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 Music//Memory Sequence: Review

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Indigo
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PostSubject: Music//Memory Sequence: Review   Sat Apr 22, 2017 2:48 am

Post thoughts. Or don't. I'm not going to tell you what to do with your time.
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PostSubject: Re: Music//Memory Sequence: Review   Tue May 16, 2017 7:39 pm

I had to google Brutalism. The samples from Google Images were probably biased towards the "best" examples, but I think the style is super cool.

I also had to look up "Beautiful Day," though I remembered having heard the hook plenty of times before. Is it a coincidence that the music video takes place in/outside of an airport?

This reunion is so humanly quirky and awkward that it brings an indulgent smile to my lips; if this particular part of the story was invention, rather than life's inspiration, then well done! High verisimilitude.

But the tone throughout the narrative is one of bitterness. Nothing in the narrative is necessarily so, (the protagonist's worry that their "friend" might still be hostile could be read as bitter, but out of this context it could also be anxious, flummoxed, the suspense before catharsis...) but the delivery of each story detail contains that hidden aftertaste.

I come away with the impression of having been immersed in a well-crafted experience, one which is all the more remarkable for its brevity. I'm not a big U2 fan, and so I was preparing myself for disinterest once they were mentioned, but the tone of the poem actually complements and brings out an element that I had not heretofore detected: a kind smile, in spite of resignation ("let it get away...") I haven't gone and listened, but my intuition tells me that a lot of their other work has that same motif, and this might go a long way as to explaining why they resonate so well with people, which has been a mystery to me before. If your intent was to distill that essence of this particular song, then you have certainly succeeded at that!

My reflex is to here qualify my praise my asserting that the greater extent that a story is drawn from personal experience, the lesser the creative accomplishment. I immediately realize that it's more complex, especially if we're using an expressive theory of art, though it remains true that it is much easier to draw together elements to compose a sensation if it is based on a particularly strong memory of that sensation. The craft at that point, I suppose, would be to put it into words, and to use poetic license to emphasize and signify whatever is being conveyed.

Given the thought I've now put into composing my thoughts on "that which is signified" in this story, I may not be qualified to make such an argument, but for whatever reason I felt a skepticism towards the story's resolution. You see, I profess that the creation of expressive art, when done well, inherently resolves the emotions which it expresses - it usually doesn't make them go away, but it always resolves them (whatever that means) - and occasionally I encounter a poem that doesn't convince me that is has succeeded, doesn't convince me that the poet has actually bettered themselves or their audience by producing it. Admittedly, when the goal is to express surrender, the expression and the expressed can cloud one another, and maybe that's all that I'm picking up on. But be weary of the temptation to throw in the towel, and then try to make it look like an artistic statement. I'm not saying it can't work, but it's such a risk and such a pet peeve that I say, never throw in the towel. Never do it. I know that it's a weakness because I've done it before myself.

But at a minimum, whether or not the author is the protagonist, I am left with pursed lips and grave eyes. I am immediately fond of the speaker and happy for their happiness, yet still moved to pity, regretting whatever it was in their past that brings a bitter taste to my mouth whenever I am privy to their thoughts and feelings.

I would think carefully about disclaimers. They always convey something other than information. They are also prone to drawing the audiences' attention to exactly what they are hoping to excuse, although that's not really a problem here; but they are generally a bad idea and in this case the drowsy resignation might have carried through to the rest of the story and discolored it, like the one colored towel that slipped into the white load of laundry.

Never throw in the towel. Never do it.

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PostSubject: Re: Music//Memory Sequence: Review   Wed May 17, 2017 2:21 am

Thanks for the review! Wow. I was not expecting that much material.

This series is memoir, sort of; it's based on what I experience in flashbacks. However, what gives me flashbacks also makes it a bit confusing to discuss whether or not I am the protagonist; my sense of self is highly fragmented, to the point where I can only access certain groups of memories in certain frames of mind. It's incredibly hard to explain, but it's something like looking at the world through different lenses of experience at various times. Part of what makes flashbacks so strange for me is that the part of me experiencing the flashback isn't necessarily the one who lived the experience. The story was definitely about part of me, but not the part who wrote it. So I don't have an easy answer on that; it's tied up in mental processes I'm still working to understand.

The details of the reunion were fiction, though. You may hear more about the experiences that led up to the protagonist/me making this trip.

The ending was certainly rough, and I appreciate hearing that from someone else. I have trouble with endings both in writing and in life - I'm notorious for my use of the Irish goodbye. I'm going to work on that. If you have any advice, I'd love to hear it. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Music//Memory Sequence: Review   Wed May 17, 2017 8:27 pm

I'm not sure that it's so much the technique of writing an ending as it is the completion of the creative process. Keep in mind that all of this stems from my personal theory of creative expression, but I wouldn't be advocating for it if I didn't think that is was well-founded.

I wrote all of Ενκαίωμαντεία up until Enkaiomancer leaves the chamber, and then gave Ventimancer a punchline criticizing the name choice. I felt that I had resolved a sort of minor identity crisis, had reinvented my (Codrexian) poetic persona. But while editing, I realized that I wasn't so satisfied with the conclusion to my reflection, or my story. From there, the two developed alongside one another until I realized that there was a stinging truth in Ventimancer's words, something more than mere self-deprecating humor.

I eventually concluded that the attempt to re-define myself had failed, and decided to give up trying. The value of the exercise was that, by allocating characters and symbols to my thoughts and feelings, the process had straightened them out for me; had Ventimancer's snark not come out at the end of the story, I might never have reached the same conclusion unless someone else (in real life) had shaken me out of my old cycle.

To be clear, this is a failure of the Enkaiomancer, but not a failure of the story; the story didn't do what I set out to do, but rather rescued me from the cycle of anxious self-awareness that led me to switch my 'mancer title so often in the first place. Admittedly, I don't know what 'mancer I am anymore, but I'm no longer worried about it.

Not sure if that helps, but hopefully sharing a few more stories with a few dozen more characters with each other we can work through our schizophrenia. Spectral

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