November 16, 2010
Mark - Sitting inside my vial bobbing in the surf for decades had grown a bit tedious. No... more than that. In fact I had given up hundreds of time but I had no way of offing myself. Stranded at sea with only this novel to amuse me had grown old many years before but now that I was on the verge of being rescued I was suddenly feeling nostalgic.
Trapped _ ©Mark Bloch
November 17, 2010
Mark - As the enormous hand reached out to grab me in my vial, all time seemed to slow down as if I was approaching the speed of light. In the void, I decided to read through the novel one last time for old time's sake. I had read the beginning so many times I decided to start with my favorite section; the part toward the beginning, where the diagram is sketched out on the blackboard describing why no one was ever able to approach Mt. Analogue before.
|diagram from Mount Analogue|
William - The tidal pool in the reef yielded it's treasure and I rolled on my back and floated; somehow strangely satisfied. The vial certainly contained something but it appeared cloudy.
"That's odd, It's warm."
As I rested floating in the water I saw something cross the moon. Not fast like a bird, nor slow as cloud as indeed there were no clouds in that twilight. A languid passing of a shape that seemed familiar yet not.
I slowly made my way back to Susan and SuTwo on the beach.
November 18, 2010
Mark - The section in the book about the various members of the team and the crew surprised me every time I read it. I was reminded of my childhood readings of Captain Ahab which frightened me terribly as a lad. For some reason this time as I read the name, Captain Abad kept popping into my mind inexplicably. Similarly, as I read and re-read the poem within the novel "The Lay of Luckless Mountaineers" by Alphonse Camard, the image of my old friend Richard Canard kept popping into my mind. Even though the two had little in common, save the sound of their names in my mind flitting back and forth, as the light was being blocked around me and I continued my reading, wondering if I would ever get to the end of the book again, the juxtaposition of two vaguely parallel universes aligning sent me into a kind of inexplicable euphoric revelry. I thought first of my friend Canard who had previously gone by the name Richard Craven. The name Craven reminded me in turn of Fabian Lloyd, the Dada poet who had wandered out into shark infested waters in Mexico. But now I couldn't stop remembering that Craven had abruptly moved from North Carolina to Illinois and had changed his name to Canard. That led me to recall that I can never remember the difference between a canard and a cunard, though I know one is a kind of ruse and the other the french word for duck. In fact, Richard Canard was often referred to as Dick Duck by his friends.. in a good spirit, not maliciously.. and now as a duck floated by and the passage I was reading ceased to have meaning for me in the midst of this plethora of distractions both internal and external, I gave up and just let my thoughts wash over me the way the sun was moving behind a cloud or wait...was that a fingernail?
November 19, 2010
Mark - My own obsession with the menacing Captain Ahab nee Arab or Abad concept began when I was just a small boy growing up and reading Moby Dick in Akron, Ohio. USA I spent my youth surrounded by scientists and inventors, with no one my own age to play with. One of the professors there tried to ease the pain by thinking up an affectionate nickname for himself: Moody Duck which evolved from Moony Duck which evolved from Moby Dick but ultimately I don't know why he picked this strange moniker, and I'm afraid it will remain a mystery forever, as the good doctor, Hunter Moon, disappeared in a bizarre accident with a time machine in October 1966.
Life continued pretty much normally for me until some 20 years later. It was then that I learned of Marcel Duchamp's fascination with a certain French writer named Raymond Roussel. At first I confused Roussel with Henri Rousseau and then Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Things became slightly clearer when I found one of Roussel’s books in an anti-aquarian book shop one day. But it was only one piece in a big puzzle.
This was just the beginning of a series of coincidences that continue to boggle my mind even today, and is the reason behind my captivity in this godforsaken yet cozy vial. It seems that LOCUS SOLUS, the name of Roussel's book, inspired a play called BLOCUS SOLUS. I am often called Marcus Blocus by friends. Furthermore, when I thumbed through the pages of LOCUS SOLUS, I noticed that the main character was named Martial Canterel, unbelievably similar to Monty Cantsin, the multiple name king of the religion Neoism. If you haven't heard of Monty Cantsin, perhaps you have heard of Monty Pansin, Luther Blisset or Karen Eliot. And if you have not heard of any of them, you have probably heard of one of the following: Monty Hall, Monte Video, Istvan Cantor, The Royal Canadian Monties, Susan Shulman, Roger Maris Kundzins or DJ at MONT.
