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Dabbling with autofiction from India

Rakesh87

Dreamer
I have been reading a lot these days. Heavy stuff and I'm proud of that. Like Sebald, Knausgaard and Proust. My world view has been changed, the use of language has changed. I have become a stoic now. I take things stolidly. And now I believe i could write in English, and the novel belongs to the genre of autofiction.

If you ask me about the plot, no there is not. Like there is not much in In search of lost time or My struggle by Knausgaard. My novel will be anti proustian. I want to challenge everything and experiment with various literary devices. It's all about a man-boy who grows up in an obscure village in India. He ruminates a lot, rejected everywhere and then finds solace in Philosophical pessimism. He devours cioran and ligotti. He takes Celine and Dazai. He walks with Pessoa and Malraux.

This must be a new way of thinking, at least for me. I am not able to find anyone anywhere who resonates with me. I live a lonely life with my Proust and Knausgaard. I am an outsider everywhere. The village where I live don't give a damn to my intellectual peregrinations. On online, people don't respond when i mention i write a la Proust. Then I came here.

So, friends, this is all about my life. There is a scene in my novel, when the hero looks at the river and relishes the experience when the water slowly reaches his legs. He finds it very spiritual, like a motherly affection. He stands there for hours, letting him to be caressed by the river.

I just wanted to talk with you. Anyone like philosophical fiction? Or interested? If yes let's motivate each other

I wish you all the best and have a nice day.
 

A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Terry Pratchett was a wonderful philosopher and storyteller. He was English, co-wrote a couple of things with Neil Gaiman such as Good Omens, but is best known for his Disc World series.
 

Rakesh87

Dreamer
Terry Pratchett was a wonderful philosopher and storyteller. He was English, co-wrote a couple of things with Neil Gaiman such as Good Omens, but is best known for his Disc World series.
Yes I have heard about him. Till now i believed that discworld was the best thing written by him. Great... may be time to explore some of his other works. Thank you for the response:)
 

pmmg

Vala
Why do you consider yourself anti-proust?

I suspect you are going to have a hard time finding others as well read in these authors as you. While all of us engage in philosophy and theology on some scale (even if we dont know it), and we might even be doing a type of autofiction if we squint our eyes at our own stuff, these are not names that typically come up in the circles I am used to. Plato, Aristotle, Tzu, Confucius, Aquinas, Nietzsche, Kant, Jung, Marx, Freud, these are more the names I am used to. And while in the past I studied more at philosophical thinking, I find I am more into religious works now. I dont often run into people who drop the names, Proust, Sebald and Knausgaard. So, I'd probably have to do homework if I am to know something about them to engage in conversation--but not knowing anything has never stopped me before :)

For myself, and this being a fantasy site, I tend to write fantasy, and read it to be more a part of the conversation. So I read just about all the major authors if only to get a feel for their style and ability. I personally like classics, so I read all the books those in the west would have heard of growing up in a western culture. Most of them, I like. One or two....

I like religion and philosophy as a topic, and always wonder on the spiritual. But those subjects dont create much harmony in a forum site.

You say your autofiction is pessimistic. Why?
 

Rakesh87

Dreamer
Why do you consider yourself anti-proust?

I suspect you are going to have a hard time finding others as well read in these authors as you. While all of us engage in philosophy and theology on some scale (even if we dont know it), and we might even be doing a type of autofiction if we squint our eyes at our own stuff, these are not names that typically come up in the circles I am used to. Plato, Aristotle, Tzu, Confucius, Aquinas, Nietzsche, Kant, Jung, Marx, Freud, these are more the names I am used to. And while in the past I studied more at philosophical thinking, I find I am more into religious works now. I dont often run into people who drop the names, Proust, Sebald and Knausgaard. So, I'd probably have to do homework if I am to know something about them to engage in conversation--but not knowing anything has never stopped me before :)

For myself, and this being a fantasy site, I tend to write fantasy, and read it to be more a part of the conversation. So I read just about all the major authors if only to get a feel for their style and ability. I personally like classics, so I read all the books those in the west would have heard of growing up in a western culture. Most of them, I like. One or two....

I like religion and philosophy as a topic, and always wonder on the spiritual. But those subjects dont create much harmony in a forum site.

