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This Blog Is a Novel

May 30, 2015

[2-18-17 Major Update,  :  With the beginning of the second draft, the novel has been re-titled, Bernie:  A Revision.]

Blog / A Novel, Or, An Essai of the Psychopathologies of American Democracy: Being, An Inquiry Into the Life of the Soul and the Health of the Imagination in America, With, A Practical Application of the Archetypal Psychology of James Hillman, Plus, A Proposal for a Pragmatic Anarchy, Illustrated by Example of the Imagined and Imaginative Community of Larks! (with Its Antagonist, Allswell), Augmented with Predictions and Intimations of Prophecy, and Accompanied by Breath.

Dear Reader, here’s a working draft of some thoughts about what is going on here. These will grow into a Preface to the Novel:

I’m afraid that you might not have realized that when you read any post, every post (dreams, poems, whatever) in this blog you are reading a page of the novel.

The titles of the most recent pages are listed in the column on the upper right of every page. (Some of the pages are organized into linked “episodes,” such as the pages on the nature of ISIS.) Below that list of recent titles is a list of categories that group pages into, what? Motifs? But many pages take part in more than one category/motif.

On almost every page, you are addressed (accosted?) by a narrator, Old Man Who Thinks Out Loud (more about that, as the preface develops). On a few pages you are addressed directly by the author, and I sign those, TK.

The creative process: write, including some revision, and immediately post, as we live along and read along together.

It’s weird and experimental, and a lot of fun to write. From my memory of my years as a scholar-teacher of lit, I think it qualifies as a “nonfiction novel.” I could be wrong. It’s definitely a “political novel,” with a Left bias.

One advantage for the reader: you don’t have to wait around for me to finish the writing and see it through merchandizing; indeed it isn’t even merchandise, it’s life (mine and yours) and it’s art (mine and yours if you choose to read). I can’t guarantee that it’s very effective, as life or as art, I can only promise to do my best at both.

At present I’m guessing that I’ll reach the termination of this first draft early in November, 2016. At that point I might just let go of it. Or I might do a fair amount of further revision, such as completing some episodes, and/or I might want to add thoughts about life in the pragmatically anarchic community of Larks!  [11-11-17 (I did add Larks!)  Shocked by the election of Trompf, I kept going until after the inauguration, then brought the first draft to an end, and then began a re-visioning, second draft.]

In about December 2014, as I was blogging along, I began to feel a novel forming; and by July I could feel a plot really falling into place. I don’t know how it will end. The actions (Aristotle: a plot is a series of actions) are provided, day by day, by a lot of people, including maybe you; so I’m not in control of this plot.

A beginning, middle, and end (in that order)? I can hear my narrator now: “I am not Sophocles, nor was meant to be. Alas, poor Arnold, broken dream of a coherence, picking his way along the beach at Dover. I knew him, Sigmund. A wash.”


I’m learning things about that narrator as I go along; but then that’s also true of myself (writing a novel is a good way of getting to know oneself better, I’m finding—a novel, like a good therapist, such as I’ve known, will not let you get away with anything).

I don’t know who the protagonist is—maybe American democracy, maybe the American people. Maybe the soul.

The antagonist is emerging along with the protagonist.

So this is the (episodic) novel, characters come and go. Simultaneously real and imagined. I’m not even in control of who the characters are, except for the narrator, and sometimes the hypocrite auteur. I name most of them, mostly using the names of real people; but many names go unreported. You might become a character, dear reader, if you take action.

On the one hand I’m imagining all of this; on the other hand I’m not just making it up.

Well that’s a start on the idea of it. I wanted to bring it to your attention.

Breathe well.


PS: In case you only read a serious novel if it is assigned, here’s a quiz Q to help you feel at home with it: Where does this novel take place?

[Updated 12-27-15, 11-11-17]

From → aesthetics, democracy

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