Lookout Cartridge

Lookout Cartridge[EPUB] ✼ Lookout Cartridge ❁ Joseph McElroy – Jobs-in-kingston.co.uk With Lookout Cartridge Joseph McElroy established a reputation as one of contemporary fiction's foremost innovators and deft observers into the fissures of modern society It is a novel of dazzling int With Lookout Cartridge Joseph McElroy established a reputation as one of contemporary fiction's foremost innovators and deft observers into the fissures of modern society It is a novel of dazzling intricacy absorbing suspense and the highest ambition to redeem the great claim of paranoia on the American psyche In trying to figure out just who is so threatened by an innocent piece of cinema verité filmed in collaboration with a friend Cartwright finds himself at the heart of a mystery stretching from New York and London to Corsica and Stonehenge With each new fact he gathers both the intricacy of the syndicate arrayed against him and what his search will cost him become alarmingly clear. Lookout Cartridge is an utterly cinematographic novel – a camera flutters seemingly at random filming everything it manages to focus on every insignificant material object every casual event and every trifle of existence And dark points come and move almost as if sound and speed have become identical but not uite for I can see them move They are like genes in a microphotographThis light without sound is not the beginningWas there a beginning?Sound without illumination maybeSuch a field of noise was coming everywhere from tile concrete the chill blown street above the tracks below and even as if from the change booth where a black girl in blue smoked cartwheel glasses pushed out tokens without looking up from her paper – that till I was through the turnstile and to the brink of the escalator and put my foot on it hearing behind me the click of steps closing fast yet seeming oddly slow I didn't guess why the toddling graybeard in a herringbone with the hems drooping who'd preceded me through the turnstile had made for the stairs insteadThe book is an elaborately designed meandering absurdist mystery Two friends shoot an ostensibly inconseuential film that seems to be nothing but the crude amateurish garbageA softball game in Hyde Park a bonfire in Wales a Hawaiian hippie and his girlfriend from Hempstead Long Island playing guitar in the London Underground A suitcase slowly packed People in a marvelous country mansion doing things inside and outside and ignoring a moonshot on a television set under a table umbrella out on a rainy patio A Corsican montage featuring an international seminar on ecology Toward the middle of August Stonehenge In the end a US Air Force base A uick 8 mill cartridge of some pals of Dagger's the night we got back from shooting at the baseBut despite the obviously trashy ualities of the film some miscreant penetrates into the friend’s house and destroys the tapes As if shooting this rubbishy movie wasn’t enough the protagonist has been writing a diary scrupulously describing the process of filming and now the hunt for the diary commences Chaotic burglaries purposeless pursuits rummaged apartments furtive shadowing and so on Nothing seems to be accidental and all the miscellaneous participants turn out to be interconnectedThe action consists of the current events and flashbacks of the incessant travelling from place to place but gradually everything blends all times become one time all places become one placeStill as my Druid says in each age arise unlikely tongues which nonetheless may help us the gods of the body’s warm organs may show themselves now not through a burning bush or a martyr’s funny bone on fire or in the mysteries of appetite but along intangible electronic canals where slippery loops joining pancreas and lung bowel and eye become for the sake of a diagram’s current straight lines and right angle transits and clarity’s pulse waits for the gate which if open may flip whole futures of gates drawing that pulse like a spasm of the greater body through gods who blink and gods who do not blink until at some crux near the analogic cog or digital core a twinge of harmony is heard like someone else’s painEverything in this world isn’t what it may seem The sensible world is just a product of maya a hollow appearance – an illusion dreamt by the omnipotent demon and no human being can step outside this sensible world This is a masterpiece as should be clear from both my status updates and the length and rambling nature of this review it is only the best books I think which set our minds rushing off in all sorts of directions It is a thriller though seldom thrilling It is a mystery though is never truly solved We move from A to B to C by dancing back and forth between B11 A23 B473 C31 etc Dot matrix story telling Slowly an image emerges McElroy asks for your trust and your patience I would recommend you give it to him I would not however suggest starting with this as your first of his perhaps Smuggler's Bible or Ancient History would work well for that but it truly is wonderful McElroy and Heidegger What is there in the room there at home is the table not “a” table among many other tables in other rooms and other houses at which one sits in order to write have a meal sew play Everyone sees this right away eg during a visit it is a writing table a dining table a sewing table—such is the primary way in which it is being encountered in itself This characteristic of “in order to do something” is not merely imposed on the table by relating and assimilating it to something else which it is not Its standing there in the room means Playing this role in such and such characteristic use This and that about it is “impractical” unsuitable That part is damaged It now stands in a better spot in the room than before—there’s better lighting for example Here and there it shows lines—the boys like to busy themselves at the table Those lines are not just interruptions in the paint but rather it was the boys and it still is This side is not the east side and this narrow side so many cm shorter than the other but rather the one at which my wife sits in the evening when she wants to stay up and read there at the table we