Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Climate Change

Something had gone wrong with the weather. [...] I could not remain isolated from the rest of the world. I was involved in the fate of the planet, I had to take an active part in whatever was going on.

Tim Flannery and Peter Singer telling us to pull our collective fingers out? (Out of what?) Savmarshmama pleading with us to turn off our lights, and the air-con? (*Wink*)

Nope. Slipstream fiction from 1967.

Image of Ice

Specifically, the mysterious, completely unloved as a child, abused, child-abandoning, heroin addicted, cult icon of the psychotherapy drug culture of the 60's and 70's, Anna Kavan - in Ice. I'd forgotten how much I love the hallucinatory non-story of this fragmented, sane/insane genius writing about her heroin addiction AS a world cataclysm, with her craving and vulnerability made flesh in the glass-like body of the moonlight-haired girl, a perennial victim - bruise-eyed, hollow-eyed, ice-blue eyed - and the two obsessed men who vie to take control of her, to find her as she keeps disappearing, dying, being glimpsed again and again in impossible situations as the world collapses under the weight of a new ice-age.

She dies about three time each chapter for a while there as hallucination and fantasy lead us in a non-sequitur plot of magical unreality. The world of ice is advancing quickly, dangerously. A new glacial age is on the way, something the scientists (those bad guys!) have done. We skip from frontier to frontier by boat, plane, helicopter, amored car... It's like The Bourne Identity! NOT!

Chaos, war and anarchy mark the ice's encroachments as societies collapse, but always in its shadow there are the unnamed, underinformative, probably cruel and possibly unlikable narrator, his arch-nemesis the ever-powerful "warden", and their eternal prey; frail, abused, "the girl". They all keep just ahead of the frozen stuff, escaping, surviving, even, in the The Warden's case, profiting from the insanity and nightmare of the panic.

My head was aching and everything was confused inside it... I could not think. The hallucination of one moment did not fit the reality of the next.

Yet somehow, it is coherent (well, not really), but if you go with the inexorable flow (like the advancing glaciers), you'll find some amazing writing, some unforgettable imagery - the girl being surrounded by towering glaciers that consume her, enfolding her in their grasp, and she dies yet again as he drives by in his car... Vision? Reality? Fantasy?

I love it, really I do.

Fuck normality! Fuck what and how you are SUPPOSED to write!


I have these with me as well to complete in the next ten days I am out of Singapore.

Image of Asylum PieceImage of Sleep Has His HouseImage of GuiltyImage of Who Are You

And her perfectly titled biography:

Image of A Stranger on Earth

Julia and the Bazooka is out of print, last I looked.

Why is it I keep getting a "No-one else has this on shelf" message on Anobii?


Also have all of Season Three of Battlestar Galactica on the iPod to watch. No time for nooky in Bangkok. By God that's a bloody clever show too.



savannah said...

what are you going on about, sugar? ;)


(as if i could possibly give up blogging and you? this is the stuff i need to thrive in this deadly world!)

(sweet jaysus, is there no end to my parenthetical statements?)


expat@large said...

Sav: if only I knew!

You like parenthesis (who doesn't?)! Must get back to my David Foster Wallace...

Momentary Madness said...

;-)(Ha ha ha);-)
I think I'm (a drug addict) going mad.
Can anyone help me.

expat@large said...

MM: I *know* I am a drug addicit (diet coke!) (but I only *think* I am going mad!)

Only Obama can bail us out!

dibabear said...

Whaddya mean no time for nookie in Bangkok? Can't you multitask?

Free Podcast

Related Posts with Thumbnails