Palomar Observatory

So in case you’re wondering – and I know you are! – my previous post was the inaugural chapter in the first literary work I’ve begun for several years! Woot! The book will be called Observations and will consist of one new chapter added every day for a year or until I get bored.

The title comes from Tristan Perich’s awesome eponymous composition which I heard performed last night. Also the title’s super apropos, no? For some reason I felt like writing about some of the things that went on at that show, and as I did so the style and approach I’d been working toward for a while now seemed to come together.

Can I point out I just accidentally wrote two rhyming sentences?

Growing up I was super into fiction and so although I read everything under the sun it was fiction and poetry that concluded my literary output up until now. But for the last few years it’s non-fiction that’s primarily interested me – this seems to be true of many people as they grow older – but I missed the stylistic verve and variety of fiction. Lately I’ve been back into fiction again, particularly that of younger authors like Jesse Ball and Tao Lin, who for all their hip quotient and latent annoyance-factor can be extremely good and inspiring to a 31-year-old trilobite like me, and I wanted to bring some of that approach to my new, basically drawn-from-life thing.

Of course all writing has elements of autobiography. My writing especially. Indeed my more recent works increasingly became fictionalized rewriting of actual events. Now, I’ve always considered memoir and straight autobiography boring and self-indulgent, probably because memoirs and autobiographies are usually boring and self-indulgent. But I wanted to move toward my main man W.G. Sebald and reanimate the tissue and flesh of my life as if it were fiction, bringing style and theme and narrative to, you know, a bunch of stuff that happened. Hell, I love Bruce Chatwin; can’t an inner journey be just as interesting as an actual journey? Well, let me know if it is.

Historians nowadays never tire of pointing out that there is no such thing as “history”, only “a history”, or “histories”: you must necessarily choose what to leave out and how to interpret what you leave in. Even a simple timeline is infected by the expedient of choosing a system of metrical measurement, what events to include. By selecting events and linking them together I will attempt to thread a theme and narrative through a diary-type thing, so that Observations both records events in my life which possess personal relevance and resonance while simultaneously drawing on my past and the crazy stuff bouncing around in my head to create a larger meta-narrative.

I’m also thinking of including random shit that I feel like talking about. Like tomorrow I think I want to talk about submarines. You can expect a new post every day until you can’t. Also keep in mind my days are not normal human days, being often longer than 24 hours, and thus do not necessarily correspond to calendar dates.

Anyway, that’s what’s going to happen. Probably. I might get embarrassed or bored. But The Zookeeper turned out really well, in my opinion (it got included with similar self-contained things in the new version of Predella), as did the opening chapter, so for good or ill here we go!

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