Wednesday, June 25, 2003

If I were a writer I’d make entries that went something along the lines of:

Started working on two new projects.

First, a semi-fictional autobiography called ‘A life not (quite) lived’. It’s basically my autobiography, but fleshed out with all the things that I probably should have done but couldn’t be arsed to do (written as if I’d actually done them). Well that’s how the first few chapters would be constructed anyway. In subsequent chapters I’d introduce other concepts in an incremental fashion, concepts along the lines of:

Things I probably should have done, but didn’t have the balls to do.

Extremely witty come-backs that only came into my head a few seconds after I was forced to shrug, smirk or groan a response.

All would be written as it they actually happened.

The problem I have to work around is the fact that some of these fictional actions (should I actually have carried them out) could have major repercussions for the direction the rest of my life takes. I therefore have to be quite brutal in compartmentalising and subsequently discarding or dismissing the action and it’s immediate consequences and get back to the main track of my actual life. For example, should I be in a bar and make eye-contact leading to smile-contact with someone of the opposite sex. In my case this incident would unfortunately have fallen under the ‘didn’t have the balls’ category (although I may have pretended to myself it was more ‘couldn’t be arsed’ at the time). Anyway, my character in the biography would obviously walk over to the person and say hello. We’d possibly arrange to meet, hit it off, have an affair, fall in love etc. Now should this woman that I’ve fallen in love with only have one leg and be an outspoken campaigner for disabled access points to public buildings, it’s possible that I too (fully-abled though I am – remember now I would be capable of appreciating things through the eyes of one who is not) would start attending action meetings and maybe presenting petitions to public officials. I could become an outspoken campaigner for disabled access points to public buildings in my own right. Trouble is I am not. The consequences of my fictional action (approaching the girl in the bar) have become too great, I have deviated too far from my life path. I would have to write something along the lines of: “I arranged to meet Edna later that week… we hit it off, had an affair and fell in love. Later I realised that even though I’d pretending it wasn’t, the leg was a problem, we had a row and split up (She was furious for a while and stalked me, yelling at me in public. I incurred the disgust of all who heard her cries. To escape her I sought refuge in the municipal library).......”.. then back to the real biography (although I’ve inadvertently managed to tarnish myself as a bigoted hypocrite… may have to re-address that up later in the work)

Anyway the true purpose of this whole project is to construct a kind of potential Russell's paradox, where I document the construction of the book in the last chapter or so. This will create a self-reference that mutates into a paradox as I may or may not have invented the act of writing the book. I may have thought about the writing the book, and knew that it would be a good idea to do so, but when I came down to it then I couldn’t be arsed. Of course if the book exists, then there is no paradox.

My second project is an ironic study into pre-determination and self-awareness:

It's the story of a small man trapped inside the body of a normal sized man - the arms and legs of the smaller man reach to approx the elbows and knees of the real life man. During the day the real man is awake and going about his daily business (he is unaware that he is hosting a small man inside him), while the little man is asleep. During the night, the real man sleeps and the little man is awake. Now, here comes the complicated part... During the night while the real man sleeps, his brain replays all the sensory inputs that have been recorded during the day straight into the corresponding sensory receptors of the little man (in real-time). The little man believes he is living a normal life, going about his normal daily business (he has no concept of the fact he is trapped inside a larger man's body). He also believes himself to have free will (although he's just seeing/feeling a recording of sights, sounds, smells etc - like he's watching a movie). This is the exploration of the pre-determination concept.

The twist comes at the end when I somehow transform the world the reader exists in into this model, and present the reader themselves as the little man. This is when I imagine the reader involuntarily looking up (as if trying to catch a glimpse out of the throat of the large man).

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