Speculative Non-Buddhism

ruins of the buddhist real

An Attempt at Something Novelistic

Posted by Glenn Wallis on February 6, 2016

In a new post at Lines of FlightFeatured Image -- 2835, Tom Pepper shares a creative work “that tries to engage the world critically, and to encourage its readers to do so.” It should be clear to most readers of this blog that such an attempt resonates in several regards to the non-buddhism project. Just recall certain ideas that have circulated here: discourses with consequences; the event; the faithful subject; radical immanence; thinking from the One; the stranger subject; the site of struggle; the void of exclusion. See for yourself. And please offer Tom your feedback.

From the opening of the novel:
The Event: Gabe 1
Thursday’s I would meet Sam at the Golden Monkey and we would drink tea and talk about her delusions. No, not that kind of delusions, not the psychotic kind. I mean it in the Buddhist way. Sam had almost no delusions left, which is a scary way to be; much worse than having lots of them; almost as bad as having none at all. I’ll start with that last Thursday meeting, the one that led to all the trouble.

[With Pepper and tea-drinking, you know there’s trouble ahead!
And toward the end:]

You will assume that anyone calling himself a Buddhist is just a kind of new-age dim-bulb at best, a crazy nihilist at worst, and of little interest to you. Most of the time, you’d be right. But I hope you’ll read on…I hope you’ll have fun reading on. I hope you’ll have more fun in life for having read on.

Lines of Flight

Things have slowed down a bit here.  Only three or four visits a day, almost no comments.  So what better time to attempt a somewhat more self-indulgent post?

I’m posting the first section of a draft of a novel I’m working on.  Or, have just about finished and am trying to revise. Or something.  I had asked if anyone wanted to critique my creative work in the way I try to interrogate that of others, but there were no eager volunteers.  Maybe reading it first will raise some questions?

My hope is to offer an example of something that just might do what I have repeatedly asked for examples of. That is, a kind of creative work that tries to engage the world critically, and to encourage its readers to do so.  I have doubts that this is possible. Even more doubts that this particular example can succeed.  But any…

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4 Responses to “An Attempt at Something Novelistic”

  1. thegreatdoubt said

    I hope that whatever can be accomplished by a novel, will be accomplished. I am not too fond of novels the last I began to read was Moby Dick and it still remains unfinished on my “to read” shelf. However, I think there are messages that benefit from being presented as story or narrative, those approaches are valued by many. I often feel that there is only what we learn or un-learn from TRYING to communicate and that those of us on the receiving end have realizations that have nothing to do with the attempted transmission at all. That may seem just like a bizarre or cynical attitude, but there is significant evidence.

    Regards,

    Bill

  2. wtpepper said

    Okay, the creative stuff over an Lines of Flight continues to fail to generate any response, good or bad. I may still post further installments in this sort-of-novel anyway.

    But for now, I’ve posted a review of a recent book, Jodi Dean’s “Crowds and Party,” a book surely meant to motivate real action in the world.

  3. wtpepper said

    Sorry, I meant to post the link to the review mentioned above:
    http://linesofflight.co/2016/02/26/what-should-a-communist-party-look-like/

  4. wtpepper said

    For anyone interested, I’ve posted another installment of my novel “Durdára Bodhicitta” at Lines of Flight.
    http://linesofflight.co/2016/03/22/durdara-bodhicitta-part-2/
    I’m working on future posts on the ideology of aesthetics (one tentatively called “A Bourgeois appreciation of Porgy and Bess, and another on “Bartleby the Scrivener”). In the meantime, I’d be thrilled if anyone else would like to submit some creative work (of any kind, not just written), or to offer some critique of my novel.

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