Monday, April 27, 2009

. . . the death of art

I've been reading quite a lot the past few weeks, no need to name what I've been reading, it's not the point. Much of it came to me highly recommended, either through reviews or through recommendations from friends and acquaintances. Some stuff I've really enjoyed, some of it was a letdown, and some I didn't care for, but all of it was well written from a technical standpoint. None of what I read, however, was perfect, in fact, most were deeply flawed in certain places. And far from bothering me, these flaws pleased me most of all. They told me that a flesh and blood human being was behind the things I was reading, that a story was being told by someone who was excited, maybe a little too excited, to tell it, and that it had a soul. In the end that's all writing is about. A person telling a story to other people. Not money, not literary reputation, not immortality- that's all just useless vanity. So, here's to perfection: May we all fall short.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Writing in the Dead of Night

So, I've been burning through Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips' Criminal series and I'm driving myself crazy waiting for the last issue of 100 Bullets (I still can't decide if it was a mistake to read the five page preview that was online- holy shit), and I realize what it is about good noir that hits the vein for me. It's not the sex and violence, the booze, the grittiness, or the sharp (and vulgar) dialogue- I mean, it is, fuck yeah it is, but that's not the heart of it. It's not about the eternal fuck-up either.

It's about the moment and nothing else. Impulse and reaction. It's a hell of a way to live,and it usually leads to a bad end, but it's seductive too, because, really, there are no guarantees in life besides death. We try to voodoo it away with retirement accounts and insurance policies and vacation plans and a million other things, and that's all good, but the truth is smiling at us all in the mirror, just a few millimeters beneath the skin. Good noir rips the face right off, forces you to look at your own skull, then staples everything back into place. And it's all back where it was, but it never looks or feels quite right again.

Write. Time is short, my friends.