Most of the weekend was wasted in sleep and hellish oblivion. i fell into a Pessoan lethargy and found myself paralysed by a total lack of interest in anything, in which state sleep is the only good. Dreams informed by Predator, in which i confront a dragon on a bridge and daunt it by my readiness to die. i force it to submit but feel no victory as secretly i wish to die; however, it is that deathwish by which i triumph. If i did not wish to die i would perish at the claws/jaw of the beast, presumably as disappointed as by my survival. This is the paradox of this particular dragon – you can only triumph by an ardent desire for death.

In my waking hours i have begun an experiment – rewriting my flawed novel, The Better Maker. i deleted a third of it – mainly things which happened to me, were strange and/or funny, but don’t work in a novel. Keeping the bones, the things which do work, i mean to rewrite the beast as it should have been – specifically, rewriting the main character, so he is a character, rather than just a version of me.

It occurs to me that this is also what i am doing in this Elberry life – and what, i suspect, many people do – replay their old lives, keeping the things which worked and trying to rewrite the main character. i think of our many lives as failed drafts of a novel; and as with the novel, all your imagining and scheming only goes so far – you have to sit down and write – that is when you find out if it works, or if this is just another failure. But some failures are at least clarifyingly so.

i have also discovered that my landlady has installed a kind of hutch in the bird cage for her two zebrafinchen. i went in to feed my avian wards and was alarmed to find an apparently empty cage. Then i spotted two bright orange beaks in the shadow, and two pairs of eyes looking at me and then conferring with each other as to the meaning of my sudden apparition, then a welcoming chirp chirp.

i’ve been reading through this deceptively capacious website about, among other things, Wittgenstein. Despite having read everything Wittgenstein wrote, most of it is beyond me. Whereas with, say, Kierkegaard or Schopenhauer, if you read their damn books you come away feeling you have some idea of their ideas, it is entirely possible to read the Philosophical Investigations and come away with absolutely no idea what the bejesus he’s on about. So i’m finding this site useful and enjoyable. i don’t agree with everything but there are some very good insights, for example:

I think that Wittgenstein wanted to throw himself into the sea and not trouble himself about what conditions were like there until he found himself in the water, as if the faults in his character could only be corrected by a complete break with his present way of life, as entering a monastery would have been.

Tomorrow i must bestir myself to pick up a package. Parcels from England take at least a fortnight to arrive and anything sent by DHL is unlikely to reach me. This package could be one of two that were sent more than a fortnight ago. Whichever it isn’t has probably disappeared into the DHL Abyss and will never be seen again. Maybe the dragon got it.

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