Posted By jatyler - 10th June 2011
Jesús Ángel García + “jesusangelgarcia meets ticktockclock” = MB8:
People say write what you know and ‘jesusangelgarcia meets ticktockclock’ is full of brutal language and graphic sexual situations – does this piece have any basis in personal experience?
‘jesusangelgarcia meets ticktockclock’ also has a great insistence on justification – why are both characters here so bent on defending or justifying their loneliness and their strange sexual wants?
I think when people are confident about who they are, how they feel, and what they do or want, they don’t feel the need to justify. But when they’re unsure that what they’re doing or thinking or feeling is right, then they tend to lean on justification to not only convince others but also, and maybe this is primary, to convince themselves.
The JAG character’s entire identity is wrapped up (I just wrote “warped”) in “doing for others,” but his self-imposed messianic mission takes him so far outside of his comfort zone that he has to keep telling himself it’s OK, even while his behavior’s eviscerating his well-being and sense of right and wrong. The ticktockclock woman is uniquely challenged by her extreme desire, which stems from extreme barrenness rooted in childhood abuse. To me, she seems to be perpetuating that cycle of abuse, self-inflicted now that she’s older, and yet it’s the only way she can feel anything, so who are we to judge?
And though this may be a strange question, the missing cat or the cat that seems to exist but is never seen, has huge emphasis in my head – is this cat a symbol? What does it mean?
‘jesusangelgarcia meets ticktockclock’ is listed as ‘adapted from badbadbad, a transmedia novel’ – can you talk to us a little about what a transmedia novel is?
For me, a transmedia novel is a mashup. It’s a narrative that transcends the printed page, that fuses a wide range of storytelling techniques and technologies to essentially tell the same story in different ways. It’s also the idea of translating literary constructs into other media or languages, which use other means of communication and thereby expand on the original story.
In practical terms, this means badbadbad combines a traditional print book, a soundtrack of original songs derived from the narrative, and a series of interconnected documentary films based on the novel’s themes of fear, hypocrisy, sexual morality, intimacy in e-culture, and self-destruction. Then there’s the performance aspect of the live “readings,” which add another layer. Some badbadbad shows are simply a straight reading from the text, but more often than not they mix-match the various elements or incorporate a theatrical embodiment of a character, which changes the way the narrative is presented and perceived.
As long as I’ve been serious about words, I’ve been serious about music and film. I’m also a live-performance junkie. It just made sense for me to try to pull all these strands together with this project.
Badbadbad was recently released by New Pulp Press – if you could, please give us a little insight into the book and perhaps your work with New Pulp Press:
Insight into the book? More than you might want to know — including reviews, interviews, excerpts, song and film samples, and a Google map of my crazeeee summer tour schedule — may be found here: http://badbadbad.net
New Pulp Press? Publisher Jon Bassoff seems to like the wildness. His acceptance note after he read my manuscript — “twice, just to make sure” — says it all: “Over-the-top, weird, sometimes offensive. In other words, I absolutely loved your book. “ A debut novelist can’t ask for more, no?
Read “jesusangelgarcia meets ticktockclock” and 21 other great pieces in Monkeybicycle8, available here.