Gaby den Held

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Alex Stanovsky, nascent novel: fragment

8-1-2018. Allone in the world 
As we sat there in the dim light of the table lamp, it felt as if we were the only ones on this planet. That a fatal epidemic had eradicated life on earth in no time and that we had been spared in an inexplicable way. That was frightening and comforting at the same time. I longed for her to be close to me and desired both her body and mind. It was an abrasive desire to be connected to her in every possible way.

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Mixtape: Terug naar het paradijs (Paradise regained)

''Terug naar het paradijs' (Paradise regained) is a collection of songs, 
compositions and poems that have one thing in common: they are 
composed and performed by Dutch artists and composers. The 
title refers to a poem by Hendrik Marsman, but also to the 
fatherland that I want to portray. The land of milk and honey, 
the small but legendary rich country with an unruly climate and 
his equally stubborn inhabitants. The wind that blows across 
the sea and the river landscape runs like a thread through the 
story that is told. With Willem Pijper, Sevdaliza, Guflux, Spinvis, 
De Staat, Liesbeth List, Joost Kleppe and excerpts from poems by 
Martinus Nijhoff (Het uur U - High noon), Hans Lodeizen and 
Herman Gorter.

Terug naar het paradijs

Alex Stanovsky, nascent novel: fragment

I saw the silhouette of a woman. She stood in the doorway for a moment. 
Then she said: "You look like a Tibetan monk in his cell."
"Annelies!" I cried looking up. She was wearing her sea green fluffy jacket 
"How long are you plan to stay there? We must hurry before they come back."
I got up laboriously. She had already turned and walked out of the room. 
I grabbed her by the shoulder and asked, "Wait a minute, what is going on? 
I'm mystified. "
"We all are, Alex. But there's nothing to understand now. "
'Why are you doing this?'
"Because you're hot stuff."
"If I would say that to you, it would be sexist."
"You really have no idea what I'm risking with this, so keep your ease," 
she said sharply. 'No time for discussion, come with me!'

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Alex Stanovsky, nascent novel: fragment.  

5-3-2018. Useless 
You may still not realize where you are. There is no room for the useless here.

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It is almost eight years ago that a great inspirator died at the very respectable age of 103 years: Kazuo Ohno. One of the inevitable complications of becoming older is that those you look up to, seem to drop like flies over the years, like Stephen Hawking yesterday. However, unlike Hawking, Kazuo Ohno is unknown to many people. People from the art and dance world will probably know him. Kazuo Ohno stood at the cradle of new form of Japanese dance: Butoh. He was inspired for this by the Spanish dancer La Argentina. His style can be characterized by slow movements, fragility, expressiveness and strong visual power. Music lovers might know him because he adorned the cover of A crying light by Antony and the Johnsons.

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INSPIRATION: Dennis Cooper 

The American cult writer Dennis Cooper can rightly be called an outsider. 
He never joined any current trend and he went on his way as soon as
 people wanted to annex him. His heroes were the poets Baudelaire, 
Rimbaud, but also Marquis de Sade. With such examples, it is no surprise 
that he writes about boys who indulge in violent sexual excesses. Rape, 
incest, necrophilia, there is no subject he avoids. An entertaining story is 
that the bass guitarist of Blur, Alex James, figured in his novel 'Guide' in 
which the latter was drugged, raped and even murdered. Alex James turned 
out to be a fan of Cooper's work and agreed to an interview with him. But 
half an hour before it would happen Alex shied away from it and the two 
never met. Despite, or perhaps thanks to, the shocking content of his work, 
he has many fans among well-known artists such as Leonardo di Caprio 
and U2. The latter is known to have their song Numb inspired by the 
eponymous chapter from Coopers novel Frisk. But of course there is more 
to it than shock value. Better than anyone he knows how to make the 
craving for love tangible in a way that, despite the extreme violence in his 
stories, actually moves the reader. Originating from the punk culture, 
Dennis Cooper lets himself constantly be influenced by alternative art and 
music movements and he also continues to renew himself. Examples are 
the two novels 'Zac's haunted house,' and 'Zac's control panel,' (2015) which consist entirely of gifs. Other works are: the semi-autobiographical George Miles Cycle (Closer (1989), Frisk (1991), Try (1994), Guide (1997), Period (2000), The sluts (2005) and The Marbled Swarm (2011).

