I Want to Live in My Own Words (Blog 1, 6/6)

In Guillermo Samperio’s trippy short story, “She lived in a Story,” the fictional writer Guillermo Segovia mulls over the idea of a real person being able to inhabit a text (whatever that means): “‘Dramatists have written plays in an attempt to approach the ancient dream of the fiction writer: that human beings live in their texts. Thus, artistic creation transcends the imaginary level in order to achieve reality. In regard to my own concept, the movement is reversed; that is, reality moves toward the imaginary’” (Samperio 56). This passage is part of a larger rumination on the subject of being able to “inhabit” the text (maybe emotionally, mentally, physically?) but this is really the crux of it: how to live in the world of words—a place with no real solidarity. But what is he talking about? A person actually feeling like they’re part of the story? Characters drawn so well that they seem to come alive off the page? The statement “that human beings live in their texts” is very cryptic in this sense: Which human beings is Segovia referring to? Real people, or fictional people? Or in the story he’s trying to compose, is that the line he wants to blur? Segovia (and perhaps/likely Samperio himself), after all, in the last sentence in the passage is placing himself against the idea of realism being so super important; to him, it would seem, that transporting people into an imaginary world is more important than making the imaginary world seem real. This is not something you’d expect to hear from a literary type. How often do you hear praises in a pointless creative writing class about how “real that sounded, man”? Segovia’s quest at the beginning of the story is in that vein: How can he inhabit his own world of words? Segovia has an earlier thought about an architect living in his own fantasy by living in the house he designs; in the world of words this isn’t possible, unless one closes their eyes—but that’s hardly the same thing. Segovia is searching for the way to do it, and he finds it by writing a story about a woman writing a story in which he is a character. Hence: He’s in the text! This isn’t something you can physically touch, but it’s a sight closer that writing a tale in the first-person.  It’s obviously not that straightforward, but the looping complexity of the structure (something I love and will hopefully talk about in the next blog) is kind of giving me a headache right now so I’ll let this be for the moment.

Reminds me of Charlie Kaufman’s Adaptation. Wish I had some clips.

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