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Do You Dare Enter 'The Book'? : A Dark Meta-Tale...

edited January 2007 in Reality
According to Samuel Taylor Coleridge the aim of art is to:
image...transfer from our inward nature a human interest and a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.

~ 'Biograhic Literaria' - 1817
In my short story entitled 'The Book' I have tried to bring this disbelief back into question, to represent the relationship we have with fiction, in fictional form. This meta-analysis is intended to give the reader tools by which to better question objective reality (or a lack of such). The Fourth Wall has been broken down. In the words of Jean Baudrillard: bring a real world into being is in itself to produce that world, and the real has only ever been a form of simulation. We may, admittedly, cause a reality-effect, a truth-effect or an objectivity-effect to exist, but, in itself, the real does not exist.

~ 'Passwords' - 2003
Here is an extract from 'The Book', a tale of gothic horror in which a young man trangresses the taboos of his world only to lose all sense of the semiotic order through a state of torture:
image I conceived of the night engulfing my innards. It became the only way to drown out the searing pain of the sun on my flesh, but its deep calm stole away more than my torture. In the absence of my mind grew visions, ever more vivid than the stars of the milky way, which subsumed the matters of my physical body. Each of my senses took leave of themselves, allowing in their place to evolve a sense of nothingness. Without my senses I was no more. A world I had previously resolved in the chatter of my mind was made silent. All language; all referents fell beyond an invisible horizon, from which no escape was possible. The forms I had relied on from my very earliest of memories began to dissolve in the blackness. An infinity welled up inside me; at its heart, I became God.

~ Daniel Rourke, 'The Book' - 2007
You can read the entire short story here.

(Issued in Word format, under a Creative Commons Licence.)

I hope you enjoy my meta-fictional attempt to bring question upon the world; touring innumerable paths of your perceptions; drawing a labyrinth of possible worlds; sketching a vision of your own self, as God:
imageIt is clear that the world is purely parodic, in other words, that each thing seen is the parody of another, or is the same thing in a deceptive form… all things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of an Ariadne’s thread leading thought into its own labyrinth.

~ Georges Bataille, 'The Solar Anus'
Please give it a read; pass it on, and let me know what you think...


  • medieval-scribe2.jpg

    Ah, very intriguing.

    Although I'm now at work -- and, therefore, unable to properly focus -- I promise to read and comment later.

  • I want to follow in the footsteps of Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    In Xanadu did Kublai Khan a bottle of laudanum decree
  • I liked it! Can certainly see the Borges influence there. The concept is good (anyone seen Stranger than Fiction yet? I haven’t, but it seems like this might be similar…) I have some critique for you also, about your writing style and other prose-related things; perhaps you’d like me to email you about it?
  • That would be great.... I think this story makes a whole lot less sense without all the theory I did for it (and the theory is where the majority of my mark will rest). I'd like to do it again, without the word limit and spread out the character a little more. Any input would be great, here or email. Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think I was on about :-)
  • Hi Dan,

    I read this thing this afternoon and really liked it. I can't offer any constructive comments because I don't know about this stuff - I don't even read that much. I did, however, notice some typos and grammatical problems (only very few). Tell me if you care and I'll go through it again and point them out.

    Take it easy.

  • edited January 2007
    Finally got round to it. Is it a first draft? If not, how many? Love the Poe/Lovecrafty tone...I have a vision of you as a weird late Victorian cleric, all books and brimstone.
    Now remember I am a barren (not baron) soul with nothing to say myself, but to play god as editor, that's different.
    Roland, point 'em out , if I start I'll be at it for hours...
    Or maybe just a little....which is what I always say when I break open a box of wine...

    Oh, and what you were on about...There is a moment in Vonnegut's 'Breakfast of Champions' when the author enters the book and starts spying on the characters...until he is, terrified by the sudden appearance of a savage guard dog, which nearly mauls him.
    Who is in charge? I want to speak to the manager!
  • Sadly this one is finished and handed in. Due to the ridiculously over the top language I am not too bothered about the odd mistake, I think some you refer to might be purposeful. Thanks for reading though.

    Back to the grindstone...
  • Sorry, didn't mean to be pompous. I find English grammar fascinating but I need to remind myself of Orwell's final rule...break any rule if it suits your purpose.
  • No, not pompous at all. Just perfectionist. Best thing to be says I
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