A good writer as bad as you'll find (The Guardian)
Speaking in tongues with Dennis Cooper
Dennis Cooper: the art of fiction (Paris review)
Dennis Cooper blog

Alex Stanovsky, nascent novel: fragment

5-3-2018. Alarm
That strange calm overtook me again. A tranquility that masked the ominousness of the situation as a cloth thrown over an alarm light.

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INSPIRATION: Mikhail Bulgakov

Those who know my novels will not be surprised that I am influenced by 
magical realism, surrealism and fairy tales. With magical realism, many 
people think of South American literature. But although I admire the 
novels of Gabriel García Márquez, I don't feel connected to it. 
Where do I get my inspiration from then? The answer is: Russian literature. 
I love the novel We by Jevgeni Zamjatin (1884-1937). A dystopian novel 
from which George Orwell has drawn a lot of inspiration in writing '1984.' 
But my greatest example is Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) and especially 
his novel The Master and Margarita. His style is satirical with a surrealistic 
twist. He makes a superior blend of reality, social criticism and fantasy. But 
he also had to resort to metaphors and fairytale scenes because his books 
and plays were heavily criticized by the Stalinist regime. His pieces were 
even banned in 1929, leaving him without income. In his despiration, he 
wrote a letter to Stalin. A short time later, he was offered work in the 
Moscow Art Theater. He spent his days as assistant director, librettist and 
translator. His own work in the Soviet Union, however, no longer came 
through the censorship. From 1928 to 1940 Bulgakov worked on his main 
novel: The Master and Margarita. When he died on March 10, 1940, he had 
not fully redesigned his magnum opus. For decades his widow Jelena Bulgakova unsuccessfully tried to get the work through censorship. Only in 1966 a heavily censored Soviet version was published. A year later the complete edition of that masterly work appeared in Western Europe. 

Master &Margarita
Biography Mikhail-Bulgakov (Britannica)

Charlie Dark revisited

Charlie Dark is the very first manuscript I wrote, before Maan (Moon).
It’s my most sensual and emotional novel. A tragic love story, which partly take place in the cafes, streets and parks of Amsterdam and Paris. It is also a magic realistic fairytale.

Angel Floris has had a difficult childhood. He lost his mother at a young age, is ignored by his father and ends up in prostitution. As a child he finds comfort in the friendship of his companion Charlie Dark, but one day Charlie suddenly disappears. Years later, Angel thinks he has found his childhood friend Charlie again. He falls deeply in love. But is this boy the real Charlie Dark?

This story has been in the desk drawer for years. In the past period I have reread it and decided that I will offer it to my publisher for publication.
INSPIRATION: Hello earth - In der Tiefe gibt es ein Licht

'Hello earth' by Kate Bush absolutely belongs to the music that has touched and influenced me. It is part of the hallucinogenic B-side of the album Hounds of Love, named The Ninth Wave (after a poem by Alfred Tennyson), a suite of seven songs. It's a dark, almost frightening trip. A mini-opera with a horror edge. The first time I heard it I could hardly sleep afterwards, it made such an impression. The songs resounded in my head. Scary fairytales have my preference and this is one of them. One time La Bush sounds like an anxious little child, than as a furious witch. Hello Earth is the apotheosis. Here everything comes together. Up to and including the dramatic climax: the choir that sings the Georgian song Tsintskaro (known from the film Nosferatu by Werner Herzog). Then the melody descends and the both ominous and reassuring words are spoken: "Tiefer, tiefer, irgendwo in the Tiefe gibt es ein Licht." I quoted this sentence in Charlie Dark. Also as apotheosis. And as an ode.

Kate Bush - Hello earth (YouTube)