Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Student Fills In

Um, hello. Yes. Hello, then.
You probably realise that I’m not The Narrator. That is, if you’ve read the title above—which I hope you have, since it’s a very good... yes.
Look, sorry. I’m not used to these blog things. I’ve never started one myself, and I don’t know anyone who has. Well, except for The Narrator, who’s apparently started two of them. That’s a bit excessive, don’t you think? Having two blogs covering the same time span—one (this one) much longer than the other. Of course, not being privy to that blog, you wouldn’t know anything about it, would you? Frankly, I’m not sure who’s reading this one. The Narrator, you see, didn’t give me any instructions vis a vis posting this to any website, and all of my JSTOR and LexisNexis searches have turned up nil for most of the more unique sentences in this thing. So, point being, I’m not sure anyone is reading this.
Though, on the other hand, someone must be reading this, for if not, then why would The Narrator be asking me to “fill in” for a gap of time in posting? And, more importantly—once again—to write “like myself” as opposed to the more flowery and traditionally, shall we say, Victorian style that The Narrator has adopted elsewhere. And on that note, one must wonder why, exactly, The Narrator, a largely unVictorian sort of man when it comes to everything except romance (though, frankly, I have never spoken to the man about such topic, and have only this blog, and the other, to go on—though when considering the proposition inherent in these blogs [that is, that they have fictional elements (such as the scenes wherein The Narrator is drugged and taken to some absurd dungeon)], neither may very well be an accurate portrayal of The Narrator’s feelings)—yes, apologies—one must wonder why The Narrator has chosen to adopt said style.
I shall have to query him about that the next time we meet, and I am not in a mad rush to the library.
The one thing The Narrator did suggest is that I take this time to introduce myself to you—whoever “you” may be. So: Hello again. My name is The Student and I am studying the correlation between classical and neo-classical mentalities in the literature of Joseph Conrad.
Well, studying that at the moment. It may very well change. I despise Conrad, you see. I know, I know. There are legions of academics who would lynch me for saying that, but there is something utterly despicable about the man’s utter and overwhelming desire to be seen as British instead of his native nationality. Why, I do not know. Perhaps it was because of political turmoil, or some self-loathing instinct. But when an author such as Kafka—one of the greats, and there can be no doubt of that—willingly identifies himself with such an obscure nationality as Hungarian, then why must Conrad divorce himself from a nation that has played a large role in European affairs like Poland? Such a confusing mental state, if you were to ask me.
But you didn’t. No doubt you want to hear more about my love life or something.
It’s dead. Is that short enough for you? Dead, blasted, and buried. Fucking paratroopers. Yes, yes, yes, I know, he may not have had the anxiety that defines me to such a whole extent, and may in fact have had more people skills, but that’s all nonsense.
Also, if you are of the clever sort, you may have noticed the tense of that phrasing up there. I’m writing this well after the fact of the year in Canterbury that the five of us underwent. I’m under strict orders to not tell you what The Narrator—or anyone else—is up to (though I can assure you it is nothing amazing and is quite dull), only that I may say what I am doing. I am working on my Ph.D in Comp Lit—focusing on what I mentioned above.
I believe that there was some mention of my hatred for Conrad in this narrative before, so I shan’t dwell on it. I will only say that it is sometimes easier to talk about what you hate more than what you love.
Right, anyway.
The Narrator left off talking about the time Tuna, The Drunkard, and he broke into the Inquire offices. That much is true—and we know it is true because the next day, the new issue of Inquire had the headline of “DIE INQUIRE IST TOT, DADA UBER ALLES”, followed by bricks of text in the Wingdings font. It was, for lack of a better word, mental.
No one got the joke, it seemed, except Literature students—and even then, only the ones who really cared about what they were studying. (So, that is to say, there were about ten who got the joke. I was one, along with six other post-grads, and I think I overheard a couple of third years in Mungo’s discuss the implications of the return of Dadaism.) Regardless, The Drunkard saw this as a triumph against the forces of mediocrity on the paper—and, in a way, it was. The editor was let go soon after the issue was released, and the assistant editor, who I knew as a third year who was more focused on buying three hundred pounds’ worth of make-up along side a couple hundred pounds’ worth of accessories every month, was put in his place.
The next issue—which came out a month after the Dada issue—resembled more of a celebrity gossip tabloid than anything else. The Drunkard foamed at the mouth and tried to encourage his French flatmates to rise up and break out Madame Guillotine. (The veracity of that account of events, wherein The Stalker was almost decapitated, is still in question in my mind. If I remember correctly, it was around the time when The Drunkard first discovered mead, and shared it with The Narrator, and both were quite drunk when the former told the latter the story. I believe if there were such a thing as Madame Guillotine, The Drunkard would have used it upon The Writer by now.) As evidenced by the lack of murder, The Drunkard was not successful in his appeal, and, the month after that, another issue of Inquire came out—this time focusing on an all-Lady Gaga issue. The Drunkard disappeared for a week after that.
Anyway, I think that The Narrator intended me not to give you a full recounting of those events, but more of what he was doing after the break-in.
For whatever reason, talking about rehearsals makes him go twitchy. I don’t know why. He seemed fine and happy at the time, so why he should, a year and a half after, feel the need to overdramaticize the events—or whatever it is that he is doing by having another peron write about what happened to him—is beyond me. Here. This is what he wrote:

On October 4, 2011 at 1:23AM, wrote:


I need some help from you, buddy.

Been working on that blog, right? (No, not the one you saw when we were in Canterbury—that one’s long over since I’ve finally stopped reading fucking Coleridge. The other one that I may have mentioned to you a couple times. And if not: There’s a second blog. Layers upon layers upon layers; turtles on turtles on turles; INCEPTION.)

Anyway, I’m hitting a rut with it, and could use someone else to write a bit for me. I’m going to start with you, then, depending on how that goes, go to the others.

But yeah, I’m about that point in the spring term when Fiddler rehearsals were ratcheting up, and I don’t want to talk about them. Yes. I know it’s weird. I have my reasons. Please stop judging me.

-         Narrator

On October 4, 2011 at 8:32AM, wrote

You wrote that at 1:30 in the morning? Narrator, don’t you have a job? Are you okay? Dear Lord, man. Seek help if you have insomnia and don’t worry about your bloody blog.

Yes, I will write a guest chapter. Just, please, get some sleep.

And so, that’s why I’m here now. Talking to you about my hatred for Joseph Conrad, The Drunkard and Madame Guillotine, and The Narrator’s worrying insomnia. That’s... about it.

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