Flirting with Danger - Page Seven

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» Lolita (1955 Nabokov)

You actually make me wanna read Lolita (1955 Nabokov) .. you naughty girl.

Which the folks over at Modern Library .. who I happen to resonate with .. rank #4

on their list of the 100 Best Novels of the Century (English language).

Which, when you look at the titles of the other books listed there ..

.. you can see what a huge statement this is.

Lolita is also listed on my favorite list of the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written .. in any language (mostly novels).

Key word there » ever.

I started reading Lolita some years back .. precisely because I saw that Modern Library had ranked it so highly.

I have the book sitting right here. It is a shitty copy. The print is barely readable. I'm not even sure where I got this thing .. probably from the used book store there at the library.

I should order a new copy from Amazon.

» Banned in Many Countries

Current Lolita Cover | Vladimir Nabokov 1955Maybe you will come over, Ariana, and sit by my bedside,

and read to me a chapter every night.

As I fall asleep.

It looks like there are 36 chapters ..

.. in case you need to check your calendar.

And then, when you are done .. I will reciprocate.

And write a nice little story for you. I have no idea how it will go.

But I'm sure it will be banned in many countries.

The voice in my head said, "Dude, this girl is an international pop star. They do not have time to read bedtime stories to you. They are too busy kicking ass and ruling the world."

I said, "I wasnt serious. You're so literal sometimes. I was just teasing her with ideas .. just like she's doing to me. Payback, baby."

The voice said, "You taunt these girls at your own peril. One would think that you would've learned your lesson by now. Some guys are just slow learners, I guess."

But I remember being so impressed with it .. that it actually made my writing penis feel small. This is something that rarely happens.

See .. with most writers, there is at least one thing, and usually a number of things that they do .. that I resonate with. That I get. That makes me feel like I understand them.

I will catch myself saying, "Oh, I see what they are doing here .. I do that myself from time to time." Or even like with Joyce, who feels like somebody you grew up with, "He's one of us."

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But with Nabokov .. I saw nothing that gave me any insight into him. In my mind, I deal with this thing (a kludge, for sure) by acknowledging that he was born and raised in Russia. But he still writes English better than almost every American .. so it's not an easy thing to dismiss.

Lolita the greatest novel of rapture in modern fiction | Vladimir Nabokov 1955I mean, he kicks serious ass and I dont even know how he is doing it.

So this made me feel like I was not yet ready to read Nabokov.

So I put the book aside .. but I retained the respect. The awe.

And you neednt read very far to see just how much ass he kicks.

My writing penis was shrinking by the minute. Shrivel-city here we come.

It's like he is saying, "I am going to take this controversial thing and write about it so beautifully that it will forever remain an erotic masterpiece, and you are not even going to be able to figure out how I did it."

» I Could've Been Dead

But that was then. I'm all existential now .. which happens when you face down death. [ "Go fuck yourself, Mr Death." ]

To the degree that there is a fear-of-death .. staring down death is staring down fear. The very heart of fear itself. You faced your own mortality and gave it the finger.

I was well aware that not everyone gets a second chance. I could've been dead .. like mom and gramps. My surgeon said that, twenty years ago he would've gave me shit chances.

[ This is not looking death in the face. This mummy is not going to kill anybody.

Cancer will kill you. That is what cancer does. It eats you alive .. until you are dead.

I get no sense of severe anxiety from looking at this mummy .. like I did from getting a positive cancer diagnosis.

I could lie down and take a nap right next to that mummy .. no problem. You want to try a positive cancer diagnosis?

I know that you are just being clever with the title .. but some people really look death in the face, and it looks nothing like this mummy. ]

So the existentially-minded, cancer-surviving writer tends to get right down to business. "Let's get right to the point here. If it's too much for some .. then that's their problem. I dont want to be lying there on my death bed with regrets."

Things which might have deterred you from taking a challenging path in the past .. no longer seem to matter. They become irrelevant after your encounter with the reaper.

Suddenly everything else seems like no big deal. Small potatoes. You're just glad to be alive. Everything else is gravy. Above-ground is where it's at.

"Let's do this thing .. this dangerous thing."

» What Makes an Erotic Masterpiece a Masterpiece?

