Named Tomorrow


“this is not a detached dissertation but an exploration of my origins, an indirect attempt at self-definition” —Octavio Paz

Synecdoche, NY

From the paw, the lion. Which isn’t accurate (also, it sounds better in Latin, but I can’t remember the Latin), but is the phrase that I heard when trying to remember who had said “Do you understand?” before… Adele, the absconding wife, right? At the beginning? Well, earlier in the movie, at least. But trying to figure that referral properly, you realize you’re all thumbs, it’s all left feet. And the next phrase sounds familiar too, the way he keeps inflecting the expletive, but he’s a new actor, and his character hasn’t had a part before, at least no a speaking part, and certainly not a monologue of this length. Was it Caden? But we’re back at Adele’s, now, the tape of her talking rolling inside while the old woman playing the old woman by the door accidentally gives the wrong key to— … the woman playing Caden. No, she’s not playing Caden yet, she’s the cleaning-woman, the one Caden filled in for when Sammy sent him there. Was that in the set? Or was that back in New York, the New York outside the set? This part is in the set, of course. But did Sammy build the first Adele’s-place in the set just to humiliate Caden into cleaning it like he had before, to ‘watch him lose another part of himself’ (Is that what he said? I’ve forgotten. Or was it merely for the character study, not sinister?)? Somebody was reading the Overture to Swann’s Way [Ought that be in quotes? The rule is parts of a large work and short works, right?], earlier, but it was between scenes, a close up of the first page— I saw “Overture” in big capitals and then “For a long time I used to go to bed—” and got a little giddy at the recognition— but ‘somebody’ is all you can say, because nobody was reading in the scenes preceding or following the short shot of the first page of the novel (It used to confuse me, before I started reading it and when I was very early into it, that people referred to the whole thing as “the novel,” and not the individual volumes as each a novel)— maybe it was Hazel, since we know she’s the literary one (She’s reading The Trial, or was, earlier) and whatever is before her on the desk in the next scene is hidden from the camera— but it doesn’t matter. It’s there; that does. It’s a foothold, because something tells me I’m going to need a foothold for this one, a place to work from if I’m going to get a handle on the story. (It also bothered me that one of the Loyal Band died of a stroke as he walked out the front door and then suddenly reappeared a few dozen pages later, like it used to bother me that Charles died in a parenthetical.) There’s no reason for it. I will berate the first person I hear theorize this is his death-dream. It is a movie, not a death-dream. That is all there is to it. That’s it. He’s done it, this is his masterpiece, Charlie’s. Will it be downhill from here? I ought to go read for class. I need to read some more Celan if I’m going to be reading about him for class… “all things are less than/ they are,/ all are more.” That’s the epigram for one of the essays on Celan I have to read, which sounds a little vapid out of context like that, and maybe in English, maybe the German has more elegance. The quote doesn’t say where it’s from. I ought to go read the rest of that now. I would rather go find someone to make watch Synecdoche right now, though; I almost want to watch it again now.


Filed under: Film, Kaufman, Proust, Synecdoche

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