Monday, August 6, 2012

a parisian original

A couple of years ago I read Nausea, by Jean-Paul Sartre. I enjoyed how he talked about adventure.

I've been scribbling away at a story for the past (long) while that I plan to expand into a novel at some point (not yet) and because it's about nostalgia, connections, memory, relationships and la France I like to read French novels and all stories about these things.

I was searching recently for some Very Important Notes I remembered writing in a little black notebook ... and I can't remember if I found them, but I did come across some hilarious pensées I recorded during my time with JPS and Nausea.

* * *


Been reading JPS's Nausea. Just one dude sitting about in cafes + museums and on trams wondering not just who he is or what he is. I'm getting through it now, not sure if I totally get it though... He seems to be talking about how he exists because he thinks about existing (but I know this from Descartes) But that his hand is the same as a table, that a root is nothing at all, that is is ... a crab? Must read on. He has some lovely phrases but is a bit of a wanker...


I've read more and Anny is trying to explain to Antoine about perfect moments + privileged situations (p210-214) and it is like someone - damn you JPS - has reached into my brain and yanked out my stupid desire for all situations to go a certain way, gone back in time and written it down. How depressing to realise you're not original! Every emotion has already been felt by someone else.

I'm picturing a scene with Eliza and Marc. She explains in great detail this thing she has, trying to make every small moment a MOMENT. After the explanation, Marc asks innocently: "Like in Nausea?" and Eliza rages and stomps about because she's sick of being unoriginal

Err, so two pages later there's Anny (p215) getting annoyed that she's not original. How do I manage to plagiarise something I've never read before?

* * *

So I'm trying to get comfortable with the fact that every story has been told before, and that nothing is original - even though I got very cross at Woody Allen when his lovely* film Midnight in Paris came out.

So I'm pretty chuffed that the frisky francophile folk over at The Rag and Bone Man Press have published the short version of my story, which is called When You Were In Paris and it has love and books in it, as well as some ghosts ... or are they?

*But clearly derivative of my work in some ways...


  1. ..."every story has been told before, and that nothing is original":

    er, that would be why JK said, 'It aint 'atcha do. it's the way 'atcha do it."

    1. he is so wise. i would do good to heed his advice more.

      perhaps: 24. No fear or shame in the dignity of yr experience, language & knowledge

  2. Ah yes tis a postmodern world dear Kate and nothing is original. I think Grandpa Simpson captured it best when he said, 'Nothin's original any more. Why a fax is just a waffle iron with a phone attached.'
    Very exciting about your novel and your story though! xx


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