September 16th, 2008

breaking bad

The Nature of the Fun

The Nature of the Fun is a short essay (PDF) by David Foster Wallace on the ambivalence of the writing process, in which he compares the draft to a beloved but damaged baby that you carry about with you, hoping to heal it, or for it to be loved.

you want them to see and love a lovely, miraculous, perfect, ad-ready
infant and to be right, correct, in what they see and feel. You
want to be terribly wrong, you want the damaged infant's hideousness
to turn out to have been nothing but your own weird delusion
or hallucination. But that'd mean you were crazy; you have
seen, been stalked by, and recoiled from hideous deformities that
in fact (others persuade you) aren't there at all. Meaning you're at
least a couple of fries short of a Happy Meal, surely. But worse: it'd
also mean you see and despise hideousness in a thing you made
(and love), in your spawn and in certain ways you. And this last,
best hope, this'd represent something way worse than just very bad
parenting; it'd be a terrible kind of self-assault, almost self-torture.
But that's still what you most want: to be completely, insanely, suicidally
wrong.


People who write or struggle to write might find the essay interesting or sad.

And here is Good People, a mainstream short story, which is very poignant and accessible, about a young couple struggling with a familiar dilemma.
breaking bad

There's been a murder

Here's a nice gloomy Doctor/Master video, very slow paced, with footage from LoM and Wire in the Blood interspersed with it. ETA - you can leave complimentary comments and get higher res version here .

Most TV I watch these days is bloodthirsty murder. Wire in the Blood is the most gruesome of these. The new season started last Thursday and it's perhaps got a wee bit self-parodic with the new Detective being twice Robson Green's size and a very butch Top, and all the clues pointing to this implausible S&M 'private torture club'. Ah well, all good fun.

Garlic and sapphires in the mud
Clot the bedded axle-tree.
The trilling wire in the blood
Sings below inveterate scars


I also saw the new Poirot on ITV on Sunday night. The first seasons of the Suchet Poirot were a bit Wooster-ish, riding on art deco and silly upper class accents. It has been drifting towards expressionism these last few seasons, and this latest was I thought excellently done, with vicious village snobs and wobbly cameras zooming until you are looking up someone's nostrils in the rain etc. Good stuff. I know they won't do it, but I wish they'd make a new version of her best story - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - in the new expressionist style, because they threw that one away early on.

And finally I will stick to Taggart come what may, but some of the latest have been the most awfully written trash. I love Robbie and Jackie, and now and again they return to their old form.