The back-cover of my copy calls Lolita » Vladimir Nabokov's world-famous erotic masterpiece. Dont you wonder what inspired Nabokov to write such a masterpiece?

What is the thing that makes such a controversial book have long-term endurance? Speaking purely intuitively, I feel that it is a certain structural reinforcement .. that survives the onslaughts of the ages .. that are certain to come.

The very first page in my copy includes a brief statement about the book:

In recent fiction no lover has thought of his beloved with so much tenderness, no woman has been so charmingly evoked, in such grace and delicacy, as Lolita; it is one of the few examples of rapture in modern writing ...

I think that the real reason why Mr. Nabokov chose his outrageous subject matter is that he wanted to write a story about love.

Lolita is about love. Perhaps I shall be better understood if I put the statement in this form: Lolita is not about sex, but about love.

Almost every page sets forth some explicit erotic emotion or some overt erotic action and still it is not about sex. It is about love. This makes it unique in my experience of contemporary novels.

This passage from the first page (compliments of Lionel Trilling) would suggest that the thing that makes an erotic masterpiece a masterpiece .. is » love. (And love is something that I happen to know a little something-something about. More than a little, actually.)

But now that I am writing this here .. I can see that Nabokov is actually using the negative to cast the positive. He is using the tension of the negative to evoke his positive. I can tell that I need to think about that for a while.

He is sort of flipping this thing on you and using it against you. This is not the best way to describe what I am talking about .. but I can see now how clever it is. He uses the negative in his favor. I am thinking of a lot of things right now.

But, when I saw that LOVE was the thing .. that made Lolita Lolita .. that was another » you-gotta-be-shittin'-me moment. Because, love .. that's what I do. I had many outstanding teachers.

I would be lying if I said that I didnt sometimes lift loving weighs .. by intentionally loving the unlovely lover. Some people are easy to love .. while others are hard. Very hard to love. Downright unlovely.

Do your own research, of course .. but I am confident that you will find that somewhere along that particular path you will encounter the following statement from the unlovely » "My dysfunctions and deficiencies must be catered to in this relationship. But yours will not be tolerated."

This is right about the place that you will hear them say, "I need you to validate me and my dysfunctions .. but I refuse to validate you or yours."

» A Lover, Not a Fighter

The thing that ended it for me with the wow girl .. was when this guy called me at work one day .. saying that he was the wow girl's boyfriend, and that I should leave her alone, or he was gonna kick my ass.

I said, "If you're really her boyfriend, then what's she doin' at my place every night?" [ pause for effect ] "Dont call here any more, fuckhead." And I hung up. I was pissed.

When I saw her, I said, "This is teenie-bopper shit, Trace .. I dont do this. I'm done."

She apologized and tried to explain, but I was already done. [ I cut girls plenty of slack, but, when I am done, I am done. ]

And as I was walking away from hanging up this this fuckhead, I noticed another supervisor sitting a few desks away, so he obviously heard me. I hate to let my personal life creep into my professional life.

He kept his head down as I walked by, but I knew that what I had said couldnt sound good. And I did not say it quietly.

But the reason I am telling you this quirky shit .. is because I remember she said [ it struck me ] while explaining » "I told him you're a lover, not a fighter."

Which is an interesting statement .. coming from her. [ Tho I have no trouble fighting .. if need be. ]

» Manipulation Signals Insecurity

Once I sense any manipulation in a relationship, I am already on my way to being done. My dad was a manipulator extraordinaire. So I learned from an expert.

I do not do manipulation. At all. Zero. Nada. If someone cannot keep manipulation out of a relationship, then I am obviously not the person they are looking for.

Because manipulation signals insecurity. And insecurity signals that a girl cannot handle me.

Manipulators try to trick-fuck you into doing things that you should be happy to do. But, the way they go about it is so dysfunctional .. that they actually make you not want to do something .. that you would ordinarily enjoy doing.

So, either they have no clue who you really are .. or they are honest-to-god trying to trick-fuck you. And really .. what's the difference?

» Tolstoy's Hidden Architecture

Tolstoy (1828-1910) One of the things that stayed with me from reading about Tolstoy and Anna Karenina

(.. another scandalous novel that freaked people out)

.. and that stayed with me in a curious way ..

