13.

Aether – Promises – The Current – Meeting – Sanctuary – The Good Guy, a story, Part Three of Three (The following is a work of satire. The people and events depicted, including those based on real people and events, are all entirely fictional.)

*****

In case you missed it, The Good Guy is available here in its entirety.

*A good collection of short stories at The White Elephant.

*A good collection of cut-up poetry at VERStype.

*I have linked to fiction by German Sierra and Grant Maierhofer before; here we listen in on a conversation between them about the process of writing and the current state of literature and publishing.

*Lori Sambol Brody spent last year watching the entire run of The X-Files and came out of it with this brilliant piece of flash. Though I had seen some of the earlier seasons when they first aired, I too have watched and re-watched most of them fairly recently (also very consciously with an eye toward my own fiction); but only this past winter, for completeness’ sake, did I finally commit to finishing Seasons 8 and 9. I can’t say they were all that good, but the last lines of the last episode, coming to me as they did shortly after the inauguration, the first travel ban, and the unleashing of ICE, struck me, corny as they were, as exactly what I needed to hear at the time.

*Likewise, I think we are very fortunate to have David Lynch guiding us through this particular moment in history. I have often drawn inspiration from his work (often, I should point out, in conjunction with this essay by David Foster Wallace, which I read probably once a year, and which always seems to teach me something new), and especially from Twin Peaks. But in all its successes and failures, its spontaneity, its content and context, in the unfathomable set of circumstances that led to its being made at all, not to mention its becoming a hit and getting renewed for a second season, it had been an undoubtedly singular achievement and event; and with the recent spate of belated prequels and sequels, in which so many legendary creators returned to their own decades-old material only to demonstrate that they had lost or perhaps never even had the depth of connection to it developed by their audiences, I have to admit I was skeptical that Lynch would be able to recapture the magic that had occasionally abandoned him even then. Happily, I was wrong: The Return is my favorite thing he’s done so far, possibly the most important thing he’s ever done, and almost certainly the best thing we are likely to see on television for quite some time. I had always thought of the original series as a satire of contemporary television, and as an experiment in ongoing, long-form serial storytelling (for instance, I assumed the fact that Lynch didn’t know who killed Laura Palmer at the outset, much less how or when the show would ultimately end, was something one needed to know in order to understand what he was trying to do with it, if only in the approximate sense that something like understanding can apply to anything he does). The new one is tighter, more controlled, more self-assured, and, the necessarily more bounded nature of a limited series notwithstanding, even more experimental—that is to say, weirder. Lynch seems to be revisiting themes and images from throughout his entire career, reexamining them in each other’s light; and in retracing the sort of dream logic that governs their use, there is the sense of a much deeper revelation unfolding that propels the narrative inexorably forward, despite a number of what may at first appear to be detours, and at this point (with Episode 8, whatever else happens) surely beyond the date of the finale.

It is of course entirely possible that I’m projecting all this onto Lynch in both cases because these are exactly the kinds of things I’d like to do, again, in my own writing: after all, such is the relationship between interpretation and influence. And speaking once more of influence or inspiration, there is a brief and highly oblique reference to Twin Peaks in the selection from Coherence above. It was composed and set in its place a long time ago, and it pleases me no end that it should happen to appear now.

Next issue: September 5th

 

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