October 18th, 2022

When I'm afraid I lose my mind. It's fine, it happens all the time.
Isolation caved in. I adore you, the sound of your skin.

I've been in my new residence for almost a month now, in actuality it's somewhere I've lived before, and I still don't have anything unpacked. A family member that I moved in with decided it was best for us to drop off the majority of my old furniture at the Salvation Army, they intended to help me get new furniture but since I work the night shift exclusively we haven't had time to do that and I've slowly accepted that I'm going to end up buying my own bookshelves, a new desk, and a new chair on the internet myself. Currently, I am also without an internet connection at home since I moved my desktop upstairs and I'm missing the emergency USB wifi dongle for it. I had to order another one on my phone and while I intend to get a better wired connection eventually, it'll work for now as I start to accumulate more furniture and little things to make my new life here easier. The kitchen sink is also fucked up so I've been quite demotivated to do any of my own cooking. I am once again living somewhere with a septic tank instead of being connected to a sewer system so that's been uh, let's say fun to navigate. If you couldn't tell, at the moment I kinda hate where I live but it's still better than the alternative of living with the people I used to live with. I came down with a painful case of strep throat so I'm trying to move my mouth as little as possible, the perfect condition for another blog post.

Due to being without bookshelves and the majority of my books still sitting around in boxes, the only books I currently have laying around are my beaten up copy of the Phenomenology of Spirit, my fresh copy of the Science of Logic, and all the dirt cheap Star Wars books that I've been buying. When I first moved into this house as a child the only thing I had that was mine was my Xbox, which I only had Star Wars games for. The first book that I decided to read, that I have not put on my website, is Drew Karpyshyn's Revan novel because I fucking hated it. It turns out, Alan Moore was correct when he said it's more liberating and more inspiring to read a book that makes you say to yourself, Jesus Christ, I could write this shit. It was so bad in a specific way that it sort of incited me to think differently about writing in general, and it was in realizing that the only thing that seperated his novel from the most banal shitfic you could find dumpstered somewhere on the internet, was his being afforded the luxuries of professional editing and typesetting. That's it. There was nothing noticeably wrong with his prose, the editors saw to that, his dialogue was servicable, but it felt so devoid of any genuine thematic content, the characters felt so heartless, and the writing itself felt so mean-spirited towards anything in Knights of the Old Republic that he wasn't personally responsible for that I found it repugnant to trudge through. But, I wouldn't call the experience wholly negative, it left me more confident to write my own stories the way that I'd like to, even if they're a little rough around the edges due to a lack of editing. I still find it slightly embarrassing to admit that my first few creative writing projects are going to be fanfiction of things I happen to like, but I don't think it'll be the worst writing practice in the world, especially since I plan to write works with original characters instead of established ones. To me, the only thing I'm really pilfering are the settings and all of the previously established worldbuilding, but even those can be malleable.

To somehow relate all of this to my interest in Hegel, there was one little episode that I read in one of his biographies that's always stuck with me since I first read it. It's a story that begins in 1787 when Hegel noted in one of his youthful diaries that he couldn't tear himself away from a novel called Sophies Reise, which I would describe as the late 18th century equivalent of a schlocky YA novel, and upon learning this insignificant factoid Schopenhauer decided to be an asshole about it, writing to a friend, My favorite book is Homer; Hegel's is Sophies Reise. I admit that I have my own similarly schlocky interests, things that I like from my childhood or my teenage years that are really of no account, and I try to hold onto them alongside my newfound love for German Idealism and Jorge Luis Borges or anything else that seems lofty and highbrow. It's slowly getting easier to reconcile all of these various things that have influenced me in some way, to let the dense prose of speculative philosophy sit in my mind alongside the hum of a lightsaber or the square waves of a Game Boy. So, I will read my Star Wars novels and write my fanfiction and let the various Schopenhauers of the world continue to seethe.

Continuing my rambling on writing, I also hope to read more screenplays in my downtime. To anyone who's super passionate about storytelling in general, regardless of the form it comes in, I highly recommend hunting down and reading some of the screenplays for your favorite movies. Screenplays by nature are a very tight and compact medium for storytelling, they teach you to be as efficient as possible with every element you're working with. Not to mention it's also a whole lot of fun to go through earlier drafts and see what was eventually left on the cutting room floor. I think one of my favorite little discoveries like that was going through a draft of the screenplay for Moonlight and reading a cut scene that had Juan listening to chopped and screwed music with Chiron in his car. I'd really like to finish reading the rest of Quentin Tarantino's screenplays because regardless of some of the problematic aspects of his work, overall I think he's an excellent writer with a particularly good ear for dialogue. As far as others I'd like to get to, I've already amassed a collection of the first four drafts of the first Star Wars movie on top of the original rough draft, and I'd like to check out Kubrick's screenplay for his unrealized Napoleon movie. Soon I also hope to find examples of screenplays that ended up being better than the final product, quite possibly the screenplay for Alien 3 that was originally written by my favorite sci-fi author, William Gibson of Neuromancer fame. Unfortunately I haven't finished reading the screenplay for Blade Runner yet, which tracks with the fact that I haven't finished reading Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep either. To continue the thread from a previous paragraph, I can imagine it would also be quite inspiring to read the screenplay for The Room. Read screenplays, trust me it's fun as hell. Maybe I'll get to write a few of my own.

I'm still plowing through the Science of Logic before I return to the Phenomenology, I just finished the prefaces and I'm reading the Introduction after having already read the chapter on Being twice. I plan to read the chapters on Existence and Being-for-itself as I wait on my copy of the Baillie translation of the Phenomenology to come in the mail. I also went ahead and ordered the third volume of the Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences, as well as a better translation of his Lectures on the Philosophy of World History. My new translation of the Elements of the Philosophy of Right came in the other day, but I don't know when I'll get around to that. The Phenomenology, Science of Logic, Philosophy of Right, and Lectures on World History are going to be my sort of Hegelian Tetragon, once I've read the entirety of these twice or three times I think I'll have decent enough footing to read through anything else of his that I find interesting and then finally begin my reading of Capital. I still intend to backtrack to the Critique of Pure Reason at some point in my life. That's about everything I've been up to for the past month, life's been a little boring without my bookshelves.