Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Tendai Huchu: Something about my new book

I suppose this writing thing revolves on some sort of twin axis; A is made up of faith and B, doubt. You are in your garret; you scribble away, or, in my case, pound on a keyboard for a couple of years. You hope the words you’re producing and grouping together in the form of sentences, paragraphs and chapters have some meaning, a deeper core to them. But you’re not smart enough to decipher this core, in fact, you have no control over whether it even exists or not. You are no different to a panner laden with a rucksack, pick, shovel and not much else during a gold rush. If you had any sense, you’d stop, you’d do something practical with your life, something with tangible goals – be a cleaner, an accountant, a prison guard, a sex worker – anything else at all.
That’s kinda what working on The Maestro, The Magistrate, & The Mathematician felt like to me. To be fair, most of the time I was hovering between a heightened state of paranoia and elation. On a good day, words flowed like manna from heaven, bountiful, even beautiful sometimes, IMHO. On other days everything was just meh.
I suppose the impulse that drives a writer is pretty much the same compulsion that forces dogs to pee on lamp posts, or that drove ancient man to draw in caves. By this I’m trying to say it is impossible to rationalise why we’re driven by/to art.
Is this coherent at all?
Let’s try this again. Begin with a simple premise.
There is a novel coming out called The Maestro, The Magistrate, & The Mathematician, and it is by Tendai Huchu. You are a Tendai Huchu, therefore there is a possibility that you are the guy who wrote this novel. You know of two other people with the same name (there may be more out there), but none of them claims ownership to this work (good for them) so you might as well.
Answer a simple question: WHY DID YOU WRITE THIS BOOK?
To tell a story. To explore an idea. To entertain. To impress a woman. To say something about the world we live in. For fun. Had nothing better to do. To scratch an itch that wouldn’t go away. To search for possibilities. All of the above. None of the above. Don’t know.
The problem with writing is that your main tools are words. Intuition tells you that words are the stuff of conscious thought, logical thought, that part of the human mind which you can control. Yet, instead of coming up with a rigorous work, one whose architecture you intimately understand at every level, whose every detail you have conceived and controlled, you find the subconscious has seeped in through the back door and interfered with the process so much so that you barely even recognise some of the text which you claim to have written.
This sounds too mystical, hocus-pocussy. Delete last paragraph.
Stick to the facts. Impress imagined/potential reader by quoting Dickens:
“Now, what I want is Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life. Plant nothing else, and root out everything else. You can only form the minds of reasoning animals upon Facts; nothing else will ever be of any service to them.”
Meh – who’s gonna be impressed by that? Too common – cliché alert. You need something more obscure. How about a little known 17th century philosopher… No?
Too self-conscious here. Dude, this is embarrassing.
But how can I not be? I have a book coming out.  I’m at the mercy of the Moirai.
You write only for yourself! You don’t care about the fucking reader when you write, right?
That’s correct, man. Almost forgot that.
Bullshit, if you really believed that, you would have kept this thing in a drawer. You would have been so genuine you wouldn’t do a Kafka. You would actually destroy this shit, so no one else ever read it.
Hurrah, you know Dickens and Kafka, anyone else you wanna name drop?
Okay, that’s enough goofing around; let’s write a serious piece your publisher can put up on her blog. Twerk for the imagined/potential reader, baby!

The reason I write is… Fuck it. Let the book speak for itself.

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