Saturday, 20 October 2012


I gave up on Ulysses. I caught the drift, and didn't feel like putting up with another 600 pages of it. Life is too short!

So instead I picked up 'The Drowned World' by JG Ballard. Another possibly pretentious escapade, but at least science fiction is fun! (And I like Ballard, all his books seem so interesting...)

I've only read maybe, 50 pages, but already I love it. This is from the blurb:

"Fluctuations in solar radiation have caused the ice-caps to melt and the seas to rise. Nature is on the rampage. London has been transformed into a primeval swamp, and within its submerged landscape giant lizards, dragonflies and insects compete for dominance. Human fertility is in decline and buildings sink beneath waters infested with decaying matter. Into this wasteland a group of intrepid scientists venture to record the flora and fauna of this new Triassic Age. Soon, ghostly voices haunt their waking and nightmares permeate their sleep..."

Fantastic, huh?

It's a proper dystopia, and despite the cause of this 'global warming' being rather far-fetched, it's a scarily accurate pre-emptive and haunting vision of what's happening to our planet, and what it could become... There are lots of giant bugs, and that in itself is pretty bloody horrifying. He wrote it in the early 60's - spooky.

Anyway, I want to share this paragraph - of course my life and the protagonist's couldn't be more different (duh), but this little snapshot of thought seemed to resonate. Transplant stuff (did you expect anything else!?).

I seem to be caught in this odd form of withdrawal - it isn't unpleasant, far from it. It is strangely calming. I've described it as a bubble before, and it is. It just seems to be becoming larger and noticeably quieter. I don't want to make this looming 'metamorphosis' bigger than it actually is, but it's quite an interesting way of putting it. Things will have to adjust, things will have to change, and I suppose in a sense i'm preparing for this 'radically new environment' by distancing myself from my previously normal(ish) life, whether I was aware of this or not. I think i'm going to be spending a lot of time in this new 'internal landcape', re-adjusting to a life where things i've known before will suddenly become obsolete. Like the whole process of calculating insulin and creon - things that pretty much determine how I live my life, what I eat, what I can do, where I can go - suddenly i'll live my life (in parts) ungoverned by these rules i've seamlessly built in. It'll be so liberating, but I can imagine it'll be weird! Maybe by withdrawing i'm also just getting used to a sort of loneliness or isolation or boredom that soon i'll have no control over, as I lay stewing in crumpled clammy bed sheets hooked up to drips and lines and beeping machines. With messy hair. 

Today is 6 months on the waiting list. So much for 3 months eh! Pah! I don't know if it's gone fast or slow... I couldn't say. It's all a little mushy and formless. Sometimes time flies past so incredibly quick that I blink and suddenly realise the leaves have transformed from a luscious summery green to that luxuriously melancholy autumnal red. Other times, days couldn't drag by any slower, and every hour seems to stretch into an everlasting and bitter reminder of time's slow, cruel passing. Then all these moments blend together, swirl and dissolve into a jumbled and incoherent timeline of... nothing much. It's. so.     bloody.          odd.   

I think Ulysses and it's modernist ways have caused some form of brain damage. Damn you Joyce and your time altering powers! Hate to think what 600 more pages would've done...                    


  1. That sounds like such a good book, that passage was amazing. I like his writing style. I may have to add it to my to-read list!

    Time never seems to pass at the right rate does it? When it should go fast it doesn't and when you want it to slow down it never does. Not nice.

  2. I can't read books like that because I always have actual nightmares...such a baby! Time is weird maaaan, why does it seem to go faster or slower when it's actually always moving at the same speed? Too confusing.

    I realised I didn't answer your question, sorry! I'm gonna stick with Lewisham, I just have too much love for my team I've known most of them since my tweens haha! Hope you're doing well Laura xxx