Friday, October 2, 2009

apparently I am a classic

I had an interesting conversation with a fellow writer. I won't give her name here in case she wishes to remain hidden. However, she and her family member were discussing the opening scene of Claimed by Darkness. He is a journalist by profession and his assessment was that my writing is "very retro".

Retro, to me is sixties, seventies. I wasn't alive then. How does someone who didn't experience those decades, write retrospectively? It required a definition, which I found as: Retro is a term used to describe, denote or classify the overall postmodern past, but become functionally the norm once again. The use of "retro" style iconography and imagery interjected into post-modern art, advertising, mass media, etc. has occurred from around the time of the industrial revolution to present day.

I rather enjoy the two definitions I found in the urbandictionary, though. 1. something that is old fashioned but currently cool! 2. A person (man or woman) who does not trim or shave their public (me thinks, they meant "pubic" which is entirely different as I don't show my pubic area publicly) area. The term "retro" tends to elicit mental imagery of hirsute 70s porn stars.

Since he hasn't met me, he could hardly know the latter. Baby, I'm Brazilian where it counts, but that's neither here nor there. I asked my contemporary what he meant by retro and he came back with Lord Dunsany. He thinks I channel Lord Dunsany, a famous play write. Back to wiki I went, as I'd never heard of him.

A quote from A Dreamer's Tales, Lord Dunsany:
I imagine that as one penetrated out from some enormous forest of the tropics, the wild beasts would become fewer, the gloom would lighten, and the horror of the place would slowly lift. Yet as one emerges nearer to the edge of London, and nearer to the beautiful influence of the hills, the houses become uglier, the streets viler, the gloom deepens, the errors of civilisation stand bare to the scorn of the fields.

Where ugliness reaches the height of its luxuriance, in the dense misery of the place, where one imagines the builder saying, "Here I culminate. Let us give thanks to Satan," there is a bridge of yellow brick, and through it, as through some gate of filigree silver opening on fairyland, one passes into the country.

A quote from Claimed by Darkness, Mia Watts:
The heady, pulse-pounding beat drummed against Damien’s chest and throbbed through his veins. It was the same in every age. Each generation defined themselves with music, claiming the beats and soul-driving rhythms as their own creations. Damien smiled as he studied the swaying bodies before him. Some ground against each other, others rocked in a semblance of dance. They were controlled by their urges, oblivious to their own frailty until one of Damien’s kind took mortality from them.

Humans were such fragile creatures—arrogant, consumed by their own self-importance when the age before and the age following would not care about the fleeting moments of one person’s life on the earth when the next generation came to take its place. And the cycle would repeat. Throbbing music, soul-binding songs, swaying in a primal dance of barely concealed sexuality as one flitted from moment to moment, struggling to make his importance stick before that generation too was forgotten like mist under the blaze of morning sunlight.

Hm. Well played, young journalist, well played. Flattery and comparison with a classic does indeed make for a happy author. I claim my retro status and toss in the post-modern urbanity of waxed perfection.


Anny Cook said...

I can think of worse things! Cool!

Regina Carlysle said...

Neat, cool, groovy and all that retro stuff! Congrats. What a nice compliment.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

very cool. COngrats, Mia!

Amber Skyze said...

How cool. Nice compliment.

Anonymous said...

I shall remain, as always alas and anon, anonymous - but yeah, he nailed you, Mia!

Mia Watts said...

Ha! Thank you, thank you. I'm terribly impressed that Lord Dunsany rested at the tip of his tongue. I'm quite humbled.

Rassles said...

As far as Dunsany is concerned, "Gods of Pegana" is one of my favorite books. It opens "In the mists before the Beginning, Fate and Chance cast lots to decide whose the Game should be."

And it spoke to me. Big. Time. In case you've never noticed that I'm obsessed with the dichotomy between the two, I thought I'd tell you.

PS: He was write to compare you Dunsany, because that is an excellent comparison. That quote from you book is brilliant.

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