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NOTES on the TEXT

the SYZYGY concept:


(a) astronomy: the alignment of three or more celestial bodies within the same gravitational system, such as when the sun, moon, and earth align during an eclipse. (b) mathematics: [homological & commutative (abstract) algebra] a relation between the generators of module M; if M is finitely generated over a polynomial ring over a given field (k), eventually the process will terminate itself (xn), resulting in what Hilberts syzygy theorem (M=k[x1,...,xn]) explains as how far one must go to achieve a clarified resolution, and thus measuring the non-singularity of affine space. (c) gnosticism: a divine active-passive, male-female pair of ons, which comprise the divine totality of wholeness, the realm of Pleroma, characterizing the essence of God; most common in Valentinianism, in which the counterpart to Christ is Sophia, a deity in Catholic mysticism whose name is from ancient Greek, meaning wisdom. Sophia existed in the midst between the upper and lower realms, shaping the physical world after the heavens, and serving as the highest ruler of the visible universe. She is the mother of the living, and the origin of all pnuematic souls, keepers of secret knowledge. (d) psychology: an archetypal pairing of contrasexual opposites, symbolizing the communion of the conscious and the unconscious; a unity between two organisms in which individual identity is maintained, such as with Carl Jungs anima and animusJung viewed the anima process (the subconscious feminine voice of the male) as the source of creative ability in men, the outward expression of imaginative newness in union with others; paired with the animus process (subconscious masculine personalities of the female), which cultivates independent, non-socially subjugated self-identity, by embodying a deeper word and manifesting that word, becoming more internally aware and individualistically expressive of beliefs and feelings. Part of Jungs evidence for his theory of a collective unconscious. (e) poetry: the combination of two metrical feet into a single unit, such as in an elision, in which certain sounds are omitted from words to produce specific pronunciational, often euphonic, effect; used in Latin poetry as a stylistic device; in a consonantal or phonetic sense is similar to alliteration, though not necessarily at the beginning of each word. (f ) philosophy: signifies unity-friendship-community, as either noun or adjective, meaning a pair of either correlatives or opposites.

basic PLOT synopsis:


In content, the book is almost entirely allegorical for itself. It is written by myself, M. Palmer-Cervantes, appearing in the novel most directly as both Marcel (Mars) Palmer and Fernandos imaginary friend, (m). Note that (m) does not appear in the Cast of Characters. There are four storylines, following the PRINCIPAL CHARACTERS: Fernando Nicholas/Nikolas Isabel/Ysabel Mick // Fernando is struggling to complete his first novel. Originally intended to be an autobiography sewn from short stories based on his family, he instead becomes involved in trying to write the biography of his childhood imaginary friend, (m), a story which he attempts to develop parallel to his record of the spiritual revival and musical testimony of his close friend, Mick. His story then becomes a process of attempting to begin such an endeavor, fusing unreality into reality. He and (m) finally make contact at the event. Fernando does not begin writing until the novels closing chaptersafter discovering that (m) has been attempting to write Fernandos biography. The book being read by the Reader is the one they have mutually composed. // Nicholas is a visual artist, who returns to Southern California from the Pacific Northwest after the death of his and Nandos mentor, Arturo Bonilla. During the drive down they get into a car accident, an injury that soon results in Nicholas blindness. It is after this change, in chapters focusing on him, in which his name appears as Nikolas. His story chronicles his coping process, manifesting in a shift from paint to clay, and the development of his innervision. He then begins a major sculpture, unseen by anyone including him, which is to be unveiled at the event; the event itself is his idea, and revealed to be the real project of his attention, his secret artistic plot. While his magnum opus sculpture represents the physical book and the textual/ textural materiality of it, it is his event which represents the current situation bonding Writer and Reader. He is a sage-like character, and a significant influence for the other three. // Isabel is an actress struggling to find her breakthrough role. She is cast by a mysterious studio to be in an experimental film, in which she is to be followed by camera and director at all times; while the totality of the movie remains uncertain and out of her grasp, her story is her continuous attempt at figuring out exactly who the character is shes supposed to be playing (Ysabel), which is, of course, herself; it then becomes an attempt to separate

