Wednesday, June 4, 2014

What is StoryNoir?

StoryNoir is not about technique: rhyme, meter, grammar. Rather it means mood. Mood is a unity. You get to mood through philosophy and diction. You get to philosophy and diction by listening to the inner voice as intensely as you listen to the outer voice. You learn to listen to the inner voice by finding it. The inner voice comes from thinking about everything, and then coming to an understanding with what you think about most. The only way I know how to do that is by ransacking autobiography until some pattern emerges. I think Pound, for example, put himself into the insane asylum in order to squeeze out of his life what he would not have the time to think about. It was a dark, living death but it allowed him to find the mood, the timeless darkness, leading to his voice. In the Cantos are incomparable passages. The voice is rich and deep. (see here) The voice is that of a great thinker poet.

Art is about mood. Who knows the dictionary meanings of words? Who knows all the subtleties of grammar? What about rhyme and meter? There is speculation enough about them to fill a thousand books. What is form and style? I believe that certain people are born with a certain rhapsodic pressure that issues from them along the lines of form, and even they would be hard pressed to define it. Most of the time form is an arrangement. But to a few in every generation there is an intense pressure to weave darkness and light into a pattern. You can master style to a certain extent. Technical happenings (events?) are not meaningful till they participate in the unity, which is a memorable mood. Long after the words are forgotten the mood is still present.

What is the mood then that is behind StoryNoir? Now, every time I try to define this word I end up with six more words equally hard to define. What is this business of definition anyway? Is it really something a grown man should occupy himself with? If you don't attempt to define terms, then how can you accurately communicate them? If you cannot communicate a meaning, that is to say the understanding is a private event beyond or outside communication. Words are worse than slippery. And putting them together so that they are capable of meaning something seems arduous. But thinking it can't happen except through a sort of miracle is obnoxious to StoryNoir.

The word discipline comes up quite often in StoryNoir. It takes quite a lot of discipline to stick to the gritty. You have to master the art of brevity by eschewing the ear. You have to distill reality first before you can be brief about it. When I say distill I mean generalize. StoryNoir is the art of generalization. And out of generalization comes the mood that is StoryNoir.

This would be StoryNoir: that life is somber, dark, brief. You are in luck when there is love. But everything about it depends on fortune, whether good or bad, and there is very little chance to adjust for reasons of a future about which there is no certainty. However there is a monolith which if one is enabled to participate in it can provide insulation from fortune. There is an elite who have the "keys" to this monolith. I myself have been somewhat insulated from fortune by a small sum of money, a hedge against the disasters of the near future. That was all luck. Nobody earns anything. They are lucky or not.

  • Brevity

    One word is always better than two. And so on. StoryNoir does not allow dialogue to be written by ear. It has to be hardboiled and clean, not repetitive. This word discipline comes up every now and then. No need to write a book when a blog will do. If two words are used when one will do, the second word is bullshit.

  • Losers

    StoryNoir is about people who can't win they lose so much. They have forgotten how to learn how to win. So they let anybody and everything roll over them. Fighting back attracts tanks.

  • Loyalty

    StoryNoir is about being loyal because the grave will come soon enough and then you will be alone forever. There is no hurry to be alone. You don't need two sinks in the bathroom to get along.

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