Saturday, 16 August 2008

Waking up with potential lines to begin with in my head is a common occurrence, but never translates here – certainly not now, not in that last sentence with its awkward, bridging run-ons. I’ve not been writing here for more days than I had realised. Writing has become a template for the day, striving to forge some ideas regarding radical strategies and conscious online statements. Thinking mainly about how social networking, that velvet revolution, has moved beyond empty communities based on competitive spectrums of association which act as nothing more than hopeful, self-referential indicators of amiability and taste. In 2008, networks invoke action, require participation and facilitate discovery. Websites no longer simply hold information, but act instead as sociable portals which offer relevant information based on intelligent profiling, necessitated by a public increasingly fatigued by entropic, irrelevant online content.

All of this means the former novel (now short story) has not been touched. No, most efforts have been poured into research but also into searching for houses. Cara and I are set to move at the end of the month and are looking for a new place in the south of the city. Here the lanes are wide and blocks have space to breath between them. Those streets that are cobbled have deserted ground levels – the shops are glassed and whitewashed and abandoned. There is life, but it is the life of the suburbs, gentle cyclical patterns and an easy back-and-forth, scuttling out of the overground rail stations or off trams. In the South, life is more compact. The streets bustle with sellers, the houses tower over one another and trees grow so large in the narrow streets that they threaten to grow over balconies and in through windows.

We have made the same trip now, daily, over towards that area of the city. Downhill towards Karl Marx Stra├če, following the weave of the tramlines, and then along Warschauer with its mobile telephone shops and pavement kneipes before coming to the dual rise of the bridges, one over the scores of gleaming railway lines and one over the lazy passage of the Spree where there is always some spectacle of sky out to the West, framing the Fernsehturm. Then we strike out into the streets proper, patterned cobbles and children playing in the spaces between buildings. Over the park, full of barbeque smoke and dust, then over the canals and towards a future home. We’ve found nothing quite right yet, nearly, but not quite.

Today is a reassertion of the daily trawl to write. How difficult it is to begin again after three days, to write of that which in the moment seems relevant but now, perhaps two or three days later, seems trite and uninteresting. Talking about a recent experience in the park had crossed my mind, an experience in which some foresight had allowed me to predict an action occurring long before it had. Perhaps it was a premonition – but this now seems too removed to ensure its retelling retains an element of awe.

No, the most that can be said is that I have begun a new book, the catalyst for which was also secret messages. Pynchonian logic has struck again – mentioned in an email, I drew courage to attempt one of his ‘proper’ works (as opposed to the amusing cough that one can regard Lot 49 as being). Immediately the main character mimicked histories that Cara and I know all too well, action featuring immediately in both our birth places and – this being Pynchon – is in no way insignificant.

So today – reading, writing, the formulating of an argument and, at last, the beginning of the new football season. Following yesterday’s dreary, sapping weather and events, things are perhaps looking up.