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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Thursday, June 29, 2006

Juxtaposition - its terror and beauty

Juxtaposition (see What’s the Beat?).That’s it. One image is juxtaposed beside the next. They are compared and meaning emerges. One sentence is juxtaposed beside another.

You see, you have the complete piece of writing: poem, story, novel, memoir etc. and it is all built upon juxtaposition. In a story for example, we juxtapose one scene after another. The alignment of scenes tells the story. Within the scenes we juxtapose expository sentences, lines of dialogue. Within the sentences we juxtapose words. The juxtaposition tells the story and reveals the meaning.

Lets go back to the man. Mamet. Listen up, “The images in a dream are vastly varied and magnificently interesting. And most of them are uninflected. It is their juxtaposition that gives the dream its strength. The terror and beauty of the dream come from the connection of previously unrelated mundanities of life. As discontinuous and as meaningless as the juxtaposition might seem on first glimpse, an enlightened analysis reveals the highest and most simple order or organisation and, so, the deepest meaning. Isn’t that true?”

Who would dare argue?

David, my David, it’s true, it’s true.

So here, the logic of the dream courtesy of its juxtapositional organisation can elude us (Sorry Dave -perhaps I am just not enlightened enough) Anyway the dream emerges from the unconscious. I think it’s a first draft really. I believe even Mamet himself if let loose on it would construct it in a more comprehensible way. “What’s the beat?” Can’t you hear him already. So we need some revision. Go back to your first drafts. Look at your subconscious writings (if they are not subconscious, well, don’t even go back to them. Pass ‘em by. Honk your horn and yell abuse!) and consider the story or poem that is emerging. It is not the one you expected. (If it is the one you expected, more honkings of horn and abusive tirades required.) Rewrite this new story, this new poem. Consider the objective and the juxtaposition of scenes, images etc. necessary to achieve it. Go after the highest and most simple order, and the deepest meaning will emerge.

Isn’t that true?

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