Your darkest secret

I’ve been listening to Solaris, by Stanislaw Lem, and it is so far amazing.

Imagine your darkest, most embarrassing, strangest thought. The thing you are most ashamed or guilty for thinking–maybe it just popped into your head, unplanned, as thoughts often do. Now imagine that thought made flesh, and following you around for all to see.

The 2002 movie version of this book is a watered down love story, that hardly scratches the surface of the weirdness in this book… and I’m only at the beginning. The 1972 version is supposed to be much better, but I haven’t seen it. I’ll probably watch it after I finish.

I definitely have missed the psychological side of sci fi, and am enjoying this a lot.

 

Alternate worlds: in which love is mandatory

Jimmy wakes up on the morning of his 18th birthday and drives to the clinic for his mandatory injection of love serum. This is a special medicine that makes him fall in love with the next person he sees. This is required of all adult citizens, once per year.

It is very unlikely that the person he sees will also have just been injected, and will also fall in love with him. So the world is full of unrequited love–but it is full of love. And everyone understands each other’s pain and sympathize with those in love with them, because they feel it themselves–helplessly, uncontrollably, mandatorily–for someone else.

This world is a bit kinder to each other, a bit more understanding and sympathetic toward each other, a bit more loving for each other. Because everyone, by default, knows what a heartbreak is.

Alternate worlds: in which I didn’t burn my bacon

Incoming, a series of posts about alternate realities that we almost lived in. Or maybe some we never had a chance to live in…

In this alternate world, I didn’t leave the bacon in the oven for nearly an hour and come out with black strips of salty carbon. In this world, I remembered and got up and ate juicy bacon with just the right combo of crispy and chewy.

But then, because of that I didn’t hear the song I’m listening to now, and wasn’t inspired with an idea about alternate universes, and never wrote any of these upcoming posts…

Late night thoughts

Somewhere, there is a tree growing which will some day be cut down and made into your coffin.

No one will ever truly know you, but you.

The person you love most in the world has secrets they will take to their grave, kept even from you.

The things people do for love, when done for any other object or reason, are called either addiction or mental illness.

Eating dead animal parts is really weird if you think about it too much.

You have no choice but to believe in free will.

You won’t remember reading this post a few years from now. How is that different than never having read it?

 

Languages

I wonder how or if my writing would improve if I knew multiple languages.

Haruki Murakami translated his first book into English, then back into Japanese when he first wrote it in order to simplify his style. I wonder if it added new ideas to it as well.

There must be some ideas that are easier to express in other languages, so knowing that language might open new avenues of thinking. Maybe there are some ideas that are only born in certain languages at all…

The answer is obviously to learn every language and find out!

Rewriting someone else

In 1Q84, a writer is rewriting the novel of a dyslexic teen who dictated the entire thing to a friend. He finds passion in rewriting it, because the story is very appealing to him and he wants to improve the writing to bring out the nugget of goodness within it.

I wonder if I could ever find energy to rewrite someone else’s work. I’m not so sure I could. If the story is already written, and already exists, in whatever form, I find I have less energy to create or change it. I have no desire to write fan fiction, for example, or ‘extended universe’ stories. I have far less energy to work on a story of mine after I’ve reached the end. I don’t know that I could ever find the energy to write about the same characters more than once, even.

I wonder about authors with ten or twenty novels in the same world with the same characters. I wonder how they stand it. Probably the paycheck helps.

Trial and error?

I’m still listening to The Trial, and it has less of an effect on my nerves now, and is more just absurd and confusing.

The law system the story is describing, is bizarre, and seems completely removed from reality, though it is a dark mirror of bureaucracies in general, I suppose. The character has no idea what he’s been charged with, and no one seems to even care. That bit of information seems not even to matter to anyone at all. The character has stopped even asking or thinking about it while he works his way through the court system trying to figure out how to get his case done with.

I find it a bit hard to identify with the character for this reason. Every new person he encounters who wants to help him with his case, the first thing out of my mouth would be ‘I have no idea what I’m even accused of!’ but it seems this point is taken for granted by everyone involved.

I am curious how this will end because everyone he’s encountered seems to think it out of the question he’ll be found innocent, and thinks it’s pointless to even try for that.