Mellifluity. Mellifluity? Melli-the fuck!

(From my Nile notebooks)

I'm reading, caught in the book, letting its story run, but always I am aware that around the story is the frame of the author's narration. I canít help this. I'm always thinking of how easy it looks to be an author; it's obvious that this should happen next in the story and that the author should say those words to describe it. In my head I am thinking to myself about this, conversing with myself, framing my narration of the story in my thoughts, in my words, about the narrative the author is writing of the novel that he is using to tell me the story. I am choosing the words that I think I am choosing, but are they in fact not chosen by my reading of the story - the one I am telling myself that I am reading, that one that tells me about the story I am reading that is framed by the author that is not me? And I think, hey you (me), I am writing this book to myself as I read it, why should I not be able to capture this tone and this free flowing text in my head into letters on a page - the concept is so clear to me as I think to myself that I am thinking this. But now I type from my memory of the words and thoughts I had while the story unfolded and another narrative emerges. A clumsy one. One that is lost and hesitant. One that finds the mellifluity gone, the flow awkward and the words - words like mellifluity - unpretty, forced and, worst of all, pretentious.

Outside my window the Nile is flowing, a great river of consciousness.


[Addendum: aspirin for those attempting to make sense of this is available on request.]


Posted by: expat@large on May 29, 08 | 4:41 pm | Profile


What is it with you and me? How did you know I've been re-reading John Barth lately? The whole narrator/author/character thing. The funhouse....he didn't miss much.

Posted by: Dick on May 29, 08 | 10:53 pm

"'"'"'"'"'"'"Neither do you," he said,' she whispered," he laughed,' she smirked," he said,' she said," he cried,' she intimated," he told her,' scoffed Bellerephon," said Menelaus,' said Scheherezade," I told them.

Posted by: expat@large on May 29, 08 | 11:32 pm

Actually I was reading Richard Powers' "The Echo Maker", an excellent novel about brain damage and consciousness and memory and PlayStationII. It describes us as writing the story of our lives as we live it, continually seeking logical, or more correctly narrative, justification for what we just did, while the brain's inner purpose for directing that action remains a mystery that we are unaware of; such is the mundane scientific foundation of much of our human tragedies.

Posted by: expat@large on May 29, 08 | 11:38 pm

We can't go on, we go on....

Posted by: Dick on May 30, 08 | 4:48 am

you two are like a novel. an enjoyable one, for sure, that i'll keep reading. xoxo

Posted by: savannah on May 30, 08 | 5:33 am

Sav: we are like several novels, novels that we like.

Dick: what is it with me and you? I have a post in hibernation on blogging/non-blogging that was focussed around Beckett's trilogy! Stop channelling! I mean it!

Posted by: expat@large on May 30, 08 | 11:10 am

Perhaps if I had completed (one of) my BA in Modern English Literature, I would have got (gotten?) all this out of my system - instead I went into science (lite) and did Radiography.

Posted by: expat@large on May 30, 08 | 12:35 pm


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