herself and the movie from the directors influence, to become something all her own. Her story reveals the fact that she is pregnant, or rather, that she suspects she is, which makes her situation all the more pertinent. As she takes gradual control over the films direction, near the end of the novel, she decides to adapt the movie from Fernandos book, and stage/write a play for all to take part in, based on the overall experience, then subverting the movie itself by giving it away for free. In this way, her simultaneously noun/verb mode of play becomes akin to Nicks event as a twofold stage for the novel. At the close of the novel, assuming shes right, Isabel would be near the end of the first trimester of her pregnancy. // Mick is a musician who has squandered away all past success through his gambling addiction; shortly after moving in with his friends, he suffers a complete mental breakdown. His story is his attempt to reclaim creativity while shedding a capitalist handicap, which manifests as a spiritual revival and return to nature. This is paralleled by his need to connect in some abstract way with Isabel, with whom he is in love. His performance at the center of Nicks event, which is the subject of Fernandos overarching work, then becomes the soundtrack to Isas film, and is his own testimony to a sort-of-astrological physical cosmology (in contrast to Fernandos pagan Catholicism). May or may not be the father of Isabels child. As a whole, the novel is the story of itself, a layering of experiences which collectively create the dimensions of an unseen center. Conceptually, it is the story of what is happening at that momentary alignment (syzygy) of not only the Writer and Reader, but the Characters as well; all are involved in a mirrored process of trying to make sense of their reality, to experience it, and then draw meaning from that experience. The plot is essentially that of four project-driven characters discovering the fictionality of their existence, coping with it, and figuring out how to go on, analogous to the processes of reading and writing, and actively engaging both. It is meant to explore the very essence of novel, and how such is a reflection of the essence of thought, and an abstract conversation that the individual (and society) is having with itself. The novel, then, is simply the residue of those interactions: between Reader and Writer, Reader and Character, Writer and Character, Character and Character. The story of creative process. In an effort to become something new.

on FORM:
It is at this juncture that content intersects with form. If the content is always hinting or alluding or implying a work which isnt there, just behind it or just out of the Readers reach, then the form is the representative structure of that workthe blueprint, opening the space to reveal its own mechanics, to give emphasis on the nature of process, much as the content tells the story of creation. Form is but an extension of the content, and vice-versa. visuality: What is most immediate in reception is certainly the visual aspect of the book. This is for a few purposes: first and foremost, it is done to embrace the physicality of the novel and materiality of text, to utilize that space of vision as a means of expression; more abstractly, it is done to emphasize the emerging shapes and forms of the active imagination, and is at times a direct result of the reading experience, such as the sculpted forms during Nicks exhibition (xv.) or the playform during Isas chapters; at other times, it is meant solely to interact with the language of the given content, to work alongside it rather than as a result of it, visualizing the rhythms, tones, and lyricism. But while also influenced by the instinctual motions of reading, so too does the visual aspect of the book attempt to alter and redirect those motions to its own effects, to add to the engagement of reading and the active choice of the Reader in how to go about navigating the topography of a changing terrain. It is meant, also, to give the illusion of the text struggling to emerge from the book itself, break out. Lines recurring throughout represent the margins, edges, and boundaries that the text attempts to trespass, all stemming from the same points. These lines are also our own movement, from point to point, into and out of different realities in our dealings with fiction and how fiction happens to us. sentence structure: The sentence is the most significant unit of our language, and is symbollic of our process toward resolved thought. It is the passage from subject to object, verb into noun, beginning with a capital and ending with all purpose of inflection; the structure of the sentence is the embodiment of our perception of the world, in how we read itthe declarative, the interrogative, the imperative, the exclamativethese are the conceptual pillars of our thinking. It is for this reason that the sentences in the novel carry so much weightthey are the building blocks of mental progression in creating definable features out of multi-faceted perception, and as such, the structure is meant to more acutely reflect varying modes of abstract thought imagination, memory, dream, impulseat times disjointed or scrambled, with a result that often seems as if something is missing: these sentences only weave into paragraphs and chapters which are fragments of the unknowable whole. Glimpses, moments. [though I would like to stress that the structure is not entirely so-called stream-of-consciousness, but rather, seeks to reflect consciousness in a kind of structural unconscioussuch as an emphasis on verb conjugation over