.. was how Tolstoy's editor-friend complained that the story had » no architecture.

And I could get lost in such a rabbit hole .. but my point here is obvious »

» Tolstoy saw an architecture to the story that his editor-friend did not.

(And I know you are feeling me here.)

Why do I suddenly feel inspired to write an erotic masterpiece?

"Write what only you can write," the voice says. (Dont you just hate it when the voices in your head start feeding your own shit back to you?)

The world was not ready for that then .. and it is surely not ready for what I have today. (With these naughty twenty-first century girls.)

» Tolstoy's Hidden Rabbit Hole

I probably should not have mentioned Tolstoy's comments on his architecture. This is serious rabbit-hole stuff for me. I am going to copy-n-paste his comments here:

"Your judgment of Anna Karenina seems wrong to me. On the contrary, I am proud of my architecture.

But my vaults have been assembled in such as way that the keystone cannot be seen.

Most of my effort has gone into that. The cohesion of the structure does not lie in the PLOT or in the relations (the meetings) of the characters.

It is an INTERNAL cohesion. Look well and you will find it."

Notice how he tells you that the cohesion of the structure (of the story) .. is NOT found in the usual, expected places (.. in the plot, in the relations between the characters). Cohesion is kind of like the gravity that holds things together.

As a writer, you are free to set your gravity wherever you like. This does not mean that all or most readers will get it (.. as Tolstoy's editor-friend proves) .. but you are still free to set the structure however you like.

I am adding, for example, a lot of gravity to this entry. It is a special, targeted gravity. If you are a certain type of girl, then you are surely feeling my gravity. Because I am adding a lot of it. You naughty girl, you.

I have some twenty-first century internal cohesion for you, Ariana. It has your name on it. Tho it is harder to conceal than I thought it would be. Much harder.

Right about here is where you may be wondering » WHY. Why would Tolstoy want to hide, conceal, camouflage his architecture? [ assembled such that the keystone cannot be seen ] What is this hidden cohesion, this hidden keystone that he alludes to?

What is the thing that is holding together the structure of his story? He's definitely hiding something. What is this thing into which he put "most of my effort"? And why did it require so much effort?

It probably has nothing to do with anything .. but Nabokov taught classes on Tolstoy and Anna Karenina at Cornell (.. where Kate Manne teaches).

Stranger in a Strange Land» Say Goodbye to Things that Make Sense

But Tolstoy's story is also about love .. a love that society condemns.

Just like Nabokov's story. And with love, you are no longer operating in the world of logic and rationale.

Those days are long gone, my friend. Say goodbye to logic and things that make sense.

So, in a way .. in a weird, intuitive sort of way .. you almost expect the standard story structure and architecture to be different from what it usually is.

Because the gravity, the glue that is holding things together, is different.

It operates on different rules.

In a sense .. in a very real sense .. in a s.u.r.p.r.i.s.i.n.g.l.y real sense .. you are living in a different world.

And if you want to pause here a moment .. in order to think about this a little .. to ponder this .. to reflect .. then, I would totally understand.

Notice how the people who crafted this film (.. the writers and the director, I would assume) totally get this .. in the way that they crafted this film. They totally dispense with the usual story architecture.

And yes, it takes you-the-viewer some time to adapt, to adopt yourself to it .. but the crafter-of-the-story must do this if he is to tell the story as it needs to be told.

There really is no other way. Not a way in which the author can be true to the story. (For the reasons that I have outlined here.)

Tolstoy age 20 (1848)» Feeling Tolstoy

And this will no doublt piss off and offend some .. who are not able to adopt the necessary perspective and adapt themselves to this unconventional way of telling a story.

Why do I suddenly feel perched at the top of a rollercoaster .. ready to plunge at any moment.

I can hear a voice saying, "Dude, I can see where this thing is going .. and I am so not ready to go there."

Another voice is saying, "Dude, this is great shit. I did not know you had it in you. I know exactly what you are talking about here."

Because the author must tell the story as he feels it. As it feels true to him. And the way he feels it .. is probably not going to make sense to most people. (Because it doesnt even make sense to him.)

