Sunday, January 15, 2012

How I Learned To Write A Russian Novel

1. First of all, one has to experience the kind of dread that seems endless. The Russian winter, for instance, is a terrific source for this feeling and the ideal metaphor as well. Imagine a bleak, gray existence of sub zero weather that lasts for months and months and months. Imagine also that you run out of vodka the first week.

2. So the basic requirement to slip into Chekov Mode is a profound sense of the futility of it all, that the reasons for living have vanished, and that as Jimi Hendrix once mused, "There ain't no life anywhere." Or as Talking Heads once observed, "This ain't no party, this ain't no disco." 

3. As luck might have it, Saturday, January 14, 2012 gave me my breakthrough. In fact, I believe I might even be good for a series of Russian stories with sad, pathetic characters enduring their sad, pathetic lives, watching sad, pathetic TV, drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon, and having cabbage soup for all meals.

Wow, you might be thinking. What happened to cause this angst?

1. Tar Heels.
2. Tar Heels
3. Tar Heels
4. Tar Heels
5. Tar Heels
6. Tar Heels
7. Sick cat who puked on our bed
8, Clogged toilet that actually began the day
9. I'm a Redskin fan who has fallen in love with New Orleans, and I adopted The Saints as my second team.  
10. I played poker online and lost.
11. I could name five or six other endeavors where things didn't go my way, but I believe you get the gist.

If Dante were alive, perhaps he'd consider a film that merges the plot of GROUNDHOG DAY with THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE – a series of self-imposed disasters, seemingly without reason or hope of conclusion. And if Dante were alive and contemplating such a project, I know just how he feels.