pronoun] With such a loose conception of reality, the sentence could not possibly conform to conventional constructionlike the visuality and the rest, it is a means of expression. The approach is intended to give weight to the idea of the novels own unique language and linguistic properties, much as the content strives to develop an autonomous consciousness with its own psychological depths, combining to reveal the very operations (poetics) of thought. spelling: Spelling is used throughout as a plaything tool, in order to stress the fallability of the words themselves, their fragile and breakable naturedo not trust these words, Fernando writes, but only these letters. As a means of expression, spelling takes on one of the most dominant roles, and sound is the primary reason, (such as yr for your, or the various words lacking an e) as in the case of accents or pronunciation. In instances such as lighght or nighght, the added silent syllable is intended to stress a softness at the center of the word, extending it, and unlike most other alternate spellings, is used only for specific purposes, and not throughout. Visual connections are also a reason, but this, too, works in conjunction with spellings changed for purposes of sound: the sound which is intended is that of an innerthought process, the sound in the mind of reading to oneself, and because of this, certain words are nearly unpronouncable (ylo for yellow), or are simply visually playful, such as playing with duality in ttwin or eyeyes; or passt, which plays off of the connection in meaning between past and passed (e.g., days in the past and days passed by). Repeating letters are also a running motif, part of the general syzygy conceptsee poetry. It should be noted that eyeyes and lighght, specifically, are my homage to minimalist poet Aram Saroyan, who was a major early influence, and the same goes for my use of yr, except in regard to the Black Mountain School. Spellings also carry significance in relation to certain elements of the plot, such as with Isabel, who loses the I of identity over the course of her film, replacing it with the questioning Y; or Nick, who loses the c when he can no longer see. The alternate spellings are meant to bring awareness to language as a constraint, of dealing with it and creating out of that restriction, both in a cultural sense (American English) and a personal (the Innerlanguage of Writer, Novel, and Reader alike). narrative: Narrative is a semblance of order, and this work, if nothing else, wishes to assert a disorder and offer itself up for semblance of multiplicitous interpretationin a broader sense, this is a reflection of postmodernity and poststructuralism as pillars of thought crumbling along with the rest of the 20th century world, as the 21st begins to emerge as pieces from the rubble. A notion of non-linear history is important here, as this is the basis of the books presentationevents unfold hopelessly out-of-order, hiding the true chronology of the external whole; internally, a new linear chronology is formed, if only to cope with the true fragmented and sporadic nature of reality. So rather than shatter narrative, as seems to be the lesson of

postmodern literary theory, the hope is to create a multidimensional narrative interacting with itself, which mirrors the multidimensional perceptions of the self and the world; the objective whole cannot be seen but through each subjective facet. There is the disordered narrative of the Writer, the ordered linear narrative of the Reader, and the four intersecting narratives of the principal characters. The novel itself is an abstract idea which they all surround, so that the book is able to carry on a conversation with itself. At any given point, the words you or I could refer to any one of those involved, and the content could be referring to either the concrete plot, or the abstract ones created by the participation of Writer and Reader narratives. It is intended to bring to light the infinite possibilities of the current moment in time, and engage (spark!) the imaginations of those participating. point-of-view: Perspective must, and always, be skewed, particularly in that of innerthoughtin its dealings with spacetime happening, existence proceeding; postmodernism taught us that past and future and even present do not existthe molecules have dissipated, becoming entirely different objects of the universe. There is only before, now, and after. And as such the novel tugs back and forth between past and present and future tense, unsure of its placement in its own context, grappling with it, struggling, too, between first and second and third person, and at that, flowing between various persons in an effort to highlight not only their distinctions of thought, but also the collective consciousness which runs through them. In this way the novels point-of-view and narrative structures, in their shifting perceptions, illuminate the true story of Writer and Reader coming together, parallel to the content, but establishing the Writer and Reader as whole characters participating in a very active experience, for in a way, every character represents both of them; the mutually constructive process of WREADING, by which the novel offers itself as the clay to be molded. So the underlying connection between form and content is their interactive process, which is the abstract novels plotline, by which the concrete novel is but the artifice relic, yet also vice-versa. In many ways, it is quite simple: the book is the story of myself toying with various characters to the effect of writing the very book being read. But it is the process which is always so emphasized, the toying with, a process of the accumulation of notes on various people in my life, my own dissection of my own psyche, and of the literary theory and music which have developed as prevailing influences on my expressions of creativity. It was then a calculated construction of these raw materials into refined elements, then into a structure representative of the philosophical, theoretical, psychological, socio-political, and cultural implications of the process as such. The approach to form was built on certain artistic principles, which manifest in a variety of ways, so that just as content affects form, so then does form directly and necessarily affect content:

