"In the long, dark night of the soul it is always three o'clock in the morning." Scott Fitzgerald wrote in one of his Crack-Up articles for Esquire magazine in 1936, when he was drunk and deteriorating and living in hotels in Asheville North Carolina while Zelda entered Highland Hospital. At the time his fellow male genius contemporaries - like Hemingway or Dos Passos - were like - what the fuck are you doing Scott? This sort of ripped-from-the-heart memoir isn't real writing, which is fiction, and characters, to write of these feelings so first-person, so direct - isn't manly. Isn't manly? Isn't LITERARY. Of course now these essays are seen as exemplars of the form. Today I am thinking about that, about our needs for a public confession, and how this is often denigrated as not writing. Linking Anais Nin's publication of her journals to girls who write on livejournal. Or Blogger. Why write of breakdown? Or: why not write of breakdown? It is the most crucial thing perhaps to write of one's breakdown. But why do I feel the need to plug in here and write of my sleepless nights, my three o'clocks in the morning? Communion, perhaps. Company. Some sort of public sharing. But when is it oversharing? Self-indulgent? Who owns these terms and who gets to decide?
As for me, I've realized part of my problem is I'm simply not sleeping, and for maybe a week have been fluttering through these twilight nights, where my eyelids open every 30 minutes or so. I am going to begin acupuncture today, I'm hoping for some sort of miracle cure. To rest. How painful and difficult it is to write the unraveling. But how necessary I feel. I feel often so torn about Scott Fitzgerald because he was able to channel the emotional, the destructed/destructive, while also playing patriarch in his life. He wrote his mad letters but Zelda was never allowed to - she was forbidden from writing a novel about psychiatry or madness, her scenes of her breakdown were deleted from Save me the Waltz, and the novel on madness that she was working on using Nijinsky as the main figure never written. Deleuze's notion of the "crack" taken from Fitzgerald's essay, Fitzgerald's alcoholism he sees as a form of self-destructiveness, of getting closer below the surface, mirroring Artaud's madness or Henry Miller's chaos.
Sometimes I think instead not of the novels that were written, but those that never were.