Notes from No Maps for these Territories

The Big Sleep

Last night I watched No Maps for these Territories which can get seriously embarrassing to watch in front of your spouse (who didn’t faun over the cyberpunk as kid) at times. You know, like, “too heavy, man” and “what are you watching?” sort of stuff. Esp. when Bono starts reading. Bono!

It’s essentially a bunch of William Gibson talking about himself, his books, and writing. Here’s some notes, quotes, summaries, and paraphrases from it…my own comments are in square brackets:

  • People up in Canada [in the hippie 60’s] thought things were changing – that it was the end of the “straight world.”
  • [This movie is from 2000. Always interesting to see culture commentators before the 9/11 era, and then after.]
  • The thing he fears now is being less real, less “honest.” Quote: “the thought that I might not be able to become as honest with myself as I would like to become. Because I think that more real is always better, but it’s not necessarily given to us as individuals to always be more real.” He goes on to say that it’s taken him a long time to think/believe/enforce that the heart is the leader and the mind is the servant.
  • “I think of religions as chicken franchises…but it doesn’t mean there’s no chicken!”
  • When asking a professor long ago how writers “do it,” the professor replied, he thinks, “they have rich inner lives.”
  • How did he start cracking writing? By revisiting the childhood practice of day dreaming as play.
  • In writing, he’s trying to make the moment accessible, not explain it, just make it accessible.
  • Being metaphoric about the creative process, getting ideas: I have to make a deal with myself that I’ll turn up and see there’s any incoming mail.
  • “No. I didn’t imagine that art girls in the Midwest would end up flashing their tits in cyberspace.”