OPEN, over closed. TECHNIQUE, over purpose. ACTIVE, over passive. LAYERS & DIMENSIONS, over chronology & semblance of order. And from this fusion of form and content, is the alignment of the four essential dimensions of the novel: WRITER, being the creator READER, being the recipient CHARACTER, being the abstract personality/consciousness TEXT, being the concrete form and materiality of the word

the letters e, i, m, and y. the words book, work, black, and white. alignment/union inbetween internal/external familiar/foreign contradiction as nature liminality (actual placement: chapter number) mathematics (non-singularity of affine space) astronomy/physics physical cosmology1. 35 21. 37 2. 17 22. 9 paganism 3. 2 catholicism 23. 4 4. 22 24. 13 gnostic christianity 5. 3 25. 23 autumn spring anima/animus 6. 33 26. 15 pleroma/kenoma 7. 29 27. 12 8. 8 28. 18 logos/eros 9. 30 29. 27 emergence 10. 19 30. 38 mu, of both music and muthos (mythos) 11. 7 31. 28 nature of experience/reality 12. 39 32. 36 phenomenology 13. 6 33. 32 14. 11 34. 24 active imagination 15. 26 35. 31 summer winter thoughtform 16. 5 36. 34 analytical/depth psychology 17. 10 37. 14 dreaming 18. 1 38. 16 poststructuralism/postmodernity 19. 21 39. 40 fig. 1 20. 25 40. 20 semiotics creative process/reception theory surfiction literature of monstrous possibility wreading thoughtpoetic projective verse & jazz aesthetic consumer-capitalism/anarcho-socialism (postcolonialism) chemical saturation southern californian & chicano perspective mixed-race ethnic/national identity

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chronology

fig. 2

nothingness

FIELD
0

[arrival]

-2
romanticism

-1
modernism

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1
surfiction hypertext thoughtpoetic

NOUVEAU ROMAN and the Literature of Monstrous Possibility


[open/projective verse poetics]

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2
NOVELLA QUALIA fictionism (...) the ZERO point

//emergence//

(postmodernism)

Brief Statements on the THEORY, both personal and artistic.


[and a vague explanation of fig. 2] It is my firm conviction that the world as we experience it is a FICTION. Our registered perception is nothing more than reading this fiction, thus writing our interpretranslation onto the canvas-sheet of our minds. Such is the act: WREADING. It is not only what occurs in our dealings with the book, but with the world as a wholethe significance of the novel is simply that it reminds us of this fact; reflects it the way our shattered-fragment understanding of the world reflects the unknowable external. Our collective (bandaged) reality can only be expressed as such fictions. In this way, literature (and Art in the greater sense) is a critical part of our species psychological and creative evolutionary growth. Every book represents a piece of that collective reality, and if each novel is A REALITY built of its own mechanics, then each novel is also an AUTONOMOUS CONSCIOUSNESS; therefore, every book is a piece of that common spirit among human beings, that shared brain which drives the development of every civilization, past present and future. Our thought and perception are what create the world. The NOVELLA QUALIA is a novel which explores FICTIONISM, a philosophy which at its core searches to express autonomy in the subjective quality of consciousness; a novel which revels in the fictionality of everything, creating NEWNESS by way of imagining into the open space which must precede all fiction. Novels of this type are bot burdened by questions of what to write, only how and why. The what is built from those, and from that kinetic spark can relish in endless potential. The where is everywhere. The when is now. The mind and the novel are intimately connected, so that what one is doing is reflective of what the other is doing as well; if the novel is fiction, then there is nothing else but. The (unseen) objective reality can only be built from individual subjective reflections. Each novel must be, in and of itself, an assertion on what the book is. What is BOOK. What is NOVEL. Because underneath the surface these questions ask who we are as a people and what this environment is, what are we supposed to do with our momentary awareness of existence, the flash between deaths. Each novel must then also assert what is the WORLD, what is the SELF, and what it is TO BE. And to approach such fundamental yet huge and abstract issues, one must ask questions of themselves: I think of writing as a basic animal function, like breathing or eating, an instinct built on needbut why does this need exist? (why do I write?) What is this need, and what does its existence imply about me

