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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:38 PM
Original message
Brilliance within Blackouts
What a strange phenomenon. There are two very different instances I've run upon that have impressed me: Stephen King and Angela Basset.

I recently read Stephen King's book "On Writing". It's a helpful, funny & inspiring non-fiction guide. It's full of anecdotes. One of his stories is a confession to being shitfaced much of the time he was writing. He was an alcoholic with a piggish appetite for cocaine. He was known to dispatch a case of beer a night and go to the recycling bin the next day with tallboy cans rattling in the bag.

During his lost months, he wrote "Cujo". He doesn't remember writing the book. Check this out:

"At the end of my adventures I was drinking a case of sixteen-ounce tallboys a night, and there's one novel, Cujo, that I barely remember writing at all. I don't say that with pride or shame, only with a vague sense of sorrow and loss. I like that book. I wish I could remember enjoying the good parts as I put them down on the page."

- from "On Writing" by Stephen King

He's been clean for years now, but no one will ever know where that book came from.

I watched "Waiting to Exhale" a while back. An Angela Basset scene shows her being brutally dumped by her husband. Next scene, she finds herself alone in the house for the first time. She goes through his things in a rage, muttering to herself as she tears his clothes of the hangers, puts them in a wagon and hauls them to his shiny new car.

She shakes gasoline over all of it, lights the car on fire & her own cigarette, and walks away. You see her in her bathrobe, her hair wild & beautiful. She does this unforgettable thing with her hand, flicking it up in the air as though to say, "It's done".

An interview with Angela Basset reveals that she was so possessed by the rage of her character, she blacked out. She doesn't remember a second of it, this stunning scene.

I wonder how Stephen King and Angela Basset feel when they look at their very successful work and don't remember how it came about.

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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:41 PM
Response to Original message
1. I think that kind of blackout is a dual-edge sword.
I believe that people have committed crimes while in a similar state. There's a fine line between brilliance and madness, so it's no coincidence that line gets crossed with regularity.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. Well, really, there are two types of blackouts
I'm describing. You have one gifted madman with a weakness that feeds his fodder for horror stories. You have another with a studied actress who may have all the discipline in the world- but, touching on her own experience, is able to believe she's the character.

You have a good point with the brilliance and madness, and I agree with it.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:05 PM
Response to Reply #5
8. On the first: Hemingway
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 07:05 PM by GOPisEvil
:( He's pretty much exhibit A for crossing the line
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. Why didn't I think of him?
That whole crowd.

And I wonder how much my favorite writer, HS Thompson, was fueled by madness, sensitivity, or chemicals. I quote him all the time in my sober moments, too.

Here's an HS Thompson quote:
"A man is born with decent instincts, which are then pressured and perverted until he is either driven mad or turns into a vicious, insensitive monster".

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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Probably a little of all of the above.
Add that to him being very intelligent, and it's a wonder he lived as long as he did. Then again, it can be argued that he'd been trying to kill himself for years, too.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:09 PM
Response to Reply #11
19. One of his daughters was suicidal.
And she finally did it, with her stuff organized and countless messages to get help. I think she is a different case from her father, though, since he was a compulsive writer.
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GOPisEvil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 05:19 PM
Response to Reply #19
25. Yeah, I think they were different sides of the same coin.
:)
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Is THAT what happened to his writing?
Maybe we should send him some beer and some coke. I could use another decent Stephen King book...
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Pharaoh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:56 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Read the Dark Tower n/t
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I have...didn't do it for me.
Don't get me wrong, it was a good story. I just need an author who can consistently creep me out...King doesn't do that any more.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
17. He'd announced his retirement, but I never believed it
for a second.

You can't just "stop writing".

Maybe he'll come up with something you like. What did you like of his before?

I loved "Carrie" and all of his shorts.
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MercutioATC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 05:10 AM
Response to Reply #17
23. "It" scared the hell out of me.
I read it (well, the first 3/4) one night at a house way out in the country. Every time I passed by a window, I'd see something out of the corner of my eye.

very scary
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
18. Dupe
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 07:38 PM by Sugar Smack
delete
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lildreamer316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:52 PM
Response to Original message
3. I absolutely LOVE that scene
as much as you can love a scene with that much rage & sadness in it. Yes,it did seem so very real, especially to those of us who have experienced such a situation. She was phenomenal.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. I could have replayed that scene over & over.
I forgot to breathe the first & second times I saw it.She was absolutely possessed. The shaky-camera effect helped, but in my estimation she didn't even need that.

In her interview, it sounded like she was still at wonderment about her body doing things/her mouth saying things she coudn't remember.
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:08 PM
Response to Original message
9. I've tried writing while fucked up before
I woke up the next day to a bunch of incoherent ramblings. I don't see how King did it.
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supernova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:17 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. It worked for Hunter S Thompson
:D

I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me.
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. lol
I think I'll stick to beer and just drink after I'm done writing. Drugs never did anything for me artistically speaking. Now insanity on the other hand did give me several good poems. But it's too painful a state for me to be in now. I'm serious, I've got the meds to prove it. Violence will always be a no go.

The thing about that quote from Thompson is that he was probably being for real. :)
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:32 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Hey, Droopy!
:hi:

That was him being for real...I found it in a book full of his correspondances, called, "The Proud Highway". And no one is more himself than when writing letters to a loved one.
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. You know, maybe it's that he was so used to being intoxicated
and he percieved that he was being fearless. He sounded fearless. He sounded jaded, and he sounded as though he didn't give a damn about what the rest of the world thought. Let's chip in and send his editor a fruit basket, eh?
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Droopy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I think you are right
Especially about not giving a damn what the rest of the world thought. If King had ever listened to his critics he would probably be a truck driver now.
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bridgit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:36 PM
Response to Original message
20. i find king's: dark tower/gunfighter series, to be his best...
i did enjoy his other stuff while finding the stuff he'd done while coming off 'the dope' some of his best if while more frantic; likely something speaking to the stripping of one's emotional tether, sleep deprivation & so forth (not that there's anything wrong with that, though a friend of ours brought us new pillows the other day so that i'm trending rather conversely these recent nights)...he does have those comfy old bathrobes & slippers that he dons routinely...

http://www.stephenking.com/DarkTower

i do appreciate angela's many contributions to the arts, but i wouldn't want her to feel she has to pass out for my viewing enjoyment
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Sugar Smack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:47 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. "i do appreciate angela's many contributions to the arts,
but i wouldn't want her to feel she has to pass out for my viewing enjoyment"

:rofl:

I have got to check into the Dark Tower series.. It's been so reccommended by so many good people! Will also pm you tomorrow, thus is the last of my 18-hour days, me love!

:loveya:
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Pharaoh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-08-05 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. If your not hooked on The drawing of the 3
Book 2 I believe than you are not paying attention.

It is his best book of all IMHO
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In_The_Wind Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:46 PM
Response to Original message
21. we should ask ourselves
how many times are blackout states actually trance-states that we don't remember
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