Tuesday, 1 July 2008

La Fée verte

I have rather translucent curtains on my windows, so does my neighbour across the street. Judging from the way he is dressed, he has an office job somewhere during the day, and he stays up until pretty late at night. He has a piano room, and a mosaic lampshade. I never thought twice about him until I saw him peeking through his window, with his face mostly covered by his curtain. Perhaps he finds what I do in my apartment objectionable, or perhaps he eagerly waits for me to masturbate in my apartment with utmost excitement. Either way is fine. We all need amusements in our humdrum lives.

Imagining stories behind our neighbours' windows from the titbits of actions passing in front of our eyes is the foundation of urban modernity, of photography, and of cinema. However, in order to truly appreciate the beauty of such fleeting instants captured in the image consciousness, one ought to be able to afford to be free from any human praxis, and the fetishising effort of our social attachment of ethical and monetary values to any human production, or for him, the lack of it. His job is to be frozen in time, in an
ex-stasis that defies chronometric time, and it is in the disclosure of such 'temporality-outside' that he can arrest an escaping instant as a consciousness, savour it, live in it, and partake of its 'caring of'' the world he shares, but stands outside this world of excitement. The flâneur is, in this way, not an aesthetician; for what captures his interest is not the form of artistic production, but the rhythm of life beyond the chronometric sense of time--the death of life that defies the definition of an instant.

It occurred to me today that my creative impasse with
Dance, Dance, Dance is not formal, it is one of poesis. When I thought of a rewrite, I was thinking about an 'improvement' based on the structural framework of what I wrote in 1993; but no matter how hard I try, I cannot create a 'better' piece than what I wrote in 1993, unless I leave that piece untouched. I worked on the third section first, and then broke up the three sections into three movements. I then took away those contrapuntally chaotic moments that really bothered me in the first section. After an hour of work, I gave up. In reality, the only section I feel passionate about is the first section, and that section drives me to ecstasy because it is the soundscape that I admire so much in the music of Takemitsu or Salonen, something that has always been in my head since the first measure I wrote fifteen years ago, but have constantly violated by regulating it with all the rules and rudiments I learned from my academic training. I need to give up the metric system that I have observed so diligently in the first draft, and carry on the soundscape that has the violation and suspension of time as its very foundation.

I have started working on the opium section of the dissertation, and am quite absorbed by all the stories about child doping, opium suicide and all the wonderful elixir of life that late Victorians had enjoyed but denied us by paving the way of modern drug control--a little break from football.

As for now, a little drop of absinthe wouldn't hurt; but a writer dreaming about absinthe at 2 am, instead of flirting with
la fée verte herself, i.e. my poor little soul, is, in my opinion, by definition, ontologically contemptible.

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