Saturday, 20 September 2008

Woke, submerged beneath last nights dream. An incalculable, untellable affair, I tried to relate it to Cara this morning as we stirred within our chamber now blackened by thick curtain hung upon a makeshift rail, but I failed. Here, I try again.

Returning from work, an intensive event-based work, one where the stress is all held in the deliverance of something in the now, working with live quantities. Then, recourse is a prostitute, spurred by the make-believe disintegration of my relationship. The act itself was not witnessed by me, the perpetrator, but remembered only through forced recall within the dream itself. Thus the narrative, only became told within a confession held later within the dream, as though, unlinked, irrelevant images were passing before my eyes within the dream could only be pieced together into a story later. Usually that is done in the waking, but not in last nights dream. The telling was first told in the dream itself.

A catalyst then, the dream sought a catalyst having provoked and processed a multitude of blurs and assumptions, and this catalyst was found in the murder of a housemate, the discovery of a body with the skull staved in, true graphic representation, the basis for which I cannot fathom. And so to a hilarious bout of Kafka-esque imperceptible movement. My favourite passage of Kafka’s writing is when he sits in the carriage in the snowy courtyard, just getting himself warm but knowing that he shouldn’t be there. He is waiting, waiting to see someone and the reader endures an agonising chapter in which we know that he needs to see the official but must not be seen himself. So where does he wait? In the officials carriage, but eventually getting out, and somehow missing the officials departure.

The dream last night, after the discovery of the body, led me to ring the police but I became ensnared in a comedic game of bureaucracy, bound into spirals of button pressing, descending into a touchtone confusion. Eventually, upon hearing a real voice, I tried to report the crime but was subjected to endless credit and identity checks, the operator seeking to bring my details up to date.

The dream played out into a worrying attempt at drafting a confession of sorts, a statement certainly of my movements from the time of getting home to the time of calling the police. Why had the call taken so long? Who was with me in the flat that night? Why had the body been moved? On the phone, I had said the body was a man, yet now the corpse was that of a woman. Details shifted without register in the dream, but not as though they were to be ignored, but instead as though the slippages of character, time and location were the very thing that mattered most. How I would love to write a novel in which this were the case.

Watched Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man last night, it grows funnier with every viewing. Those in the room sat huddled around a laptop, while outside winds blew cold arias into the keyholes, and all the while we discussed the footage. Is it real, recovered, faked? For me, it must be real. The entire film hinges on the strength of its footage, and also the insanity of the filmmakers, who have an insanity equitable with that of the fictional main character. The premise, the parody and self-investigation, relies on the quality of the natural photography.

Which all got me to thinking, I said aloud to the bathroom this morning. How much of my attempted novel, the shrinking novella or growing short story as it must be reconsidered, is inspired by previous works involving a deliberate obfuscation of narrative clarity, of untrustworthy narrators. Which got me thinking even further to House Of Leaves, and how this is a story in which a narrator finds documentation of a story about a film regarding a supernatural (in the true sense of the word) house. It is all about source work, removals away from the original documentation, about levels of belief at each stage, the unconscious agendas of the narrators, but also about simple matters of error, forgetting and irrelevance.

The day grows old already, I sleep too long in this house. But that is currently the only bad thing. Well, that and the cold. But Klaas has just knocked on my door and asked if I want more fresh coffee from the stove. So I respond in the positive of course and leave this keyboard, vowing to write more often, and better too.