Saturday, July 17, 2010

stories + identity



a new flash story
july comes with unexpected dynamics. right at the start of it, there was this idea to do a summer-special in daily s-press, with features on summer reading groups, and summer writing projects. (here is the link: daily summer special). with every group project, i thought: "that would be interesting to be part of." but then, i am already involved in a good deal of projects these days, and each takes its time and energy. plus, there is the fictionaut writing forum, which i wanted to return to since May or something. so.

well. and then i came across the open story project 52/250, and on monday morning, after putting the feature online in daily s-press, came across the next story theme there: "Union of Opposites". the theme struck a chord. story lines started to spin, and turned into a flash story. the first since a while. it will part of the 52/250 theme page next monday, and is online already in fictionaut, here is the story link: "White".

beyond the story
it was only later that i realized the connection in themes: "opposites". and the upcoming theme of blueprintreview: "Two²". and it took yet another day that i saw the other connection. there is a theme that i keep coming across these days: identity. it started with the qarrtsiluni call for submissions for "The Crowd" (link)- while working on a submission, i did a google search for the theme, and arrived at an article about crowd and identity: "The Psychology of Crowd Dynamic". here's a quote from the introducion:

“In other words, the psychological processes which relate society to crowd action are those of identity. If we are to understand the nature of crowd action we therefore need a model of identity which explains both how society structures identity and how identity organises action.”

and parallel to that, there was the first issue of the Asian American Review". the issue starts with a 20-page dive into question of ethnicity and identity. again, a quote from the introduction:

"We are what we write. It is not a political description, but rather a psychological marker of what preoccupies us. Yes, our work ought to be celebrated for its intrinsic beauty /relevance, but the particularity of its consequence is rooted fimly in our individual psyche." - Ru Freeman, (link to previous blog note: "currently reading... or: on identity and categories")

identity and blueprintreview
so if you look for a psychological marker of what preoccupies me these days, one of the answers is: "identity". it will be the theme of blueprintreview issue 26. i am curious for it already, in a way that i almost feel: "can we switch themes?" - but then, there were 2 texts in the pool of submissions for the "two" issue, so those are already part of #26 now.

and it will be good, to have more time for the identity issue to develop. to write a flash story, and find that it actually deals with the very theme of identity (white. and black. just saying. i keep finding more and more layers. this now also makes me think of the "White Squares", a project that started as a pop-cover-collaboration, and then moved to layers of ethnicity/identity in the process, here the notes: "The White Squares - No Gigs Past 8")

and in between all this, i returned to a story i read earlier this year - the story that almost won the story south contest. and it is.. a story on the shape and construction of identity. Eros, Philia, Agape by Rachel Swirsky. don't get tricked by the start. this really isn't the usual relationship story. it's a vast story of desire, personality, growth, attachment, freedom, .. and identity. here is a bit of it:

"Lucian had been dis-integrated then: musician brain, mathematician brain, artist brain, economist brain, and more, all functioning separately, each personality rising to dominance to provide information and then sliding away, creating staccato bursts of consciousness. As Adriana made clear which responses she liked, Lucian’s consciousness began integrating into the personality she desired."

also, i am reading a print issue of Zoetrope All-Story that came travelling with Diana from SF to Vienna, where she gave it to me. it's beautiful, and actually not all-story, but: story and great photography.

PS: and somehow, it's kind of fitting that the next 52/250 theme is very down to earth. it is: "red meat." (here the project link: 52/250 A year of flash)
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3 comments:

Jessie Carty said...

Love reading these posts :) my second book is really intrigued by identity, I think, especially gender identity and what it is to be female and an intellectual. You make me want to do more writing!!

Brigita said...

Identity seems to be the hot topic these days. I just submitted a short story on identity to a competition. Seems like we're all preoccupied with who we are.

Btw, did you send out rejection/acceptance e-mails for the 'two' issue of BPR yet?

Dorothee Lang said...

"Seems like we're all preoccupied with who we are." :)

and no, didn't send out mails yet, the issue is still in process.