You say your autofiction is pessimistic. Why?
Well,
This will be a long reply. So bear with me .
I travel through a different dreamscape, literally. My friends are writers like Celine,Thomas Bernhard,Ligotti,Cioran,Georges Perec,Proust and Knausgaard.
Anti Proust in the sense, in a way i want to challenge some of the literary devices used in in search of lost time a bit. Like the constant inner monologue will be altered a bit, the intense ruminations will be changed a bit, but no completely anti Proust but to a certain extent.
I want to make my novel bit accessible to the readers unlike Proust, which, took me 7-8 months to finish all 7 volumes
The notorious first 50 pages took a solid month to finish. But really worth it anyway

I know, i am aware that many people do not know these great authors. Especially Knausgaard the Norwegian. He can be called as the second coming of Marcel Proust. I have been reading his my Struggle series and our of 6 i have read 2. Brilliant brilliant works.

I don't know how to put this. I have been on LinkedIn. I think i see or started to see philosophical problems as real problems. Nietzsche was the same too an extent i guess. Then may be due to intense ruminations of even the most trivial things, i sometimes realise people don't see the world i do. For example, when i sip tea, it would take me some time. I relish on each and every sensation that causes the cumulative emotion in me, and often i would get flooded by memories too, which is not at all a good thing. Like that protagonist of Borges, funes the memorious, i am unable to forget anything. So helpless at that.

I get easily confused too these days. Yesterday, someone asked me what did i mean by being a real writer. They had misconstrued me as i said i believe Knausgaard and Proust are the real deal . They felt like all others are not real writers and it may have offended them. I didn't intend it at all. I love fantasy. I love novels like Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay . But i am born to write literary fiction even if it does not make me rich.

Now good to see your reading list. All of them are great and i like many of them you have mentioned. Nietzsche the best among them all. But i ended up in Proust, Knausgaard, Sebald, Thomas Bernhard and even Jon fosse accidentally. I feel like the shining prose of these people have changed me.

Then after a lot of reading, i felt like i need to express myself. I wanted a literary language now. My initial thought was Esperanto. But somehow it didn't work out and then i tried it in my Indian mother tongue. I felt like i cannot express myself in it, may be my own weakness and then switched to English. It works fine I guess.

Pessimistis streak is what defines me. There are many reasons behind it. My situations,the feeling of being an outcast, lack of opportunities, bad experiences in life, so many things as i have too many baggages. Still i want to observe life and would like to record every second of it with a magnetic precision and create my Magnum opus.

No one will get me. Or didn't get me yet. But then your reply is really a breath of fresh air . I am glad that you replied. I sincerely thank you for this kind gesture. I would like to continue this conversation further. Hope we can talk about the writers i admire and vice versa and also fantasy, everything... :)
 
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A. E. Lowan

Forum Mom
Leadership
Admittedly I haven't studied philosophy in 25 years, mostly because it gives me a headache and makes bunny cry. Too much literary criticism. So, that being said, I tend to not take it too seriously. Philosophy is for the young, and I have found that advanced degrees make me a slow reader, because all reading becomes close reading. I fear we are doomed. :D
 

pmmg

Vala
Well, there is a lot to pull apart here, and I think I should clarify some things first, lest you get the wrong impression.

So quickly:

I know, i am aware that many people do not know these great authors. Especially Knausgaard the Norwegian. He can be called as the second coming of Marcel Proust. I have been reading his my Struggle series and our of 6 i have read 2. Brilliant brilliant works.

I did not know them at all until you mentioned them. I looked up Proust, and his book, which is 3500 pages. I can say without question, I am not about to try and undertake that much reading. I am in full writing mode now. Reading is a far off venture for me.

I don't know how to put this. I have been on LinkedIn. I think i see or started to see philosophical problems as real problems. Nietzsche was the same too an extent i guess. Then may be due to intense ruminations of even the most trivial things, i sometimes realise people don't see the world i do. For example, when i sip tea, it would take me some time. I relish on each and every sensation that causes the cumulative emotion in me, and often i would get flooded by memories too, which is not at all a good thing. Like that protagonist of Borges, funes the memorious, i am unable to forget anything. So helpless at that.

I am not one of those who savors and contemplates the flavors of tea. My brain moves very fast. I need things to come at a faster pace, or I lose interest. Most often, when people are actually speaking to me, I am ahead of them in their conversation, and I am just waiting for them to finish, so we can get to the next. I've learned not to be rude, but so much conversation is wasted with words that both need to be said but really dont. How many times, for instance, have we heard the phrase, I dont care if people are black, blue, red or purple, I think...blah blah. Can we just dispense with the disclaimers and take that as given? Do we really need to say it? And every single time? People and interactions frustrate me. I do not like trivial things. My mind goes for big questions, and does not like to dwell on things that dont matter (or at least, not to me). Those water cooler topics, like the weather, or kids, or sports...I have no interest. I also dont like to spend a lot of time with things I already know are not true. You may think they are true, but if I know they are not, I dont find it valuable to have to pretend they are.