All of these curious names are mixed up in the Moody Dick affair. It is has been the bane of my existence from within this vile vial to decipher these strange goings-on in an attempt to find out what is Neoism and where is Mount Analogue.
Neoism is based a strange concept: The Open Pop Star. Moody Dick, prior to his disappearance, explained that he was sworn to secrecy by the 14 Secret Masters of The Universe He said that he could only reveal one fact: the name of the Open Pop Star was Monty Pansin.
A few weeks later, when I tried to contact Moony for more information, I learned that he had moved to Tepoztlan, Mexico. My attempts to locate him there were to no avail. But in my travels, I did hear of another controversy involving pseudonyms: The Mystery of B. Traven. Traven was an author with enigmatic roots. He was suspected of being Jack London, Ambrose Bierce. Jimmy Hoffa, the son of Kaiser Wilhelm and at one time even the pre-dada poet-boxer Arthur Craven. Craven was also known as Fabian Lloyd and was married to poetess Mina Loy, who is often confused with the actress Myrna Loy.
Anyway, Traven appeared in Mexico at the precise moment that Moony disappeared from LA accompanied by a woman named Susan Shoeman, remakrably reminiscent of Shulman. Could Moony or even Shulman be Traven? (All this was complicated by the fact that my rock and roll band at the time was called The Beat Ravens.)
I needed to trace B. Traven back and forth through his cryptic evolution. He had been a Hollywood script consultant on the film TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE named Hal Troves. This could have been the Shulman connection I was looking for. But moving backwards, I learned that Traven had previously been called Traven Torsvan and before that, a German anarchist by the name of Ret Marut. (Could this also be the tamed Dadaist R. Mutt?) Finally I learned that Traven/Marut’s given name was Otto Fiege and that he originally came from a small village in Hungary. Since Monty Cantsin is rumored to have originated in Hungary, I began to feel very close to a solution.
It was about that time that I learned that Monty Pansin which almost rhymes with Cantsin, was the figurehead of a strange new religion called Neoism. It seems that Neoists confuse the public by painting with the blood of rare blue squirrels, and wearing cats, fish, and mushrooms on their heads. These so-called Neoists had certainly managed to confuse me. On the one hand there were parallels to my own life: Blocus Solus, Mount Analogue and now this Neoism. My own religion is known throughout the free world as One-ism. The similarity was just too much. On the other hand, there was this blue squirrel blood-painting and fish-haberdashery nonsense.
I decided that in spite of the myriad instances of synchroniclty, I was NOT the fulfillment of the Monty Cantsin Prophesy, as told by the 14 Secret Masters. Just who this God of Neoism is or was remains a mystery, even to this day. Meanwhile there was the spooky similarity between Moody Dick and Dick Duck, also known as Richard Canard. Furthermore there had been some art work circulating in the late 20th century related to the aforementioned Marcel Duchamp who once signed a work R. Mutt which reminds me of Duck Champ and Ret Marut. I hope these queries shed some light on just WHO this Susan Shulman, Dick Duck and B. Traven actually are but now I must return to my reading which I fear I will not finish.
William - I walked out of the surf a sodden mess but elated at my find.
"Susan, look at this" I tossed the vial which she deftly caught in one hand. She slowly lifted it to her ear and listened. I hadn't heard a thing as the sounds of SuTwo's breathing her way through Junior Wells "Broke and Hungry" almost drowned out even the surf.
After a few seconds she tossed it to SuTwo, who promptly tossed it to a small Blue perched on the driftwood. The little squirrel wiggled it's tail, cocked it's head and then made a noise that sounded like a sneeze. I looked back at Susan.
She looked quizzically at me.
"What?", I said.