Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes.

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Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes. The violence comes from a combination of giving up, not caring, and a resignation that getting past it is all you can hope to accomplish. So you kill the hour. You do not work, you do not read, you do not daydream. If you sleep it is not because you need to sleep. And when at last it is over, there is no evidence: no weapon, no blood, and no body. The only clue might be the shadows beneath your eyes or a terribly thin line near the corner of your mouth indicating something has been suffered, that in the privacy of your life you have lost something and the loss is too empty to share.

by Mark Z. Danielewski (born March 5, 1966)
from House of Leaves (2000)
image – tibchris

Are you on Internet Time?

This is offered up with a wink and a smile. A wink, because there is nothing like the Internet for absorbing my time. A smile, because the Internet widens my circle. Without the benefit of eye contact certain vital nutrients are missing, and there is a lot of inaccurate, spammy crap out there, but that’s not the end of the line – discretion is a virtue and necessity is the mother of learning to look in the right places and apply motivation.

We have more opportunities to learn about and relate to each other than at any other time in history. Imagine! I can go to an author’s blog and see how they think and interact with readers. I can go to a forum and get answers from across the world. With time, TLC and determination, this circle of the mind can go from conceptual to concrete, sometimes very concrete.

We have a drive to know. In the Old West, the telegraph was our “Internet” and more was left to the imagination – until a reputable source could be found. In the 1860’s, magazines judged early reports of Yellowstone’s “fire and brimstone” to be fantasy. The documentary The National Parks: America’s Best Idea relates that one response was “we do not publish fiction.” Today we have Google expeditiously providing photographs of Haiti’s earthquake disaster.

We also have creative works.

House of Leaves was an Internet phenomenon. It didn’t get its first launch from a publisher’s acceptance. The book had already developed a cult following, as the story was gradually distributed online.

Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command.from Knopf Doubleday’s synopsis

Before there was a book, an artist was out there, self-powered and online, cooking up lovely language, performing a “premeditated murder of minutes,” sharing with the community of readers that cropped up around his work.

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2 Responses to “Who has never killed an hour? Not casually or without thought, but carefully: a premeditated murder of minutes.”

  1. Mark William Jackson Says:

    Thought provoking quote Elizabeth, and great back story on the development of House of Leaves, illustrating the power of the internet. Who knows what will happen in the future of publishing now that everything is open?

  2. E. A. Able Says:

    I love the stories behind the stories. 🙂 In a different life I would have done investigative journalism, or scientific research. Or maybe not! When I was in college I’d sneak out of microbiology to make big abstract paintings!