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A little less than a happy high
Dark thoughts for a gloomy day
I’ve been reading through Chung Kuo again. I originally picked it up again so I could remind myself of Wingrove’s vision and could discuss the story with Paul as he makes his first journey through the novels, but it’s grown beyond that at this point. Now there’s a curiosity driving me, and it’s feeling almost as though I’m reading them entirely anew. Sure I know most of what will be happening on a grand level, but there are subtle nuances that I’m stumbling across that I’m certain I’ve never seen before. They were outside of my experience and outside my understanding.

One of the things that has repeatedly struck me over the past several days is my reaction to Ben Shepherd. Ben is an artist, and I recall intensely disliking his character the first time I read the series. He was too self-absorbed, too intense, too close to the verge of madness. I remember reading quickly through the sections of the books that were focused on him, not really absorbing his story.

It’s strange, then, discovering just how much this character has influenced me, and more precisely, how closely my ideas about art and beauty and reality parallel his. No, scratch that… it’s unsettling. I’ve spent the past few days wondering whether these ideas are my own, or if somehow the seeds for them were laid years ago and have recently pushed shoots up through the rocky but fertile ground of my psyche.

I really need to pick up a camera soon. In the latter days of exploring my nascent interest in photography, I kind of ditched the one I had. There was a complex line of reasoning behind that decision, though in looking back, it seems horribly shallow. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that I didn’t want to see the world framed through a camera’s lens. I wanted to be free to experience things without thinking about whether what I was seeing would make a good composition. Really, though, it was just a huge smokescreen designed to sabotage my interest before I developed any sort of technical expertise or personal style. Better to not do it than discover that I suck hopelessly and can’t communicate through the medium, right? Gods, but it seems like such a cop out now.

Current Mood: curious curious
Current Music: Garbage, "Not My Idea"

5 comments or Leave a comment
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: May 2nd, 2002 01:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Chung Kuo

I get the feeling I need to read this series. Could you bring the first book with you when you come to visit for me to borrow?
komos From: komos Date: May 2nd, 2002 01:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chung Kuo

Sure, if you think you'll have time for it. Ben's character doesn't really come into his own until The Broken Wheel, but he's not the only character worth reading.
pensivemuse From: pensivemuse Date: May 4th, 2002 06:28 pm (UTC) (Link)

strange oppinion...

you should pick up a camera and shoot some stuff, if that is what you wish to do. one of my photo teachers once told me screw composition. a photo can have perfect composition and still suck eggs. in a way you are setting yourself up for a fall by worrying about it.

something to think about.

komos From: komos Date: May 6th, 2002 11:41 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: strange oppinion...

Ultimately, I worry altogether too much, and therein lies the problem.

It will happen, and I may or may not produce something worth looking at. I'm at a point where it's more important that I just do it, so perfection be damned.
(Deleted comment)
komos From: komos Date: May 23rd, 2002 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Chung Kuo


I've been trying to get my friends to read the books with decidedly mixed results. Paul is the first to really fall into anything resembling the zeal I felt when I discovered them. It is a very good series, especially if you appreciate speculative political drama and social theory taken to logical extremes.

The ass-beast stuff just came naturally. I've been heckling Star Wars films ever since I decided that Death Star "tube duty" was the worst job in the empire at about age 10. Besides, there was just a teeny bit of beast and SO MUCH ASS. ;)

Thanks for dropping by, and do feel free to continue reading at your leisure. I've said this before to earlier visitors, but I get stupidly happy when I get a new reader. I can't promise it'll be brilliant work, but hopefully my stream of thought will be honest and have enough gems to keep someone interested.

5 comments or Leave a comment