-A window ajar is a prelude in building to the joy of being limitless! That uneasiness of being familiar somehow, sometime, somewhere.......

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Post Traumatic Post Modernism...

Oulipians are Rats who build the labyrinth from which they will try to escape.
~Raymond Queneau

The message was handwritten. Cursive feminine letters. As known - It was a healthy girl. The mother was fine, a bit exhausted. His secretary earnestly congratulated. And there were many handshakes . He cut short the meeting and cancelled the day’s schedule.

He has seen this many times. Yet he cannot remember . Or forget. It is neither prose nor poetry, it is like a critique. A complete stranger reserving the power to hurt you. Again and again.

The dark torsos of trees were trailing rapidly beside the road. The leaves rustled in the wind. Autumn is a wretched season. Full of remembering , forgetting and longing he thought as he drove on.

They all had agreed to call her Susan after her late aunt. All the requisite shopping had been completed a week before the expected day. Grandma had even knitted a pair of tiny woollen socks. Pink coloured.

He continues in this state. Of speculations. Ifs and If nots. And If onlys. A world opens inside his head, drawing him away from everything , mostly himself. It doesn’t hurt after a while. He just gasps when he wakes.

On the way he thought of buying a champagne and a box of Thornton’s . He decided to take a right at the next intersection. It felt so ethereal for a minute. Almost. To be a dad.

When he wakes up at night, he finds himself shivering and drenched in sweat. He silently watches the arcs of light from the passing traffic climb onto the room walls. He tries to remember. But nothing comes to his mind. His despair is married to the fact. That he has to live with it. He weeps.

The autumn sun sunk slowly in the greying sky, casting long sombre shadows. The traffic was light. He hummed along with Cohen on the radio as he turned right. He wasn’t driving too fast. But as it often happens, he just couldn’t stop when he wanted. It was too late.

The girl wore a pink skirt. She had turned seven a week before.
It was later in the hospital mortuary he learnt she was called Susan.

PS- I have exercised my chosen constraints. The consciousness has been cut into four slices each. Present and Past alternates in successive paragraphs. Admixed tenses are symbolic of this. The last two lines is a specific attempt aimed towards a reader who requests an easier understanding.

The motif is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, dealt in present, while the event is a memory of the past. The write-up is a depiction of a nightmare in the ailment.


Bit Hawk said...

Great post. Loved it!

Ubermensch said...

Im glad

Rajesh said...

More along Clavino's dramatic craft, which I admit preferable to me than Perec's reductionist style.

OULIPO is not necessarily a world vision through constructs, while at the same time it lets the readers acquire a few tools to begin their apprenticeship.

It's getting better.

Ubermensch said...

yes for me too; But i have great respect for Perec, the other day I tried to do 55 fiction without any I and coudnt get anywhere after 15 minutes. I amgine a complete novel without e.
Ill call u .

Prat said...


Ubermensch said...

yes, the one you owe me.

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