Friday, 16 October 2009

Diary : Chuck Palahniuk

'Diary' is a novel written in the style of a comma diary by protagonist Misty Marie Kleinman for her husband, Peter Wilmot, who throughout the story remains in a vegetative state due to what is thought to have been a failed suicide attempt (this later transpires to be a failed murder attempt by Peter's father, Harrow Wilmot).
Misty Marie Kleinman later discovers that she is a pawn in a large conspiracy orchestrated by the inhabitants of Waytensea Island.
Every four years, an aspiring artist is lured to the island by old jewelry, then to marry and bare a child, only to have her child 'killed' by the locals in order to inspire the artist into a frenzy of creativity.
The jewelry instills a false self importance in the protagonist, as she is made to believe the jewelry was hers in a previous life, whilst all the while belonging to Maura Kincaid and Constance Burton, the unsuspecting artists of the eight preceding years.
The conspiracy culminates in a large exhibition of the artwork, where a deliberate fire is started as a means to receive an insurance payout, and to prevent tourism at Waytensea Island for the next four years.

This story is littered with quotes that delve into a theoretical psychology of the creative mind, and highlights the correlation between tragedy and art. From Immanuel Kant (Gout) and Vincent Van Gogh (Bi polar, depression, alcoholism) through to Edouard Manet (Syphilis and rheumatism) and Claude Monet (Severe depression after his wife died, inspired him to paint water lillies).

When you can't understand the indifference of the universe, art usually transpires.

"What you don't understand, you can make mean anything."

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