had such and such a discussion that time there that decision was made with a friend that time there that work was written that time there that holiday celebrated that time That is the table—as such it is there in the temporality of everydayness Heidegger The Hermeneutics of Facticity 1923 I saw on the hall wall the old enlargement of my children that I hadn't looked at since that mellow morning at eleven just after the County Council man left and just before I followed Lorna up to bed McElroy – p133 There is much to say here but I am not sure if I need to say it I think one of the uniue points about Joe's project is how closely he tries to trace this type of Being in his prose it makes for difficult reading of course though I remain convinced that once one has got in sync with its rhythms it becomes as easy as breathing This is also interestingly manifested in the narrator's oft repeated concern that the images captured in the film miss so much of that which they contain for him using Heidegger's example I could take a picture of the bed in which my wife died or interestingly still have a photo of the bed she died in taken before she died and show it to a stranger The beds we saw would be different And so the narrator writes his diarynotes which accompany the film in order to fill in the gaps so to speak Yet this fails too And he is almost frantic in his desperation paranoid muddled and self confused The filmed object is never any than present at hand perhaps? Or is it even that? If as Barthes said photographs are a message without a code and are literally an emanation of the referent the issue remains that the relationship between image and thing is that between the imprint of a footstep in the sand and the foot that made it A great deal is lost As those millions seeking to capture every passing moment on their cameraphones will discover The lens is a nonliving agent an intruder between Dasien and that which it is looking towards A photograph of a table only possesses tableness when Dasien looks at it and it will never have the same Being it had when the first Dasien decided to take its picture All photographs may be memento mori but like a death mask demonstrate only the extent of what we have lost I think of the hundreds of photos I have taken of my two year old son and the illimitable gulf between the child I held in my arms and the image I have on my shelf That Beingness cannot be captured cannot be retained cannot be remembered cannot be communicated It has always already abandoned us to our temporal prison our time bound existence propelled endlessly forward and far far away from everything we love Does it bring to the foreground our Anxiety? To notice our thrownness from the fact that the Being of the Table I photograph is not transferable to another Dasien looking over his shoulder at the image I see clearly my aloneness my ungrounded nature And what happens when we look at a photograph of ourselves that we have no memory of? A McElroy sentence ramblings written while halfway through the book I couldn’t know for sure that Jim and Claire weren’t linked – hell the people you know tend to do the same things as you – in New York you see a French bloke you haven't seen in three years suddenly in the lobby at a festival of horror films contemplating popcorn through the glass counter his hand detached below a leather sleeve; or in London at the end of a bad day you catch an Arts Council Show and in the first of its series of American interiors you sit down in a Vegas madam's 1943 parlor that's traveled from California to Germany and now here to London on the way back home and you listen to the authentic jukebox and you cross eyes with a blue uniformed guard who looks away as you wonder if he ever heard Don't Fence Me In during the Blitz but now at eye level from Roxy's seedy armchair where you're sitting two new knees materialize and they turn out to be knees that followed yours at the Cinderella Ball in Brooklyn Heights a year later in '44 for you move up past them to a Lincoln green wool hem and thence in a rush to Renée 's russet shag that is not russet now but hot San Francisco copper Renée – for Christ sake Renée opens her bright mouth moans and reaches at you and as you incredulously get up almost falls into your lap there in the easy chair of your traveling brothel but a moving lap is hard to find and as Renée says uite loud Missed it in LA had to see it here the russet hair you mouthed on Brooklyn Heights flies back in your face here half a mile from Buckingham Palace at this summer show where in Days of old Knights were bold and the same low pitched voice you once kissed gives you a twenty five year resume and when the Crosby changes in the bright dome of this jukebox that transcends nickels and dimes the mouth takes a breath its breasts rise and it asks where you're staying – and you don't know where to start here in Merry England where Knights were bold and ladies not particular p44 45 One of the ways using GR has improved my reading experience is that I have noticed how uickly it is possible to spot a great work often by the genius evidenced by single paragraphs or even single sentences This often means I feel an urge to start writing things in this review space long before have finished reading the book And so if you will forgive the presumption of such a premature commentary I want to speak for a short while about the sentence uoted above There are many authors who write long sentences of course Bernhard comes to mind as does Saramago but none I would submit move as effectively through time as Joe It is clear that he wishes to follow a neuron driven path through experience rather than that imposed by post experiential logic What I have uoted above is not the most extreme example of his techniue I have come across I uote a paragraph in my review of Cannonball which still blows me away every time I read it but it is just so filled with story that I was impressed enough at first read to want to type the whole thing up Three small points – note the bloke our narrator has spent enough time in London to have picked up this word and the dynamism of the Christ sake which yanks us back again to the