Joe Haldeman wrote…

…quite a lot of ground-breaking science fiction.   Being of a rather childish sort, I tend to like his more quirky, flashy, more “Haldemanesque” novels.   Mindbridge, and Buying Time come to mind.  His other work, though exemplary, I can take or leave.  Any old writer can crank out plain-jane, dull, boring-looking blocks of prose that look like nothing more than…  well…  boring-looking blocks of prose–indistinguishable, unless read, from any other such blocks.  To write something that looks “really cool,” so to speak… something that, dare I say “knocks your socks off” with its originality, even from a distance, before you read it; yet is not some kind of random junk of the type produced by other “avant-garde” writers attempting simply to confuse–to make the well seem deep, by obscuring its shallow bottom, so to speak… no, to write something such as I describe takes… well, actually… Joe Haldeman.

Anything else about the man, including his less imaginative–and eminently less entertaining–prose, and his strangely (for one so unique) collectivist, and anti-individualist views, holds little interest for me.

I would, of course, prefer that one of the most amazing and interesting such writers, might be a little less crazy; however, I suppose one might say it goes with the territory.  Although not always.  Refreshingly not, I am happy to so state.

Still, if Mr. Haldeman had a blog on wordpress, I’d give him a “follow,” and any number of random “likes” and an occasional comment; because, that’s what we do here.  And in all good faith.   But that…  is about all.   And though at this point he clearly doesn’t need it, he’ll not get another dime from me.

UNLESS…   he writes another of the “awesome, wicked-cool” non-boring works of which he is most capable.   Then I might not be able to help myself.  God forgive me.

Romanticism Is Overrated

What perhaps no-one in a class will tell you–not a teacher, perhaps not another student (unless such a student is very clever indeed)–is that the two are beautifully compatible. Such a thing these days, is occasionally being referred to as “Romantic Realism.” This is, if you turn the clock back a hundred or a hundred and fifty years ago, the actual meaning of the term “romanticism.” However since this word has been co-opted, the term “Romantic Realism” is beginning to replace it. It can also be problematic simply Googling the term “Romantic Realism,” because I am perhaps the only artist, or one of the few, who would so tag any of my work–at least openly. And because it being a true outcast–a true alternative–such work is cautiously or timidly presented as such. There is even quite a lot of venom against it. This venom is quite institutionalised, which is why you are presented with Realism and Romanticism as a dichotomy at school where in fact no such dichotomy exists. This is what one may term a “false dichotomy;” for, where two instances are compatible to so great a degree, no dichotomy exists, except one that is quite deliberately false.

No subjects are taboo to romanticism (romantic realism) but the tenor of such writing is thus, even regarding evil subjects: “Look at this! Isn’t it amazing!! Isn’t it grand how very strange and evil it is!!!) And when writing about that which is good, we show the best it can be–even in a novel wherein such characters fail to closely approach such an ideal. We show, perhaps, or give the impression: “Look at this!! This is how good it can be!!! This is the ideal to pursue.!!!!” Such writing, or art, makes us see, not fantasy, as might be intimated in a modern classroom, but possibility.

Everything I write is along that vein, for example. All that I currently post on-line, however, are sonnets, which might not be so “accessible,” and are not to just anyone’s taste. However if you should take a few moments and google, for example the sculpture of Danielle Anjou. And take a few more moments to find out a bit more about her life–and three fascinating career changes–I think it will be immediately obvious what I mean (and none of the above long-windedness will have been necessary)

In retrospect, I have a link handy here: if you click on the image you find there, it will take you to her site.

And, I should like to apologise, if none of this makes any sense to you, Since I am reblogging this, it is only partly directed toward your entry, even as it is partly directed at those who might be confounded by such a false dichotomy as above I have described, and who might have some kind of sense–as though perhaps, a wordless impression–that “something,” in the way in which this subject is generally viewed or presented “is amiss.” It is to such people who I should like to provide some clarity.

The Adventures of Boredom Boy

Yeah, I said it. Someone in my class said that people tend to like Romantic writers better because we want an escape. I don’t agree. I think Realism writers can provide just as strong an escape. Romanticism is a part of every day life. People romanticize everything: their car, a presidential candidate, their newest love interest, etc. It is not that Realism is realistic, it just tries to be. And it is not that Romanticism is romantic, it just tries to be.
I think I am arguing the definitions of these works and genres. I see more Romanticism than Realism in my reality, my daily life. So, for me, Realism offers more of an escape.

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Sonnet: Gone

Through countless centuries you’ve gone with me.
You’ve followed me from world to world it seems;
To other galaxies and into dreams
Of lands that never were or will not be.

Whenever from I call, you’ve heard my voice,
So ready to be taken to the place,
From which I, longing, called to you. Your face,
Alight with angels’ fire, so too, with joys

Of more, and greater, joy which was to come;
Of promised beauty that you knew you’d see;
Of past events whose fabric only we
Would touch; of futures, countless, and wherefrom
My dreams, if held alone, could not come true—
So meaningless, if not because of you.

Intro: Everything I Do

The second time she
asked me to write a sonnet,
this is what I wrote.

Everything I write
is for my wife. Has always
been. Shall ever be.

Everything I do,
my very life. As much hers
As it is for me.

Hers is every word
as I write, or as I read–
graphite, ink, or throat.

I think I may have gotten carried away there. So I might as well present in proper format all of the above.

Written in July of 2012. Does it count, or not?