essential archetype from deep within, and outwith, the universe which we draw, so sweetly and sensually from the ether, like scoops of honey from a hive, in our truest and most devoted acts of of lovemaking. In those moments, we finally love ourselves for a brief and reassuring moment, bouyed, afloat in the atmosphere for at least a little while longer in this meandering, hopeful journey through life. These were the moments; the seeds; the warm, mistral winds of hope that Remi had forgotten and so badly needed to experience once again to give the sails of his souls one more push onwards in his quest for some semblance of reason; some explanation for the sadness and loss he had endured; some meaning to the lost lives of those he had loved beyond measure. Some kind of answer to avoid a day of reckoning descending upon which his soul was simply frozen and devoid. Put starkly- to feel and to live once again, at least for a moment or two of his remaining time. And this woman next to him, whom he had only just met the evening before, without knowing it, would be a catalyst for a chain of events – a happenchance in the maze of universal possibilities through which the paths of our lives must forage a direction of travel – that would transform both of their existences in ways which were, as yet, barely imaginable and which had they been able to foresee to any degree, would have left them with a most agonising of choices: whether or not to even step on to the ride ahead and hold on breathlessly with white knuckles in the hope of a transfiguring and ultimate denouement, or, assuming that the oft-illusion of free will even proffered an alternative choice in reality, to try to step off the rapidly departing train and return to lives of a far more certain and mundane unwinding. And how could they possibly have known that all of this lay ahead, ripe and latent within the touching of their naked bodies just initiated by Remi’s movement a mere 12 inches across the bed – an infinitesimal and cosmically unseeable shifting of organic atoms, triggering a momentous butterfly effect across the impenetrable equilibriums and harmonies of the universe. In reaching for the sublime, satin-like skin of Carmen just beside him, endorphins inside both already agitating, unbeknownst to their hosts, for the ecstasy of mind and body just ahead, Remi could not possibly know of the paradoxical and the mysterious quandary he suddenly posed to the forces of the world which we cannot grasp; of how this one touch, this one unconscious action could change everything ahead, for ever?

 

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Posted Missing

I read an amusing article recently about the proliferation of authors blogging copiously whilst purportedly working on their novels and well, this resonated like a church bell two feet from the ear.  And so this is a vaguely apologetic holding note to say “Gone Fishing” to my small band of readers.  I’ll be back in earnest once I’ve caught a bite ‘this big’ or more precisely, when I have finished my first novel The Obelisks of Remi Soul.  Take care everyone.

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The Cloying Curvature of Sleep

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In the dark, our senses clamour for an anchor to re-ground our drifting souls back to the realm of waking dreams; because the disembodied night-world of dreams, drifting within the fitful, diseased and cloying curvature of sleep is too fecund – too overblown – too ripe to the point of near putrefaction for our cowering souls to bear. Even a libido forged from the feral elements of lust, despair and an amoral pursuit of sensation cannot endure for long the neon-infected nausea of dream-nights spent careering, like a yacht in a dark and raging swell, between points of illogical tenor and sublime import. There are no ports in the cerebral storm of nightmares and occultish visions – only the escape of breaking back through to the surface and the corporeal familiarity of waking and walking. This illusion as thin as ice of course, but the precariousness and the imagined ordinariness of existence above on this creaking, cracking surface far preferable to the bottomless, unseen and mortifying depths beneath…

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Soul Image

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Anyone who is himself his outward role will infallibly succumb to the inner processes… moreover, the anima is inevitably projected upon a real object, with which he gets into a relation of almost total dependence. Every reaction displayed by this object has an immediate, inwardly energetic effect on the subject. Tragic ties are often formed in this way… In a man the soul, ie anima, or inner attitude, is represented in the unconscious by definite persons with the corresponding qualities. Such an image is called a “soul-image.” Sometimes these images are of quite unknown or mythological figures…In all cases where there is an identity with the persona, and the soul accordingly is unconscious, the soul-image is transferred to a real person. This person is the object of intense love or equally intense hate (or fear). The influence of such a person is immediate and absolutely compelling, because it always provokes an affective response. The affect is due to the fact that a real, conscious adaptation to the person representing the soul-image is impossible. Because an objective relationship is non-existent and out of the question, the libido gets dammed up and explodes in outburst of affect… (Jung).

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