samuel x. brase likes to write

In the Year 2011

Posted in second novel, third project by Sam X. on 17 November 2010

Yes, I’m still working on my novel.

But its time to let the future project gestate.

Since this project will be an experiment in pursuing DIY standards close to my heart, it only makes sense that the content of such a project would be close to my heart. It has to be fun, to keep myself and the audience interested. It has to be episodic with a larger arc, perhaps 8 to 10 episodes, each anywhere from 30 to 50 pages. I’ll be honest: I’m thinking about a space rebel mimic of Che Guevara. Something like that.

I had this odd moment, listening to the new Girl Talk album. A couple minutes into track 4, he mashes up Skee-Lo’s “I Wish” and the Talking Heads’ “Take Me to the River.” Now, the Skee-Lo song is a fun, basic song where Skee-Lo spends the chorus reviewing various ways his life would be better (most of them revolve around his non-existent girlfriend). But backed by the Talking Heads, the song assumes emotional impact beyond his physical desires. The grafted melody adds import, creating a sense of yearning that reaches deeper into the stomach–by the time he raps, “I wish I was a little bit taller,” man, so do you.

The trick, as in most of Girl Talk, is cross-applying hip hop materialism / physicality to rock ‘n’ roll passion. The styles find common ground in rhythm, but that’s neither here nor there. Some days, that combined physicality and passion is all that will do; neither rock alone nor rap alone will fill a specific void that is only satisfied by their merging.

Writing chapter 8 of my current novel, and thinking ahead to the climax, it becomes clear that a lot of what I’m trying to do is in a way a literary mash-up. It’s stream of consciousness science fiction; it’s mainstream revolutionism; and, very literally a mashup. Because of the advanced stage of the technology involved, the environments in which the characters move are not restricted to one static image, but rather, a mashup of available environs. I’m not sure how far I can / should push this in the current novel, but it’s something to think about as a possible stylistic calling card.

I may try and adapt this into next year’s project, because I think it holds such potential.


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