Thursday, April 2, 2009

Poems in series and Lloyd Jones comes by

My two new Michael Palmer books have arrived, The Promises of Glass and Company of Moths. I'm working my way through the former. I won't go into a full discussion until I've finished reading it perhaps. Except I will just say that I am using it for inspiration before I write and in that sense it seems to have worked for me so far.
I wrote a poem in my now two part 'History' series. This is new ground for me. Palmer is right into this kind of thing and I love that about him and I am starting to see how he makes it work. I'm referring to his 'Autobiography' series which I think he kind of uses as place holder titles or maybe jumping off points, because I get the feeling he thinks of all, or at least significant amount of, poetry as autobiogrpahical and so this gives him a warrant to write virtually anything he wants and that is why they work, because the poems in the series are completely different in almost every way. Very cool. I might be wrong about his thinking on this, but it is how I like to think about it anyway.

So confidence is high today.

Lloyd Jones talked to our class yesterday. Damien tried to direct the conversation around his experience with short fiction and he talked alot about his personal move to put more emphasis on 'voice' over detail. I think he was trying to say he is experimenting more with the internal mind as much as the external world. Although it wasn't completely clear what he meant by 'voice'. I don't think he is alone in that and whenever anyone discusses voice I get quite confused about what they actually mean, so much so I don't think I really like the term in literature any more. Eeek, that is a bold opinion for such a novice.

He also talked, or should I say was interrogated, on the nature of truth, accuracy and fact in fiction and non-fiction. I was relieved to find he didn't have any answers on that, except to say that he writes fiction and that anything and possibly everything in his books is fictionalised. And I agree that he has a right to write in that manner if he wishes. It would be a scary world if writers had constraints about what they could and could not fictionalise. I find it a bit perplexing that people need certainty around this issue. I quite like the idea that everyone has differnt ideas about truth and factuality and that there is no golden rule and a kind of uncertainty about what is being written these days. And of course debate is always good.

So he was a nice guy and told us about his meeting an ageing Queen and being stuck on the mouse wheel of UK celebrity publishing promotion. Apparently Geri Haliwell made a speech at the UK Book Awards. I wonder what the organisers were thinking when they decided she would be better than some lowly nobel prize winner.

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