Eye of the Story

The Evergreen State College

Author: JamieNadel

Fiction Media Student
Eye Of The Story - Winter 2016

Dream I had on the night of leap day

I was an american officer on a deserted nazi warship in occupied Mississippi
I was sharing a room with my friend Nic

we had all of our belongings

 he told me that he had gotten a prestigious fellowship for anthropology and research

he was going to be leaving the ship and I was very proud of him

I went to go check on my rifle and do some maintenance on it and I bent The barrel like a magician would bend a metal spoon

 in the process I also cracked my wrist like a piece of brittle rubber

went downstairs and convinced the commanding officer to let me off the ship and to go home

just then a scout came back and told us that there were nazi soldiers approaching us on all the borders of our camp

I convinced the guy operating the boat to also take my grandmother with us who for some reason had just appeared 

Before I left the ship I gave a young black girl a souvenir pocket knife from the Grand Canyon with a wolf carved on the handle

we took a boat across the water and got on an ATV

we got to the main base and then I started worrying about all the things that I left on the boat and was deciding if I should go back to collect them

Best regards,
Jamie Nadel

Close Viewing: “Perchance”

In Caryn Cline’s film “Perchance” found 16mm footage from two different educational films are re contextualized through montage. The faded images are edited and combined using an optical printer. Whatever original intention was behind the footage is remixed into a story that follows a young boy who explores the world and him self in a dream.

            The style and language of Cline’s film is very poetical, drawing from different elements of the natural world and conscious memory of the human mind. This dichotomy can be seen when juxtaposing the footage of the wild ocean and the young boy. What bridges these two pieces of the film is the metaphorical editing language. This can be seen in the editing of the audio where the sounds of the ocean bleed over into the footage of the boy. This language requires the viewer to read closely into whether what is seen is a memory or dream.

            The symbols in the film invite the viewer in this dream world. We see seagulls, seashells in hand, and the ending shot of the tide with a rotating dutch tilt. These different things all have different meaning in this realm. The style of using footage with two different colors creates a further separation between a waking and dreaming life. Moving back and forth between red and blue helps to differentiate between different modes of memory.

The abstracted relationship between the visual and narrative structure of the film is all part of the decision to use found footage. This abstracted relationship reveals something about how we see memory and the process of taking external footage and internalizing and then putting it out into the world with new meaning.

Play Sean Paul DJ please dj play sean paul

1/4 tank of gas in my new E class

Drank two glasses of cheap red, 

i have a blue house with a blue window

Skipping through Hemingway before wednesday night church.

blue is the color

Ordered shot of well whiskey and a budlight.

still not a player

All of the punk and lovers are here.

i walk along the avenue and

Somebody bought me a hot toddy.

never though I’d meet a girl like you

Feel bad for the bartender.

like a vision she dances across the porch as the radio plays

 

 

 

 

 

Grace Paley “Wants” Close Reading

In Grace Paley’s ultra short story “Wants” (pg. 129) the reader becomes acquainted with the narrator through a chance encounter with her ex-husband outside a library. The female voice shares her past relationship and her thoughts on time, marriage, and herself. The story is so short that the experience of reading it is akin to a flashback to a forgotten memory or a dream about a stranger’s conversation overheard in passing. The dialogue and the narrator’s inner voice quickly inform us of their twenty-seven year marriage they shared and we never leave the library. This husband, while an interesting enough man and adequate enough provider, has left her back where she began; wanting, wanting to be a better person, citizen, and mother.

            The way Paley guides the reader through time in the story takes two different journeys. One path is the action and external conversation with the ex-husband in and out of the library that leaves the narrator in the same physical space on the steps. The other is the inner voice of the narrator that throughout the physical movement in the story goes between past and present, recollection and regret, wants for the past and future self. The external exchange with her sharp-tongued husband is brief, allowing the reader enough exposure to see he is neither a forgetful nor a forgiving person. Towards the beginning on page 129 she greets him by addressing him as her “life” to which he replies, “What? What life? No life of mine.” This remark instantly denies her feelings and he goes on to blame her for their divorce citing her never inviting “the Bertrams to dinner.” Whether or not he is an ill conversationalist, maybe not the best at small talk, or just generally spiteful, the contrast between what is said and what she thinks is certainly striking and makes the transitions from external to internal voice interesting.  The exchange with her husband is so different from the interaction with the librarian. Paley writes, “I gave the librarian a check for $32. Immediately she trusted me, put my past behind her, wiped the record clean…” (pg.130) This stranger, woman, and librarian is instantly able to accept this 18 year late fee and however impersonal this exchange it affects the narrator enough so that she tells the reader about it. The narrator says she doesn’t understand how time passes and how things add up. How when you do nothing about your late library books, husband and family problems can sneak up and not everything can be forgiven but it’s never too late to make change.

            After her former husband leaves her on the steps of the library the narrator gets to thinking about the things she wants and unfulfilled promises. She wanted to only have one husband, to make changes in the school system, and to end the Vietnam War for her children through political action. It’s not too late for her to change herself and become the person she wants to be, the one who makes action for change. This is representative of Paley’s political life and the issues she fought for. The catalyst for the narrator in “Wants” is looking out the window and seeing a row of sycamore trees that have just come into maturity. Seeing this as a message of hope she decides to return the two library books she rechecked out to prove to herself she can make the changes she wants. She says, “I can take appropriate action, although I am better known for my hospitable remarks.” (pg. 131) To be better known for hospitable remarks is to say that she is more known as a person who doesn’t always take action but can. Everyone can choose to be political but things get in the way, and maybe in the form of inviting the neighbors over for dinner.

