Gang Banging and Personal Diaries

I read a few novels recently, of which most have been made into a movie. Usually it is the other way round, you have read the book and then you go and watch the movie. I’m doing, non-intentionally, the reverse. Wow, as you can imagine, there are lots of Hollywood movies based entirely on the narrative of published novels.

I like to mention three of those books here, particularly Chuck Palahniuk’s – Snuff, Bret Easton Ellis’ – American Psycho and Christopher Priest’s – The Prestige.

Let me begin with Snuff, after reading Jumper by Steven Gould, I am Legend by Richard Matheson and American Psycho I thought, hey, ‘Snuff’, I’ve seen the movie with Nicolas Cage. Let’s see what the book is like. After reading a dozen pages, however, it occurred to me that this book has nothing to do with the film Nicolas Cage starred in, which, another thing that I soon realized, isn’t even titled ‘Snuff’. No, of course I was thinking of 8mm.

Snuff, however, is the most creative thing I read and it offers a vast amount of inventive material shall one be daring enough to attempt to put it onto the big screen. Frankly, I’m not much of a reader so don’t go out thinking that you will find this story as creative, fresh, amusing and entertaining as I did. Actually, I fear that many will put the book aside after a few chapters since the entire story revolves, in descriptive manner, around a world-record gang bang attempt. By ‘gang banging’ I do not refer to the term describing illegal activities of (professional) gang members, but to the traditional meaning. Namely a bunch of guys having intercourse with one woman, where the number of them being large enough so that one isn’t inclined to ask what sexual pleasure the woman can possibly take from that.

I enjoy writing and like to write short stories and novels. I most likely have never been this close to realizing that writing could become a serious passion of mine, perhaps even a vocation. I take pleasure in reading trivial literature, analysing the story and the way it is told, from a perspective of whether I would be able to publish something similar. It has occurred to me already that I shouldn’t try writing about something of non-trivial importance, trying to ask or answer questions intellectuals are interested in. The main reason being that I’m not an intellectual!

A semi-autobiographical narrative utilizing fiction and exaggerations is something I can relate to best when it comes to writing a few thousand words down. However, a pure piece of fiction would be the most desired (first) story I’d like to publish. A novel, which is at least somewhat novel!

This is exactly why I found Snuff so refreshing. The grotesque, basic storyline is novel to begin with, and the narrative, the way the entire multi-layered story unfolds to the reader is captivating (that is lest your ego does not allow for it). It is about a woman (and her assistant) who wants to set an all-time world record, one that can never be broken, about her hopes and intentions for doing so, and it is also written from the perspective of a handful of ‘talents’, their reasons for taking part and why they have actually been chosen. I should add that it is pretty entertaining and funny, too.

I’m just going to stop here and state again how fresh and creative the book was, and that the author managed to keep this style up until the surprising end. Further, I hope you don’t have to be a pervert if you feel familiar with the gang bang-related terminology and the mentioned real-life performers.
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The book American Psycho was a dreadful reading experience. I only finished it, painfully over a longish period, mainly because it is one of my all-time favourate movies. But talk about being descriptive about useless and at times random shit that is repeated page after page. Yes, that is the authors style, but about 10% of the book is about what people wear and eat. Boring, not my style. I can’t see how you could read the entire book without regularly skipping paragraphs and pages.

What I loved about the film and book though is that the protagonist ‘Patrick Bateman’, as far-fetched his character may seem to begin with, could be easily a real-life person, your buddy, your partner, your business associate.

He is a person capable of differentiating his surroundings in an abstract manner and critically thinking about society, seeking the ultimate question of whether there is anybody out there who can see or is even interested in the true self of Patrick Bateman, other than the people he brutally terrorizes and murders of course. Do his actions matter at all? It appears they do not.

It seems that Patrick Bateman does not exist in reality; there is only an indistinguishable and typical persona portrayed onto him by others and it doesn’t matter what he does or says, in the eyes of society, he remains a likeable, successful and admirable person.
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The Prestige, incidentally another superb film with the same actor as in American Psycho (Christian Bale), is another genuine page turner, not only due to the gripping narrative but because the described events and incidents are written from the different perspectives of the protagonists who are each others antagonists. The nature and intensity of their feud establishes itself tragic the more you read. It is sad since it shapes their lives and those of their loved ones, and is unavoidable.

It is a story about sacrifice, passion, illusion, ego-centric emotions, secrets and truth. The latter being omnipresent, yet disguised adequately enough by other human emotions to decrease its priority and importance. Yet the entire plot is about figuring out the truth(s). Most of the narrative is in form of the diaries of the protagonists.

I’m not going to try to summarize the plot, you can obtain this information from various resources, but I remain, at least for this week, baffled by the importance of a personal diary. Imagine, writing regularly and descriptively about your life. A diary is meant to be personal and only if intended not to be read by others will it remain honest and true to the accounts and respective emotions and life-lessons the author has collected throughout a life time. Such a resource can’t be sneezed at.

Imagine all the lessons a grandson can learn from a personal diary of his grandfather. It will be commensurably more worth than face to face advice. Because, if you ask for advice, even more if you are presented with advice without asking for it, the person giving it will think about and mostly assume the implications it has and will in the future on the relationship between the two and on the life of the receiver. In other words, the advice will not be honest and true, it will be calculated, time-dependent, biased and contaminated.

Hmm, did I point out clearly enough the paramount importance a diary can have on a future generation?

If a human life can be described by a walk, most of us walk around, sometimes randomly, sometimes target-orientated, sometimes led, etc., but at the core remains that we walk in various dimensions trying to figure things out. The problems and obstacles we are attempting to understand are nothing new, most other people have walked the same tracks and at the end of it, looking back retrospectively I believe many will have come to similar conclusions.

From generation to generation within one family, for instance, those members will do the same mistakes, follow the same dreams and be limited by the same worries and fears. Perhaps this is exactly what it means to be alive, not being biased and being led by what someone else has experienced, be it a relative or not. However, reading a personal account of an entire life does not necessarily equal to one having to copy the good and avoiding the bad. It is not about balancing between such experiences, it is about a true account of the emotions the person went through whilst experiencing them. That is the only thing that matters.

It is, essentially, like any other advice one will receive throughout a lifetime, one can take it on board or not. The only difference being that it will be honest and non-biased.

This might be just the reason why children and adolescents are more likely to write in a diary, because adults have too many secrets and fears to writing a true account of their lives, emotions and lessons.

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