incredulous voice of the present tense narrator and finally the sudden shift from first to second person as the narrator speaks self back at self Finally for now at least I know enough of Joe's preoccupations to read the word linked in the first line as though it were flashing in neon Published in 1974 Lookout Cartridge is Joseph McElroy's 4th novel and is rich in Joseph McElroy's burgeoning exploration of narrative and linguistics syntax and structureReading McElroy’s Women and Men introduced me to writing informed by and structured around a mathematical system that later novel's construction being based on the pendulum model within Chaos Theory; the curving swerving recursive and non chronological shifts in time; unusual temporal and spatial leaps and bounces Here too in Lookout Cartridge the writing is formed around a systems computer memory film memory and the human experience of memory and recording or imprinting It's non linear and intricately de plotted the complexity of the interconnections and shifts in time are elaborate and disorienting the narrative fragmented and mosaic like than Women and Men There is a technological computer uality to it's form and logicalillogical flow which reuires intensive processing on the reader's part which I enjoyed but less so than the flow of Women and MenThe novel’s protagonist Cartwright is searching for a film he and his friend Dagger created which has since vanished under mysterious circumstances Cartwright’s uest for the cartridge is mirrored by our own the reader’s as he attempts to make connections between events people and places; memories and recordings Metaphors of filming recording and navigating film are used throughout and it’s testament to Joseph McElroy’s writing that every instance feels uniue and inspired And the writing here is what makes this book so compelling and challenging The sentences are puzzles formed of filmic ualities they cut jump pan rewind and fast forward through metaphor and context It’s a challenging novel and for me someone who has the attention span of a oh look a bird I had to read it at home in peace and uiet where I could focus properly It might have film noir and pulp genre ualities but it's way complex and detailed and immensely funThis edition is a signed first edition hardback so I feel uite smug about that Yep Perhaps even demanding than Women and Men Lookout Cartridge is McElroy's talent on full display Much can be said of the man's prose which is at times a brick wall and others a raft along a river but it's really what he's able to do with that prose that wallops you the dear reader In LC there's a noir ish mystery to be unfurled and because of McElroy's prose style he's able to render the truest elements of confusion incomprehension and messiness of a real shaggy dog story—in true mystery the tight wrap ups and effective clever solutions undermine the veracity of the story telling but here Cartwright's mission never is fully revealed and our understanding of it can only come through the multi facet view we're able to access through associations characters and vagueries If you want uick pat solutions this is not the book for you but if you're here reading reviews of McElroy's work then you're probably not that type anywayI've come to describe McElroy's prose as stream of pre conscious I think this best encapsulates what he does and is doing in his artistic use of our language That is to say where Joycean stream of conscious has a verbalistic uality to it McElroy's precludes the organizing principles of a consciousness and therefore he captures the true spontaneity of thought feeling and mentation Further when the reader lives in this pre conscious thought world it has a startling effect of implanting thoughts and memories so that while the reader may think she is struggling at comprehension there will eventually in the book come a moment a strand of text the perfect ordering of words that fills the gaps and transmogrifies confusion into clearer concepts In LC McElroy breaks down time's linearity to reconstruct scenes and moments over and over again processing the information of a scene in a different new way each time so that the reader can slowly acuire the fullest view of a frame—but because it's done so meticulously it's not until the end of the book that those full frames come all at once snapping in place though still obscured defying omniscient revelation—after all there is no such thingThe book acting like a cartridge itself can only be deciphered for the screen behind our eyes once it has been inserted into our mechanistic computer brain I'll admit freely that many moments of this book got away from me and still remain un begotten like ripe fruit on the branch after harvest Perhaps after I've read through the rest of his catalog I'll revisit this tree and pluck those fruits from their arboreal home Sweet rewards to look forward to; like any great book I can't wait to keep coming back Lookout Cartridge resists analysis It doesn't lend itself to objective models It lacks a core and periphery There is little distinction between its exterior and the insular Hell as the pages turn the narrative gathers matter but not really force Where would this kinesis go? We measure in terms of plot development Within these pages that activity remains suspectAs pages are read certain detail accumulate Could we be specific? Okay the myriad project of representing reality repeats during the course of this forward reading The Mercator Projection the Mayan calendar and the enigma of Stonehenge are featured These matters are explored ruminated How do we afford the aspects of flux to the static? Film uses edits for its gestalt Painitng uses perspective Okay but as narrative project what actually happens?Two guys make a film one of them keeps a diary of the process Suddenly matters have turned a corner Something untoward appears to be afoot Data is flashed both forward and back through the narrative seuence providing links if not elucidation McElroy said somewhere that Lookout Cartridge is a computer It processes imputs The name of Richard Nixon appears throughout the narrative though Dick doesn't haunt like in Gravity's Rainbow Speaking