Anna Karenina (2012) starring Keira KnightleyNotice how the byline of the 2012 film Anna Karenina, starring Keira Knightley as Anna, is »

» You cant ask why about love.

And why not? Because love often makes no sense.

It makes no sense and you k.n.o.w it makes no sense ..

.. but, oddly enough, none of that seems to matter any more.

When I saw that byline, this told me that these filmmakers get it. They get the power of love to transcend the rational. To just blow it away completely. Obliterate might be the word I am looking for. [ See t=1:17 here. ]

When I first saw that Jude Law had been cast as Anna's husband .. I thought this a terrible choice. But then, after watching the film, I could see the genius of this decision.

My respect for him continues to grow. You cannot pigeonhole Jude Law.

See .. I kinda have a feel for these things myself .. an intuitive feel .. because I play with them myself. I find myself experimenting with them. Certainly not on the scale that Tolstoy plays with them .. but I feel him here.

Did you know that Anna Karenina is generally considered, particularly among writers, to be the greatest novel ever written .. in any language? Since the beginning of time immemorial. Did I say 'ever'? [ Okay, the novel is a relatively new genre .. but still. ]

These kinds of rabbit holes get me going .. they get me all frothy in a hurry. (I could easily slip into mind-numbing detail here.) Speaking of stuff that gets me going ...

» Where Can You Go After the Sexiest Being on the Planet?

I will conclude my journey into flirting with danger .. by telling you again that I am always trying to push further and grow bigger and expand farther out of my comfort zone and develop more fully my skill set. This happens automatically, as I'm sure it does for anyone in what they do.

But I remember this concept of ever-expandingness while I was titling the page that I wrote in response to Mary-Louise's book and her being called the sexiest being on the planet.

When the voice in my head said, "Dude, where can you go after the sexiest being on the planet?"

And now we know.

That's a real flirt. It has all the makings of a good flirt. Personal, but not too. Unique. Something she has surely never seen before. All infused with a genuine appreciation and admiration ..

.. which comes from a good place .. and conveys a reasonably authentic taste of the place from which it came .. opening the door just enough for you to see if maybe you might want to peek in and explore further. (They never say no. No matter who I ask. And yes, this surprises me. Probably close to the same degree that feeling Tolstoy surprises me.)

» Sing Me a Song and I'll Tell You a Story

Sing me a song and I'll tell you a story. A naughty story. About naughty-naughty people .. doing naughty-naughty things. Very naughty. Downright lusty. They clearly have some kind of special thing going on together .. an easy kind of thing.

And they are obviously very much in love .. and have been in love .. probably forever.

What is it .. that draws them to one another? What is that irresistible force they feel? If you try to resist .. it only seems to get stronger. The more you resist, the stronger it gets.

Resistance is futile. Your panties are mine.

The voice of one of my inner writing critics just said » "Dude, you are in rare form .. I must say. This girl is obviously good for you. She brings out a different side of you. She obviously does it for you. And have you seen the size of this entry lately? This is getting up there around Lauren territory. And everybody knows how you felt about her."

» My Experience

A part of me almost feels sorry for you. This is the part that desires to help. And share with you my experience with these things. Because they can be so confusing. And disorienting. You dont want to be forgetting verses and things like that. (I know the feeling.)

So .. my experience with these kinds of things is that .. if you resist (cuz you're scared shitless) .. or whether you give in and follow the pretty rabbit down into the hole .. the pretty bunny .. you still eventually wind up at the same place. Except that, one way is considerably more enjoyable than the other.

A cool wormhole to a place you did not even know existed, perhaps. A way to save your ass a good thumping or two, maybe?

Being a gifted artist yourself, surely you see how a gift could be viewed as a shortcut .. to some place cool. That's kinda what a wormhole is. A shortcut to the other side of the universe.

I try to capture the essence of the thing (put into words) in some kind of analogy. And with these kinds of things, the analogy is always tied to the result. The effect. The transport. And the feeling behind the effect.

But how do you describe something that is impossible to put into words?

So you might as well give in and let this thing take you where it wants to take you .. because they never last forever. But while they are lasting .. they are very cool. And while you are in love .. they are lasting very much.

Hopefully, this helps.

