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NEWS FROM KIRKSVILLE BY SUJASH ISLAM PURNA 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 41

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34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE ISSUE 41

 

ROOM ENOUGH

NATASHA NOAH

TRUMP STUFF

KATHRYN BUCKLEY

MEASURING CUPS

LUZ PINILLA

NEWS FROM KIRKSVILLE

SUJASH ISLAM PURNA

TO CHASE THE TALE

JACKLYN HESLOP

INTIMACY INTIMIDATION

AMANDA-MARIE HOWARD

ABIGAIL “BINDY” NEWMAN’S LAST DATE
WITH DREW UNDERWOOD HULL

PAUL COOKE

Your record, Monsieur Antoine, the one you like, do you want to hear it for the last time? Play it again Sam, says Jean-Paul Sartre's character Antoine Roquentin in the novel Nausea. Well not exactly. What he really says is: "Madeleine, will you put the record on again? Just once, before I leave." For 250 pages of the novel, Roquentin rants against existence and searches for a meaning in his life. His girlfriend Anny tells him dully, "I am outliving myself." And Roquentin asks himself: "What can I say to her? Do I know any reasons for living?" So Roquentin, at age 30, contemplates his life ahead: "What am I going to do all day?" Then in the last three pages of Nausea, Sartre, who later wrote Being and Nothingness, the philosophical treatise that underpinned existentialism, allowed Roquentin a glimmer of hope. A waitress in a bar calls to him: "Your record, Monsieur Antoine, the one you like, do you want to hear it for the last time?" "Please." The record ends and the singer falls silent, but Roquentin is imagining the man who wrote the song, an American with thick black eyebrows who is suffocating in the summer's heat on the 20th floor of a Brooklyn apartment block. He picks up a pencil on a piano and writes: "Some of these days, you'll miss me honey." And Roquentin thinks: "It happened like that. That is how it was born." And so Roquentin asks Madeleine to play the record again. As he listens to the record a second time, Roquentin says, "I try to think about him through the melody, through the white, acid sounds of the saxophone. "He made that. "He had troubles, everything wasn't working out for him as it should have; bills to pay-and then there must have been a woman somewhere who wasn't thinking about him the way he would have liked her to-and then there was this terrible heatwave..." Roquentin has a sudden rush of joy. As the woman sings the song he exclaims: "So you can justify your existence? Just a little?" Roquentin hits on the idea of writing a book. "It would have to be a book; I don't know how to do anything else." And he speculates: "I don't quite know which kind-but you would have to guess, behind the printed words, behind the pages, something which didn't exist, which was above existence. The sort of story, for example, which could never happen, an adventure. It would have to be beautiful and hard as steel and make people ashamed of their existence." MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 34THPARALLEL@GMAIL.COM

THE 34THPARALLEL MAGAZINE BY MARTIN CHIPPERFIELD 34THPARALLEL@GMAIL.COM