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Essay part 1

Released by Apocalypse Confidential on 


Review of Anna Krivolapova's "Incurable Graphomania"

Part 1 : Tragedy

"It is helpful to consider this caveat: if the hero could not stand the story would be ironic, but if he hero could not fall it would be romantic.  The tragic hero must seem to be able to stand, but does not."


The tragic and the ironic, mixed together without mercy for the moody, significant stare into the plush distance in the cold car on the way back home from the movies between stories/modes.


The story that embodies and even encapsulates slavic fatalism in words (with perhaps an undertone), is “Heart of a Dog.” An earnest American man learns from the most hardboiled slavs: “Dina was right. Animal control, social workers, we only exist to shuffle them around, look busy, have a number for Connies to call. All you can do is feed them, help them survive the winter, and pray they don’t become roadkill.”


Tragedy associated with irony in its inevitability, we see it slide.

VVN says: we know more than the audience. That is the kind of thing that can and does happen.


Tragedies can make me angry sometimes. Perhaps because they are nestled between Romance’s high hopes and Irony’s deep wells. Or because they are just as vulnerable to perversion by bad taste as anyone else.




The promethean, aryan, Apollonian myth is one of sinful subjectivity, daring to commit sin under the light of day (do not forget that Satan is allied with the morning star, our sun) is the galvanizing force. He is a hero. The Dionysian, Christian myth is one of irony, of moonlight.



Traditionally, tragedy arrives from the outside: Satan tempts Job, etc etc

This style can tend to melodrama. When tragedy comes from the inside, it is often more wrenching: slow and inexorable pull to fate. Hamlet having seen the essence of things, per Nietzsche.

But when it comes from the inside, and is in turn inflicted outside, this is another matter entirely. Is MK Ultra, a cycle of traumas, the culmination of the genre of tragedy itself? Since we are all targets (we see ourselves as individualist subjects, temporarily embarrassed millionaires) do we all become heroes? Frye says that the biggest oak tree is most likely to be struck by lightning. What if the lightning can strike all of us, to an extent that we are just able to handle it and survive? What if the light wants to electrify us all? When we lament the military industrial complex, Epstein cover-up, and so on, we are not *direct* victims. Those are other people’s tragedies. We are *indirect* victims. We are misled and lied to. We are all shaped and mutated by these broader trends. We then suffer at the hands of the traumatized, and retraumatize others. It is no surprise that de-subjectification can be both the end point of trauma tactics and an effort at freeing oneself from them.


The promethean, aryan, Apollonian myth is one of sinful subjectivity, daring to commit sin under the light of day (do not forget that Satan is allied with the morning star, our sun) is the galvanizing force. He is a hero. The Dionysian, Christian myth is one of irony, of moonlight. The



Distinct to the loss of innocence story (often seen in for example Buñuel), Kirvapolova's stories resonate with a spoison-evil-sin-juice.

Lie Houellebecq there 

Fatalism is a central characteristic of most parapolitical narratives too. These people are so clever, so evil, they even can needle their way into your brain from miles away. And they do try! Many do, and their tactics are ever better. But they haven’t locked you up, or chained your hands down from doing any of the things you might want. They’re just not the patterns we were taught because the world is always evolving. You can get the high in a different sphere. The world is full of life, you need to create it, and not ask for them to do so. This, of course, is what the hippies and punks thought they did, and look how that turned out for them. As with every artist, even the tragic ones.


They communicate, things are bad! Things are bad! Their chant suggests that they’d like someone else to change them, like boomer hippies and gen x punks. Krivolpaova is much more elegant in her prose. Things are ambiently bad but they are also specifically bad. The human will never gives in - these people care on some level, they are awake to feeling. A side note considering politics, the online world: it is a myth that the hordes on ‘the other side’, whoever they are, don’t sense because they have bad taste. They have bad taste and lots of feelings. Bad taste is an illness, from the gnostic perspective the illness of life, and e


Do their works change the viewer, the thinker, and in what way? I only bother to write criticism because art has changed me, because its otherworld like the dream realm is essential to this waking life, even if it usually operates subconsciously. This book was well written but it was too depressing for my taste, perhaps also too chaste.


Fatalism not in behavior but in tone about the world

The stories which are most successful do not have Chekov’s guns, which see tragedy as ‘a scuffle between a condemned man and his executioner’. The ones that have them are Raytheon summer camp

The nightmare logic of chance is perturbed by the heavy handed set-up, false and constructed, and not in the manner of a great play where characters are manifestations of Gods.

God died two hundred years ago, and the gods before that



Fatalism means ignore the discourse. That’s what they want, that’s what’s already happened, it was fated.

It doesn’t require its believers to be fated.


“Nothing ever fizzles out in a tragedy, though perhaps one of the tragedies of life is that even the most tragic situation just fizzle out”

The three stories that most bothered me, that felt most pointless, did understand this dictum to a tee. Nabokov’s reminder to the “tussle between executioner and victim” 1950s theater plays holds not candle to contemporary short alt online fiction story collection. Sentimentality has been spread, it has poisoned everything like xenoestrogens in the water supply, letting nothing breathe as it would out of captivity.




Anna writes taut, sleek, like a fish who twists into a glimmer of sunlight with empty eyes. She is a magisterial writer and should continue in earnest.


Her greatest skill at this stage is her sense for Time. Her pacing is perfectly dialed in, aerodynamic fins.


A third person narration can feel contrived after the self-awareness endemic to most of the cultural production we imbibe if ‘highly online’. No ‘POV’ mix-ups here, like on tik Tok, no


Characters are well-developed, believable, just enough underdescribed. She has the Nabokov-approved eye for the particular detail over the vague generality.


Between tragedy and irony there is a breath - there is the wonder if I’ve slipped, if my sincerity, failed, is being laughed at.

You have and they are (or someone would).

What do you do with that breath? Do you go forward or stay still? One foot in each? Well, the seasons change, the world turns, the baroque or rococo painting includes it all.

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