Towards a new novel

Started writing again this week, working on my third novel, currently labouring under the title Dis. I am to date unpublished as a novelist.

I’m experimenting with a new prose style, which combines a loose alliterative consonant “bass”, which is something I picked up from listening to an audio recording of William Gaddis, with Céline-esque ellipses. An example:

“I’d peered down at the sparse, flavescent pulverance dispersed across the glass table, the same powder he’d just inspired through a rolled-up ten pound note… the scatter seemed to signify something, like a sand strewn by a shaman..”

The second sentence (if’t could so be denoted) is a bit obvious (and the observant amongst you might note it’s continuing a bit of an obsession of mine), but the first is a better example of what I’m on about. Here the dominant sound is the ‘p’, in ‘peered’, ‘sparse’, ‘pulverence’, ‘dispersed’, ‘powder’, ‘inspired’, ‘up’ and ‘pound’. But there’s also interplay between the ‘v’s in the two most ostentatious words, ‘pulverence’ and ‘flavescent’, which stand, antagonistically, beside each other.

Here’s Gaddis, doing it better, as noted in the aptly titled William Gaddis and His Goddamn Books:

“which things, indeed, he did. He diagnosed Camilla’s difficulty as indigestion, and locked himself in his cabin.”

I need not draw attention to the ‘d’s here, but the subtle repetition of the vowel ‘i’, and of ‘c’, are also worthy of acclaim. There’s almost a metre to this magnificence, especially from ‘things’ through to ‘indigestion’.

In other news, I’m in a bad mood today.

Lara Viana
Untitled, 2011
oil on wood, 48 x 41 cm

Published by

Laurence Thompson

Laurence Thompson is an English writer. He is almost certainly drunk.

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