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A Book of Nightmares : Additional Details in a Continuing Study

By Azevedo, Neil

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Book Id: WPLBN0003468565
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 742.53 KB.
Reproduction Date: 10/3/2013

Title: A Book of Nightmares : Additional Details in a Continuing Study  
Author: Azevedo, Neil
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Nightmares, Literary American Fiction
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Literature
Historic
Publication Date:
2013
Publisher: William Ralph Press
Member Page: Neil Azevedo

Description
Introduction by Cosey Fanni Tutti, legendary performance artist and founding member of Throbbing Gristle ​ Nightmares never seem to make sense when we try to describe them. Neil's genius is that he's written a book in a way that puts you back in that mindset by tapping into the primeval in all of us as a kind of catalyst for the telling of this story. This is a story told in the way that we live out life changing events - it's full of movement. It steps us back, sideways, takes us into seeming irrelevance - maybe as a means of escapism, and all by unpunctuated expertly crafted emotionally evocative (and) beautiful sequences of words. It's akin to poetry, or song lyrics at times. Words are used rather like musical notes, arranged in a sensitive, sometimes aggressive ways, constructing and deconstructing, effectively facilitating your own unique 'nightmare reading' of this story. The words are a means to an end, elements which collectively create a composition, the purpose of which is intrinsic to its completeness.  You should approach this book by abandoning any established preconceptions of the role of narrative or role of the reader. Passive reading has no place here, only a willingness to open your mind and follow the seductive stream of consciousness flow of words. We are trained to read in such a way that we try and make sense of the construct of words, analyzing and assimilating as we go. But here our train of thought is repeatedly undermined - fucked up. What's really wonderful is that by subsuming the narrative in this way Neil creates a collaborative reading experience, one that takes you outside the book at the same time as locking you into it, making you question the unfolding events and characters as they emerge from the unexpected. There's enough to allow the reader to reference from personal experience, which then assists connecting with that which is beyond the norm. And there's plenty of that. This book consumes you and spits you out at the end with a new sense of extreme possibilities. ​ Cosey Fanni Tutti March 2012 ISBN: 978-1-932023-39-8. https://www.facebook.com/williamralpheditions

Summary
A Book of Nightmares follows generally though not specifically a previous book entitled These Details in Preference to Nothing. If it could be summed up concisely (and it can’t), one might say that it is the story of a person’s perception—the narrator—of his own breakdown seen in the person of another—a friend and talented songwriter—going mad and his own increasingly disturbed subconscious, though readers looking for a romanticized or lurid tale of flawed anti-heroes will likely be disappointed. Like its predecessor it is in the vein of Becket, Joyce, Pirandello, Proust, but also finds inspiration in and hence echoes such musicians as John Cage, John Cale, Throbbing Gristle, Eliane Radigue, Steve Roach, Gianluigi Gasparetti, or Nurse with Wound.