and everyone I know and everyone in the world, to ever exist since the written word first evolved from our Oral Tradition? Language is our base instinct, how we think as individuals and connect as a common species, so one must find their instinctual INNERLANGUAGE, which manifests as the Thoughtpoetic. I write because that process, more than any other, makes me feel most human. In our attempts to form external languages, (a practical necessity) our impulse becomes one of definition. What I propose, is that we dissolve definition altogether, and instead celebrate the multiplicity of meaning a single group of phonetic sounds can create, and the tremendous impact they can have on human life. Unlike other mediums for language, the novel has the advantage of being an art form, rather than merely a mode of communication. Within the novel one can do whatever they want with language, create rules all their own, construct entire universes, explore and discover amidst the pitch-dark wilderness that language really isfar from the tamed and fenced-in tongues we must use on a daily basis. The novel is how we create, and what makes it so beautiful is that you can share it; though it is for us alone. We must celebrate in as many ways as we can, for then is when possibility becomes endlessand while a record and testament of the Individual, our literature, (the Word) is also a constant reminder of what has happened in our jarbled history, of what is happening now, and the INFINITE POSSIBILITY of what might happen next.

The numbers on fig. 2 have symbollic value, representing the ways in which broad literary arcs have occured, both moving into and emerging from the ZERO POINT, in which we saw the birth of the Nouveau Roman (New Novel), though an explanation is necessary to the infinite scope which exists between each number. Aside from the blend of ideas, there is a constant growth which all arcs undergo constantly, a continued advancement despite the declared end of their literary reign. Although, I believe there is special significance in the transitions from -1 to 0, and then from 0 to 1; Modernity (-1) and Postmodernity (0), are mutually dependent as mutually established, though in constant struggle: for the so-called Postmodern to evolve into radical form and seek absolute freedom, of even time and reality and consciousness, while the so-called Modern resists by assimilating these ideals into constructed order, to generate a solid framework within the madness1. Modernity will always attempt to make sense of and give semblance to the very chaos which Postmodernity so values and embraces, thus growing both of them, moving them along though they have no direction. Same, too, for the ways in which one can explore endlessly Postmodern
1: Romanticism, it can then be argued, is taking this further into a disbelief of chaos, in favor of notions of progress or advancement, in the definite resolution of a linear history with solutions to universal questions.

nothingness, creating within it infinitely, without ever reaching the admittedly indefinite, unreal, and unattainable finalities of Fictionismthough producing nonetheless. Curtis White explained this space and mode of writing as the Literature of Monstrous Possibility, creating books which are the unrecognizable (uncategorizable: attacking the previous definition of Postmodern) monster. I have sought to write, in my own way, such a monstrous work. It is important to note, however, that while our understanding of monster is that which we do not recognize, the challenges that build from this fact are based upon the consciousness of said monsterthe form (explained earlier in this document) is thus constructed out of a THOUGHTPOETIC, a poetics aiming to better reflect the motions, processes, and sparks of human imagination. There came a point in our history when we were faced with nothingness, no memories, no historyand this startling discovery has haunted us ever since, and so we have played a tug-of-war for absolute control over the fictions which lay the framework for life on this increasingly connected planet. It is the sense of arrival: we have come upon something, a blank canvas. Despite the fear and insecurity, it is also empowering, enlivening, and exciting. But this arrival will mean nothing unless we can grow from itnot simply grow our civilizations and our wars and our riches, but grow our species and our collective spirit. The next step after arrival is EMERGENCE, the point at which we must show how we can producenot write about nothingness, but start from nothing, and write something unique and different and alive. This is how we move away from the dangerous black hole of postmodern thought, a realm which served its historical purpose, but can so easily become a trap for literary evolution, much as capitalism as we know it served a purpose, albeit through relentless imperialism, though is now completely destructive in its obsoleteness; by seeking to destroy categories of literature, Postmodernism instead became one itselfby contrast, my proposal is to obliterate categories/borders/power-structures by infusing the world with new definitions every day, too many categories, exploding the whole sense of structure by jamming it full of the very gears which keep it goingbecause none of it is real, and we can do whatever we want. Oversaturate society with beliefs and ways-of-life and ideas, and soon it will be impossible to stop the growth outside of categorical norms or binary paradigms. We can escape black/white, right/wrong, politicalparty1/politicalparty2, economicform1/ economicform2. We will then discover solutions we never thought possible, to social problems that have plagued the globe for centuries, solutions perhaps hiding in plain sight; this has always been the lesson creative process teaches us, in even the smallest artistic endeavors, and the magical chemical reaction that occurs within language between two people. We can only accomplish this by setting our minds and our imaginations free. Syzygy is about the struggle to do just that.