Manual The Daydream Book

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Situating his work deeply in the vein of postmodernism, Retzer echoes the interests of beat literature in particular, through drug use, the cut-up technique, and Buddhism.


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The novel revolves around the main character, Silas, and his group of friends who are drug addicts as well as artists and philosophers. They repeatedly gather together to use various substances and discuss topics such as the works of time, meditation, and the existence of alternate universes. Things get even stranger when another friend, Felix, receives a fully mastered record that, according to the record company, has not yet been pressed. The linearity of time gets further complicated by the death of one of the friends, opening up the question of accessing these alternate existences and finding a void in which their friend is still alive.

The use of drugs and the warping of perception complicates the relationship that the reader can form with Silas — which is another nod to the interests of postmodernism. With Silas suffering repeated blackouts and time shifts, it is impossible for the reader to get a linear grip on the events. Every time the narrator closes his eyes, it is possible that the story will continue in a different time, a different place, maybe even a different universe.

And Vian did it all with relish and panache. Through Foam of the Daze I learned that one can take the simplest of ideas a love story and distort and warp it into the most imaginative, original fiction. It also made me weep. One line did it. The main character, Colin, who has fallen in love with Chloe now sick with a mysterious illness , is asked by their pseudoscientific doctor what he does. Colin is the son of wealthy parents, and really just spends his time inventing things and enjoying life.

His answer broke my heart. It made me understand our fleeting time here on Earth in only the way that Blaise Cendrars had previously been able to do it for me. Here is the excerpt that shook my world.

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BookLore Review - Froth on the Daydream by Boris Vian

No author that I know of can approach the simplicity and the ecstatic truth of this moment. The Sirens of Titan — Kurt Vonnegut. It would perhaps be wrong to say that I have moved beyond Kurt Vonnegut. Well, he has never really left me. Sure, I desire other things from fiction these days—stylistically-speaking—but I always respect writers with ideas.

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And Vonnegut wrote novels of ideas… grand, absurd ones. The Sirens of Titan is without doubt one of the most influential books of my life.

Unboxing the Daydream View

Science laid the groundwork for this revelation in my thought, but Vonnegut took it home. He made me laugh about it all, and certainly paved the way for my later obsession with Thomas Pynchon; who is a bit like Vonnegut on psychedelic drugs.

Prince of Saint-Germain

Maldoror — Comte de Lautreamont. Yet another French book, Maldoror is a prose poem in six parts, or, rather, six cantos. Maldoror, or Les Chants de Maldoror, was almost like a religious document for the Surrealists. One cannot fight it, which I of course did initially, until I let myself absorb into its unique literary textures. The genre-hopping book is by turns gothic, surreal, violent, hilarious, parodic, overwrought, plagiaristic and beautiful. Maldoror taught me that stories can be really anything and have any sort of appearance.

Moby-Dick — Herman Melville. At least three co-workers, all of whom were buddies, claimed it was the greatest English novel.

This, to my mind, smelled something rotten. Two years ago I finally took up the book. By the third and fourth paragraphs I was effectively in its world:. What do you see?

Vera McLuckie and the Daydream Club by Jane Evans – Book Review

Some leaning against the spiles; some seated upon the pier-heads; some looking over the bulwarks of ships from China; some high aloft in the rigging, as if striving to get a still better seaward peep. But these are all landsmen; of week days pent up in lath and plaster- tied to counters, nailed to benches, clinched to desks.

How then is this? Are the green fields gone?

Froth on the Daydream

What do they here? But look! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling And there they stand- miles of them- leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets avenues- north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite. Tell me, does the magnetic virtue of the needles of the compasses of all those ships attract them thither?

Melville had perfectly described, for me, the endless propulsion driving the human experience. Nothing is ever enough for us. It was a very vivid moment for me as a reader. I understood then what Melville had done, and why this book is often considered the greatest work of fiction in the English language.

Moby-Dick matured me as a reader and a writer.