Now good to see your reading list. All of them are great and i like many of them you have mentioned. Nietzsche the best among them all. But i ended up in Proust, Knausgaard, Sebald, Thomas Bernhard and even Jon fosse accidentally. I feel like the shining prose of these people have changed me.

I studied most of those many years ago. And while I am always asking questions. I have other things I pursue as well, and keeping up with philosophers is not something I do often. Nietzsche is not my favorite. I think I can sum him up in two phrases. There is no God, and think for yourself. For me, Nietzsche missed the starting point. Its like, since we know there is no god, all of this follows....but I am on, how did we come to there is no god? He seems to want that to be a given. I feel that is still a big question. And given there is no god, if I believed that, I would be a more selfish person.

My reading list today consists of classics and stuff of interest. I read many of the people here, cause I interact with them everyday (shhh, some dont know), but I dont go seeking philosophical works generally, unless I have a specific reason to.

Then after a lot of reading, i felt like i need to express myself. I wanted a literary language now. My initial thought was Esperanto. But somehow it didn't work out and then i tried it in my Indian mother tongue. I felt like i cannot express myself in it, may be my own weakness and then switched to English. It works fine I guess.

I am not a literary writer. I am pulpy, straight at it, give me characters, kind of writing. I dont dwell on stuff that makes little difference. Some may talk about the rustling of the trees, and the swirling leaves, and the deep colors and contours of the mountains, but not me. I am trees, mountains, got it, and moving on.

Pessimistis streak is what defines me. There are many reasons behind it. My situations,the feeling of being an outcast, lack of opportunities, bad experiences in life, so many things as i have too many baggages. Still i want to observe life and would like to record every second of it with a magnetic precision and create my Magnum opus.

No one will get me. Or didn't get me yet. But then your reply is really a breath of fresh air . I am glad that you replied. I sincerely thank you for this kind gesture. I would like to continue this conversation further. Hope we can talk about the writers i admire and vice versa and also fantasy, everything... :)


This is the part that is of most interest to me.

You have said several times you are an outcast, and a pessimist. I am wondering at the truth and circumstance of that. Are you truly an outcast? Might you find you fit in if you changed something? Is this because of the people in your life? the culture around you? the place where you live? Can something be done about this? Cause it does not sound desirable. Lack of opportunities, and bad experiences makes me wonder if you should be looking to move somewhere else. Maybe a change of a big sort to lose all that baggage.

Or do you feel this is something that is a unique burden to you? and nothing else would change that?

I dont know you really, but I gonna say with certainty someone out there will 'get you'. You just have to encounter them, or them plural. You write it, and someone will find it speaks and resonates with them. The world is full of people, and some are complex and some are not. But some will be a match.
I have been on LinkedIn. I think i see or started to see philosophical problems as real problems


I am not sure what linkedin has to do with it. But yes, I think many things about our world, its philosophies and cultures...the world has problems and I wonder at our current footing to deal with them. And while philosophy also evolves over time, I am not sure that there is any making strong impressions or in roads at present. It seems to me we are still sifting out some schools of thought from the recent past. But it does not make me pessimistic. All things in their time. Sometimes there is darkness before there is light and all that.

And I think there is much to be optimistic about. Some of which I will avoid saying here, but Gen 4 nuclear, Ai, Space, battery powered everything, nano-technology, virtual reality....its all very promising stuff...and consequentially, stuff that needs fiction writers to help shape what we are all to think about them. I like traditional fantasy. I like the story of humanity and all that brought us here. I think as we look to all the new stuff, its still important to know who we are/were, and what has always been valuable about us. I am not always optimistic, but I dont think I am a pessimist.
 
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skip.knox

toujours gai, archie
Moderator
Well, the first that came to mind is Hermann Hesse, one of my favorite authors. In particular, some of what you describe has echoes in Siddhartha, but I'd also recommend The Glass Bead Game by the same author. As for deconstructing narrative, my go-to is James Joyce.

Is there a specific fantasy aspect to your project? And have you begun writing?
 
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