 

 

February 3rd

 

4pm meet up with Todd and Matt in the bar at The Reef.

One drink. White Russian. First I’d ever had.

Tried to order a Hawaiian Russian and the bartender gave me a blank stare.

Todd had too many drinks so I took him home.

 

I sat on his couch and he started putting on his records and opened a bottle of white wine. We drank from the bottle.

I ashed into the empty wine bottle and he punched me in the shoulder. You dick there’s still some in there. I say no, he says yes.

We both pass out.

Wake up at 9:30pm on the couch next to Todd who was fast asleep.

Cat, Zoe, and Sam had all texted me to come to O’Malley’s.

 

I could hardly see anything through my windshield on the drive over.

I ordered a shot of well whiskey. I tapped this guy’s shoulder sitting next to me at the bar that I thought I knew. He said I don’t know you we’ve never met. I turned back towards the bartender and order a burger and a hot toddy.

 

Walked outside where I saw Sam and some friends. She asked me to sit down but I tell her that I take my shots standing.

Went back inside and somebody put the burger down on the table where I sat with friends.

The bartender came over with the hot toddy. My friend tried introducing us and I told her I had forgotten her name. She said I’m glad I found you and I said I’ve been right here the whole time. For some reason everyone laughed.

 

After I ate the burger and had a few more drinks I botched a karaoke performance.

I listened to a friend tell her guy that they can’t sleep together anymore and that she never liked him. Very awkward.

Origin: History (personal or otherwise)

I’m thinking about ways to pull narrative and commentary from memories like how I see it done by Didion in The White Album.

How can I write an original story and script if not for others memories and experiences?

The self-aware narrative and the self-generating story. If as artists we work with life through narrative then truth in fiction film can’t be singularly based but rather must be diluted and transformed memories. I’m drawing from my youth, memories, others experiences, and the way I remember things (especially as time goes on our stories in our head change.) Is nothing original? Where do ideas originate?

Originality isn’t uniqueness or new in box, its an act of displacing origin, that is to say moving ideas from origin to new spaces that act as origin. The travelling of ideas is history (personal or otherwise).

What I’m writing for my project is benefiting from plot potholes. A pothole is an opportunity to fill it in. Didion’s “White Album” reads like a blend of her experiences with others and how she remembers it. She’s in a psych ward in LA thinking about how she was thinking about her outside world experience. Her plot blacks out like dreaming and going in and out of consciousness. A shattered narrative mythopoesized by the personal and external act of remembering and regurgitating.

Post Y2K.1 Narrative

In 1993 the first tower was bombed unsuccessfully in NY. The stage direction of the actors at play led the media to believe in an impenetrable morality and staved off that old cold war feeling of imminent domestic destruction.

For being so aware of the ways in which we were all put in our places at the institution of public school, who would ever imagine that after 9-11 we could all ever live out our imaginations as adults. We saw both the planes and the resulting falls. In our eight-year-old minds we envisioned King Kong and Independence Day fireworks. Remember the eleventh.

In a way we were entertaining ourselves with alternative possibilities as our grade school teachers were sobbing and taking phone calls. The president came on the news that day and stated the obvious, Britney Spears sang about American Pride, and there was footage of the falling man. Firefighters the saviors of that day rested peacefully under ashes and showering through the sun were half burnt financial documents and ashen Wall Street Journals.

Later we forgot why our cell phones are tapped right out of the factory.

It came to be that Fox’s stronghold on our minds became fastened to our chests like the booming heart beat of a “suicide bomber”. Propane tanks were rigged in Times Square and costumed Mickey Mouse never had a chance to save the kids; only thing that helped was the air dropped packages of Teddy Bears that parachuted from Oklahoma City.

In ’02 at the Peach March were barricaded freethinkers and schoolteachers blocking traffic with their bodies parallel to double yellow lines and steaming potholes.

Jamie Nadel – Week #1 Journal – Deep Memory

 

            Should never be late for your train because it may be the last one. That’s how you meet a white supremacist in Santa Ana and politely make conversation and bide your time until the morning train arrives. He shared his cigarettes with me as we talked about the Old Testament, his infant daughter, and the oil fields of North Dakota. (Theres good money to be made drilling oil in the middle of nowhere. A man could make eighty thousand dollars in three months and live like a king for nine.)

           On my train ride to Santa Ana from San Diego to see a film premiere I saw a Verizon being robbed and many people shooting up outside the theater. By the films end I only had thirty minutes to catch the last southbound train but I didn’t know that until thirty minutes past the departure time; I was too busy dancing along the tracks.

            I told him I was Jewish and asked what he thought about that. He said he didn’t care as long as I wasn’t causing trouble. I asked him what if I was black; he said the same thing. I now suppose a white supremeacist need not care about anything if he’s rich.

 

 

 

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The Evergreen State College
Olympia, Washington

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