East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Deserted places


You might remember the post I did on the 14th of February about a story featuring a man and a woman meeting for years in a deserted, modernist city in their dreams. The story I will write one day and call Still My Favorite Song (if you don’t, I’m sure WordPress will place a link at the bottom of this post – ain’t technology wonderful?)

Well, I did some very marginal work in these two weeks, say ten/fifteen minutes a day, sort of outlining how a novel might look based on that idea, and also did some minor, very minor research.

I found out the abandoned or deserted city is considered by some a Jungian archetype – which is pretty interesting, considering this will be a story about dreams and dreamscapes. I’ve tried to find more info, but so far I’ve landed only one article on the subject of skyscrapers as Jungian archetypes. But it’s a start. Something that came back to me was Fritz Leiber’s use of Jungian elements in some of his stories. I see that as a good sign.

I’ve also been reading about Norman Bel Geddes and modernist architecture, bacause that’s the look of the dream city in my story. A scan of Bel Geddes’ book Horizons, from 1932, can be found in the Internet Archive. It’s incredible. I’m also thinking about making Bel Geddes a character, in some way, in my story. Hmmm… more stuff to read.

Norman Bel Geddes

I dug out a few old articles about lucid dreaming and about how to take control of your dream when you realize it’s a dream. I am not going to plunge into Carlos Castaneda territory, but some of this stuff might be interesting and provide fodder for the story.

I also took out of the box in which they had been placed my old books about hypnosis (remember, as a teenager I dabbled in illusionism and stage magic), because… well, same as above.

And I am putting together a soundtrack of sorts, because certain moments in this story (that will develop – if and when it does – over a period of over thirty years) can be exactly marked by a certain song. I might prepare a mixtape for the soundtrack, who knows.

Finally, while I am rather pleased with what looks like the general structure of the thing (the sketch of the plot structure is graphically pleasing), I am still very wary and a little uneasy about the fact that this one hits so damn close to home. Sure, we should get out of our comfort zone when writing, but that’s easy for you to say.

On the plus side, I might have a publisher. It’s a very long shot, but who knows…

So, I think I’ll put all the pieces together, and see what happens – I plan to write the first draft over the Easter week.

Wish me luck.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

2 thoughts on “Deserted places

  1. Did you see “Passengers”?


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