Wednesday, June 27, 2007

And off into the Labyrinth

There are Detail people, and Big Picture people. I am, certainly a Big Picture person. I really go for finding connections between things rather than some sort of elucidation on one particular work. It's the connection that is somehow elucidating.
For example, the fact that, at the time I was most miserable at work, finding myself completely divorced from a part of myself that I was beginning to think was going to be difficult to ever regain again, I found the books I was reading, with no premeditation, all had something to do with doubleness. After learning how to read books so late in life, I was suddenly reading something beyond what the books themselves were saying. I filled pages with notes. Tonio Kroeger, Dmitri Merezhkovsky's DaVinci, Prince Myshkin in The Idiot, Dostoevsky's The Double, and Mann, whose work has so much that has that quality: "It is just that which I mistrust from my soul, this dual world; I do not understand the necessity for a breed whose purity can be spoken of only comparatively and in retrospect." Each book I picked up after I finished had something else to add--all tiles that became a mosaic.

Well, as of yesterday, it's down the rabbit hole all over again, and I find few things more exciting. I didn't want to work on windows in this heat, so, while surfing blogs, I found a link to selected scenes from The Shining on YouTube, with the mazelike hallways of the Overlook Hotel mirroring the mazelike 70s pattern of its hallway carpets, which forms a chord with the great maze chase in the snow, which reminded me of the great maze of Danielewski's House of Leaves. Here, mentally, the drops of water falling in the same spot on the floor did more than become a growing bead and started running somewhere. Nicholson the Minotaur. The influence of a dream world. That plus Kubrick led to surfing what available files there were on Eyes Wide Shut (which, incidentally, is the only movie with Tom Cruise I've ever seen), which led to thoughts on dreaming and descent into evil, which brought up the book on which Eyes Wide Shut was based (Traumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler), which brought up another book I'd read some nine years ago, La Bas by J. K. Huysmans, which has in it a similar secret group with dark motives, and then the water beads rolled off a variety of ways, to Demons of Dostoevsky, Demons of Heimito vonDoderer, all books I've not read for years. One of the bad Anatole France novellas I read two weeks ago, The Seven Wives of Bluebeard, links in with La Bas, which I am rereading, and now suddenly I have 2,000 pages of rereading to do.

Windows? What windows?


Kristen said...

You spent weeks scraping paint out of the grooves in your crown molding with a freakin' X-Acto knife and you say you aren't detail oriented?! Pah, I say!

Tess said...

Yeah, I might have to go with Kristen on this one. It's possible to be both a big picture person and a detail person. Consider yourself... double.