of paranoiac aesthetics I found Lookout Cartridge is Caché than Three Days of the Condor 355 Though this reflects my own limitations not those of the novel Joseph McElroy's 1974 novel Lookout Cartridge is a maddening mazemega structure of transorbital prose encoding cryptic events surrounding a bad but evidently important amateur film and the people involved perhaps in its disappearance A book which No matter where it took me I would go to the end Even if only to find myself alone then with someone else's profit system or state of mind or shrunken heart p464 but also why not a closed system growing conscious of itself Plus? till it thinks itself into pause as if it guessed some lightning ought to have preceded it and it waits breathless and sometimes it waits too long p477 A phenomenal literary achievement etc etc which I now count among my favourites You who have me now will find it incongruous that I be not persuaded by a McElroy novel And at that this one which I’d conceived of as his Great had he not written Women and Men by which I still stand Tom LeClair described McElroy as “our first planetary realist” in regard to WM and here we have Lookout Cartridge as its nigh opposite even so than Letter I dare say a first person novel of personal social and political connections interconnections epistemology paranoia This is my own anomaly I am faced with that the first person novelistically is claustrophobic No fear that McElroy does everything possible to both exploit that claustrophobia and to refuse to allow it to collapse altogether into Holden Caulfield Syndrome But without that multiplicity of perspectival voices fused into a unity of a loose and baggy cohesion well my preferences have not been served Second Reading Lookout Cartridge is very definitely Joseph McElroy’s “1960’s novel” engaging heavily with a type of deeply paranoid “Something Bigger Than You Is Out To Get You” plotting that may lead one to situate it alongside other postmodern novels of suspicion such as Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 and DeLillo’s The Names However what distinguishes McElroy’s text here and always really is his enduring love of deep and near ceaseless abstraction Our protagonist Cartwright is not a character through which the reader experiences the events of the novel in a traditional sense Rather he functions as a sort of handwritten obsessively edited map it’s right there in his name registering events locations and people in varying degrees of specificity and from various angles for the reader to attempt to process The easiest and indeed a pretty good reading of this novel is to understand it as synecdochic of how a film camera itself works ie a device that records images in whatever manner the operator desires images which can be manipulated reassembled and altered to suit one’s needs but which carry no innate meaning or readymade plot in and of themselves A skeptic might say “well that’s all fine and good but every text reuires collaborative meaning creation from its reader” While this is of course true McElroy places this relationship front and center making it a core tenet of how the book functions That said don’t be fooled into thinking this is just Robbe Grillet ian games or theory as fiction it very definitely is not Lookout Cartridge is just as much a “cinema novel” as it is an exercise in applying the mechanicslimitations of the film format to fiction writing It’s remarkable how many 1960s70s film archetypes McElroy moves through in this book and I’d love to ask Joe about the films he thought about while writing it I once asked him on Twitter about a part of Women and Men where environmentalambient music is evocatively described and he told me it was “fragmentarily Keith Jarrett” we get classic noir interrogations and pursuits British Folk Horror sensibilities in the form of the Bonfire Scene and Cartwright’s excursion to the Hebrides and of course huge dollops of “The Parallax View”“The Conversation”Alan Pakula esue paranoia throughout If Zeroville encyclopedically and perhaps only topically references the annals of film history Lookout Cartridge successfully embodies the essences of some of its most stylized and intriguing subgenres Sidenotes since this is essentially a Joseph McElroy Fan Account I’d probably be remiss not to say where I rank this among his works For me it’s his second best novel I think falling short of the delirious heights of Women and Men and narrowly eclipsing Plus something in my head broke fixed? during my thirdmost recent reading of Women and Men and Joe’s prose is no longer “difficult” for me This is a strange and most welcome development I recommend it This highly original novel was my first McElroy It reads like a film in itself McElroy adopts a highly elusive labyrinthine style which presents morsels of information thousands and thousands of morsels which the reader has to attempt to connect together in order to comprehend what exactly has gone on Unfortunately the main character is essentially doing the same thing An aura of paranoia and everything is connectedness pervades as the reader themselves pieces together correctly or incorrectly what the hell is exactly happening to Cartwright The information overload essentially means the book runs away a little There are many gaps to fill and yes McElroy makes large demands of the reader perhaps the most I have ever experienced For this reading the book is not only exhaustive but exhausting it's hard work but that's all part of the game This novel is rich for interpretation and a wonderful text to write about It's difficult to put into words the experience of reading this book after all it's all about the visual I also believe it's a very personal experience it plays with how a person reads gathers information and processes it Clever 455 #3 ranking on my McElroy list1 WM will never be topped2 Ancient History 3 Lookout4 Smuggler5 Plus6 ActressAdvice don't read late at night when tired and following very complex prose becomes nearly impossible

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  • Paperback
  • 531 pages
  • Lookout Cartridge
  • Joseph McElroy
  • English
  • 14 July 2016
  • 9781585673520