Excerpt
...  The awful shadow of some unseen Power Floats though unseen among us,—visiting This various world with as inconstant wing As summer winds that creep from flower to flower —Percy Bysshe Shelley ​ it is dark all around listen I say can you hear that she is gone I hear Firefly move uncomfortably in his bed across the room no he says that’s the sound of knives I cannot say he doesn’t hear that it’s not what I hear  Firefly is sleeping that is falling in and out of sleep so many of the people we have known are dead we have not seen each other since I left I’ve ignored him while considering what to do about meeting them and before them a hundred other thems he is caught in a trembling he can’t ascend out of and he lies there cursing resting smelling of illness which is the smell of neglect calling someone every couple minutes to fix or adjust what is wrong in him or what he needs in him what consumes him is unnatural rebuke beg whimper like collecting into a tear that never fully falls as he settles again into a nauseated waiting a concentrated breathing and an occasional ironic chuckle after every stroke my dad threw up and then he died how long can one endure a constant tremor a question I want an answer to but know growing older perhaps that one will not arrive that what can’t go on does damage  when it does there is no explanation for certain symptoms there is a rhythm to isolation that is agreeable that feels normal an inevitable path to it there are ways to remember all the world even the one not chosen I ponder the details gathered and though there are problems of perspective books touched and retouched or not at all read ruined dialects still lingering pondering objects actions meaning there are Firefly’s words strung together in songs observations lapses in memory incomplete notes and obvious inconsistencies there is essentially the data amassed not so much abstract as forming a composite culled during a period of time that was after the initial period but before now there is a way to say how it is to continue to go on there is a pattern to deterioration as there is to horror and escape as there is to relating a series of random occurrences that are bound together by the problem of consciousness there is a way to wait in a hospital through moments descriptions of infirmities and remedies that do not end but go on there are the reasons there is a list of things that happen no better or no worse than a different set of incidents there is the woman I wished for who died there is Firefly lying on the bed in intensive care the sparse dim hallways of a hospital at night he is not talking he is not awake and walking around there are others here some I suspect who have come to harm to observe we have done unmistakable amounts of damage but most are indifferent trying to stay safe distracted and occupied so as to be out of the way  there are the details the relationship between rest and nightmares between sleep and dreams there is being awake all night long there is what is altered when the dreams break down and their enduring vision is incessantly present there is the unification of disparate ideas there is trying to get ahead simplify understand gather and move on but most of all and more than all these there is need to create an account which is to say there is an impulse to confess what was done independent of motive or capability that is to say how it is  a flower a shadow both in front of me though neither visible which is to say describable both distinct in its pattern encased in its visual representation in relation to what needs to be perceived and what needs to be defined and codified one is a knife the other a cut in between the fingers blood and pus one is dream one sanction in the early dawn I hear the garbage trucks grind and hiss one is falling asleep one is lying awake one is crawling with ants one is deadened by fatigue one is the spirit of Isabel one the phantom of my father each one present discernable unique in its properties full of the meaning one yearns for in the organization repetition and patterns in the people one knows casually each infinite in its possible perceived manifestations representations each shifting and responding to a complex surplus of variables not completely knowable in a chosen moment and I must say each one or I will never be released but my mouth is growing full  I have been awake a while rocking in this pale green chair having woken from a nightmare thousands of nights of being filled with dread thousands of nights of waiting for it to dissipate the ensuing blurriness puzzles my seeing so many things grow harder brighter and more detailed as each minute passes I will not withdraw or vanish yet Firefly is somewhere Firefly is changing I might say protean but his is the kind of conversion that appears effortless and full of grace it encourages what it rests on nevertheless I did not imagine I would find such respite in reine anschauung space and time I was capable of finding my way through and lucidly conveying complex ideas and possibilities once but it’s previously been noted the situation isn’t what it once was Firefly is not here sitting here I recall a time long ago talking with him once just before he went on stage and then singing to us impromptu and altogether present and splendid I hold the image like a flower I grow mute like an opera audience overcome with fatigue splendor and eloquence in its third hour my memories of him so many like this one are considerable and numinous and I am sitting with them to fill some space in a night drawn out  he is luminous in the tenebrous hours I reach out to touch some of what he is as I have tried to do before though he is always shifting he is always familiar as I am entertained by his unforced and elegant ability to be arresting and clear his rough though pretty voice when he sings is positioned with deliberate cause and adorned with the ideas of the dreams we wished we dreamed precisely he has sacrificed himself for public moments of perfect luster dwelling in a brittle fantasy he invokes and makes real and displays he has always found me I never grow tired of his perspectives and wisdom for which I am grateful a secret I know that not everyone knows and though he is presently painfully bright in the late hours of a frustrating sleeplessness I suspect my limitations and insipidness a lost patina yet I can talk too like a father and I will because he is full of guile impish and less complete and when I am with him I am slowed down by admiration and a propensity to fade before his wit and mannerisms I cannot reconcile for myself the newer elements lately admitted into the mix the dull scent of old clothes and dried food not quite palpable his tears contained and lurking in the smiles of his words his ferocious cleverness coyly concealed by a plain pretty and deceptive delivery intended to cause chaos or perhaps without my knowing I’ve grown old and confused which may not be entirely true beyond trying to hear him again there is too much for me to establish little for me to do when I believe I have understood I realize there are curious or dangerous qualities about what he’s said or done lately which is to say maybe remarkable aspects which is what it is like to know him and what it is like to recall him confusing as when one looks down at a woman while making love suddenly realizing tears are streaming down her face  in the soft leaves I hear the throatless whispering the darkness pours from them from the trees so does the scent of their dampness the rain lessens then strengthens the obscurity an impressive gloom that pours also from the drops of rain I can hear them talking they will tell me where to go which way to move I am going to be cut on my legs which are exposed I must be wearing shorts I am crawling I cannot stand up because of the pain the voices will direct me I know this the way one knows to stop talking when danger looms I don’t know by what by whom the claws will come out of the darkness as they have come already and crippled my calves though if I decipher and decode as much as possible what they are telling me I can find safe passage but I cannot there is a scratching and tearing on my legs the blood begins to come out of several slight cuts they are coming they are growing deeper the blood trickles if I did not know it were blood it would feel comfortable the cuts are beginning to sting and the stinging stops me more or less as I shuffle ineffectually forward on my elbows through the dirt I taste the leaves the blades slide in fully above my knees and I know I am done it is only a matter of time I listen to the voices far away somewhere deep in the forest merrily explaining

Table of Contents
A Book of Nightmares About the Author Also from William Ralph Press

 

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