I had a job interview on Monday. The position was posted on Thursday morning, I applied that afternoon, they called me Friday. The interview was the first one I've ever had where I didn't come out and go 'well I completely fucked that up.' (Let's be honest: in my entire life I have had a grand total of three actual interviews for employment, including this one.) I was a bit concerned, because it is a part-time minimum wage book-sorting position, and the people I spoke to in the office were like 'Youuuuuuuu have a Bachelor's degree? And, um, you're here.' Yes, vocational school library. yes I am.
But, the next morning I woke up to a call offering me the position. Hooray. So then I've been submitting tons of paperwork, and once that all gets processed (a week minimum, at the blazing speed of academic administration) I can start working.
So, things are on an upswing, I guess? But this isn't progress, or anything. It's not an improvement. I could have dropped all my classes at Athens tech and gone back to grading high school writing exams. The money would certainly be better. This is just a thing. Resume fodder. Experience so that later on I'll be more marketable for other jobs that I don't really care about.
I was sitting around reading the other day, and I had a notebook on hand to keep all the characters straight, and I realized I had written down a note on another page. "this all just feels so fucking futile" Nothing to do with what I was reading, just how I feel about what I'm doing right now. I'm finishing the second course of anatomy and physiology, because I did the first half, but I really don't care at all. Getting this job? I mean, on some logical level I suppose I should be happy, but I don't really care about that either. It's just not registering. Or rather, my relevance scale is all screwy these days.
Here are some thoughts about Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy:
I put off seeing the movie, because I wanted to read the book first. I saw an old mini-series version of it a while ago, and I was terribly confused the whole time. The characters were very difficult to put names to, and to keep distinct. Reading it was better.
The book is a completely linear narrative, but the reader acquires an understanding of the events in a nonlinear fashion, which is a difficult structure to express in film. Who wants to watch days and days of Smiley reading documents and thinking about his wife? So, any film adaptation has to be fairly different in execution. This version did an excellent job. PROBABLY I HAD SOMETHING ELSE TO SAY, BUT I TOOK A PHONE CALL AND FORGOT, SO MOVING RIGHT ALONG.
My favorite characters when I read it were Ricki Tarr and Guillam. Both of them provide a sort of emotional focus throughout the book, Tarr through his actions and words, and Guillam through his monologues. I had no idea who was playing them when I first read it (though I knew that Cumberbatch and Hardy were in the film), but I sort of figured it out and was very gratified to be correct.
Tarr is this impulsive, selfish, vibrant and somehow fragile character. Even in the first few pages he appears in, I saw him and thought 'sweet Christ, Tom hardy would own this'. And oh look, he did, though they edited out some of my favorite lines that he said. He referred to several of his comrades as 'darling,' in the book, which also probably cued me to Hardy. Wish they'd kept that.
Guillam, on the other hand, is very close, like he might grow up to be Smiley some day. He has the very tense emotional monologue that you get while he's in the midst of dangerous deeds, the one character that I can remember talking to himself. He and the narrator sort of intertwine in those few scenes. Somehow, Benedict Cumberbatch has always struck me as embodying that exact internal tension, though I can't explain how exactly. I can't imagine him playing a character that wasn't somehow on alert.
I was very excited to see Mark Strong in a sympathetic role. He plays villains excellently, of course, but there is much more to him than that. Looking like you can fuck someone up doesn't mean you have to play evil characters, you know? Physiognomy is not a real thing, though the media (and everyone else, really) still treats it like it is. Fuck of caffeine, you are putting me on tangents. Anyway, I think I would like to meet Mark Strong, and become friendly with him, so that one day I could hand him a volume of poetry (Tennyson, probably, I am an a Tennyson kick at the moment) and say 'read to me.' (WHAT THE FUCK AUDIOBOOK YES)
While thinking about writing quite a bit, I realized that I do like first person narration, because it forces the writer to take on the persona of the character, and find that character's true voice. However, I find that this means that the manipulation of prose is not limited to the author's creativity and skill, but rather to the poetic inclinations of that character. In fact, understanding is limited to the character's capabilities, description limited to their vocabulary. While writing as someone who is distinct from yourself may be quite a challenge, and may provide a more consistent absorption into the narration, it also makes it very hard to justify the beautiful wordcraft that the third person can be so inclined to.
"Giving her some small, orphaned kisses in the hollow of her wounded hand, he opened up the most hidden passageways of his heart and drew out an interminable and lacerated intestine, the terrible parasitic animal that had incubated in his martyrdom."
(One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
The only reason I am even writing this entry is