Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rejection and Harry Potter

I'm recieving job and ms. rejections at the rate of about 2/day. When I've told other writers that I submitted BA they all reminded me not to get down about rejections. It a funny thing because I said 'Yeah, no rejection isn't a problem' and you always hear about these great authors who had their novels rejected by fifty or a hundred presses before hitting one and then getting it big. Rejection is an insidious thing though. I get the e-mail, log the rejection, shrug it off, look at how many more active submissions I have but it takes a deeper toll. A thing that lasts sort of a long time. And it compounds too in a way that is really really hard to shake.

After getting two ms. rejections and a job rejection yesterday I watched Harry Potter three in the afternoon. The weather is shit here so we just stayed inside and watched Harry Potter. I laughed my ass off. The movie was great. Plus J. K. Rowling's plotting is so tight. Obviously this was filmed off of the screenplay but still... I haven't read one of the HP books in years but she has this subtle genius. Her names are brilliant: Muggle, Dumbledore, Hagrid. There are so perfect, like this mix of British/Scottish but also something else (the magical culture there). She has this perfect imagination that straddles that incredibly thin line between the familiar world and this other world that is something like mythologies that we are familiar with but also totally new. It's like she is somehow forging ahead with new material while jumping off of these mythologies and tropes and ideas that have been present in western culture for centuries. One thing that really struck me was having the hippogriff bow. I guess I'm not totally sure that this has never been done before but honestly: I know nothing about hippogriffs--I think I've seen drawings of hippogriffs two or three times in my life--and yet having this trait, this sort of pride, this mix of animalistic fear with the need for respect seemed to fit so perfectly as to be invisible. It's like J.K. Rowling is able to tap into the soruce material of these minor tropes and extract the heart of them, lift the idea up by its bootstraps, expand it out from its own heart. It is really pretty amazing.

I'm reading Wittgenstien's Philosophical Investigations right now. I haven't read too much philosophy, a little Nietzsche, a little Schopenhauer this primer on Metaphysics. Honestly more often than not I got bored or confused to the point of finding it unreadable. The insights were generally pretty sparse and rarely made up for the sheer confusion. PI on the other hand in confusing but engaging. I can just sort of scan page after page and feel okay not getting everything 100% percent. Witt. sort of restates things over and over again at different levels of depth or from slightly different angles so that you can get a general idea of what he is talking about on the first go without worrying about all the facets and details. Really his basic ideas are so simply and intuitive too. Plus he rarely if ever relies on obscure or unusual words or phrasings (obviously...). I'm already looking forward to reading it again. It definitely seems like the sort of work that you get more and more form each time you read it. He seems like he would have been a cool guy too. Unpretentious. Kind of kindly calling bullshit on everyone else. Kind of pointing at the moon, as it were.

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