Your secret writer-friend
Writers & singers forever
[ secret encrypted besos xx ]

» Does the Boy have the Thing You Want?

Tell me, Ariana .. what does it feel like .. to have the most gifted writer of his generation (.. and maybe the most neurotic) .. writing an erotic masterpiece .. that you have inspired? .. something along the lines of a twenty-first century Lolita.

What does that feel like?

Notice how I call you by name here. I normally just call you girly, or girly-girl, or Illuminati Ninja Princess .. but I rarely use your name like this. And particularly not when I am addressing you directly.

This is me being more aggressive with you. I am calling you by name and addressing you directly.

I can see myself being confrontational with you here. (That means I like you.)

Do you find this alluring? Seductive? Captivating? Exciting? Stimulating? Erotic? Does it dampen your panties? Moisten them maybe? Can you feel it taking you?

Do you think I have the goods to deliver? Or am I just talking jive trash here? (I could certainly dial it up for you .. but I prefer to go slow .. and take my time .. and enjoy the scenery .. so to speak. Why hurry? I know you know about l.i.n.g.e.r.i.n.g.)

Do tell. (Whisper the answer in my ear .. so that no one else will hear.)

Do I sound scared? I do not feel scared. Not hardly.

Tho I can hear Kate Hudson saying, "Dude, you were just giving me shit for doing the exact same thing. Look at you .. you're such a hypocrite."

» Trying to Impress You So Much that I Am Impressing Myself

[ I was just in the bathroom taking a piss .. and I was thinking about how I just called myself "the most gifted writer of his generation"

(.. because I am flirting with you here, trying to impress you with my peacock feathers .. my writing peacock feathers .. because I have it bad for you) ..

.. and I laughed out loud (while I am zipping up) and said, "Dude, I cant believe you wrote that." (And a part of me really couldnt.)

As tho a part of me cant believe something that another part of me just wrote. There is definitely some trippy shit going on here.

Normally, when I fan out my peacock writing feathers, I am just fucking around. Because I know I can write. (And no, I dont mean that in a conceited sort-of-way.)

This tells me that I must really like you .. because I'm not just fucking around here. And I rarely resort to such tactics. (Actions always speak louder to me, and I am showing you actions, here. This is kinda how I work. Line upon line. And I am watching myself with you .. you clearly do something to me. I'm not sure whether I am more interested in what you are doing, or how you are doing it. Both fascinate me. Just like you do. This is the weirdest shit ever. A part of me is totally freaked out.)

I am trying to impress you so much that I'm even impressing myself. (That's kind of a joke, but not really.)

Tho I noticed that I didnt call myself "the greatest" writer of his generation.

If you want to be "the greatest" writer of your generation .. then you have to write so well .. that smoking-hot international pop stars write songs about you and to you ..

.. and sing songs to you, and touch themselves when they think of you in their steamy videos, while they are stroking the mic stand so sensuously ..

.. that you can feel a fite stirring in your loins.

What is the difference between the most gifted and the greatest?

"Only of your generation?" I can hear a voice saying. "Why so humble? Why such modesty? While we are making up titles for ourselves, why not make it Of All Time? Ever?"

» I See How You Are, Girly .. I See How You Work

I know that I have attractive writing peacock feathers .. because of what the girls all tell me.

Soon as I start writing, those panties come off in a hurry and they are coming at me with a vengeance. And I can see that they know exactly what they want.

I myself know that I am good writer. (And nobody works harder .. except maybe Marshall .. seeing how this is what he eats, sleeps, pisses and shits .. cuz that's how you do it.) I have already gone into this. But with the ladies, I really only know from their reaction.

Sometimes I will try things and say, "What do you think of this?"

And then I will say, "Oh, I can see that you really like this." But, if they did not respond, then I would really have no way of knowing.

Because I do not get girly-girls .. not on an intuitive basis .. like I do with things like existentialism or calculus or quantum mechanics.

So I watch their reaction .. and I watch it closely.

And I say, "I see you, girly-girl .. I see how you are. I see how you work. I would have never imagined such a thing. You fascinate my ass. You make my blood boil." ]

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This page contains a single entry by Rad published on March 19, 2016 3:19 AM.

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