Alex Michaelson's Literary Event Shindigary (aka Dislocate)
I have personally never had the opportunity (or desire, for that matter) to attend a literary event of any kind, whether it be an author's reading, a forum, a giant discourse on why the semicolon far overpowers the comma in the world of punctuation (I might be interested in this last, actually, if only for a good laugh). The Dislocate event was my proverbial "first time," and after looking back on the event, I can honestly say that I quite willingly handed my V card over to the Literati Gods. It was quite a remarkable experience in many ways for me, and as a few bloggers have posted the details of said event, I will forgo the horrible repetition of minor details and serve up the meat and potatoes of the bit.
First and foremost: I found it amazingly enjoyable to just sit and listen to other writers read their work in such a professional, albeit informal, manner. Never before have I witnessed such rapture in an audience, myself included. It was profound, in an odd way, to watch and listen to creators bleed themselves before a crowd for no other purpose than to simply speak their own thoughts. Many, many orators are so proud of their own voices they can literally rant and rave themselves purple, yet the words I heard that night weren't full of pride or even conviction, but rather were laced with a desire to express some inner beauty that each author/poet/philosophizer had stumbled across while probing the depths of their minds in an attempt to convey a certain feeling, picture, idea, expression, what have you. I've always been a very visual reader/writer, and each piece that was presented to me was done so with a deliberate and enunciated fluidity, not in any way forceful or mentally detrimental, simply stated as fact, as if to say, "Well, I've searched and I've searched, and I've cried and swore and laughed and tripped and climbed and died and lived and bled and healed and after all of that carnage and blissful jubilance I've come up with this collection of words and punctuation and spaces and this is what it looks like: **** I don't care if you like it (though it would be nice if you did) and I don't regret any of it and after I'm done displaying it I will not wait for recognition of any kind and instead will gather my papers (which happen to constitute the better part of X years of my life) and I will again resume my seat amongst you, for we are one and the same: seekers of truth." I found myself drawn into the words, no matter if I agreed with them or even found them pleasing, they were just others' words and I accepted them as such. Whether it was poetry, the work of a future best-selling author (code named LO for anonymity), or the beautifully transcribed cultural observations by Wang Ping (whose work was so inspiring to me that I had to stop twice on the way home to write about Aldous McAlbey), I was mesmerized by the words read.
Being my first and only venture into the realm of literary events, I have absolutely no benchmark from which to gauge my experience. However, my curiosity has been aroused, leaving me with an insatiable need for more. I do plan on attending more readings, if I can find the means/time, so if nothing else (though there is much else), at least I gained appreciation out of the whole thing.
Hail to thee, pursuer of free