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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

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Spotlight on … Julio Cortázar Blow Up and other Stories (1968) *

* (Restored)

 

“The review you are about to read is deceitful, arbitrary, subjective and useless. Julio Cortázar, whose novel, Hopscotch, is probably the best Latin American novel of our times, would suggest that any attempt to reduce a work so complex, profound, concrete, so labyrinthine and revolutionary, so desperate and tango-like, so entertaining and contradictory, . . . that to synthesize all this in a page, is to deform the book.”

‘These words were written in 1964 by a 22-year-old literary critic in Ercilla, then Chile’s most important weekly. The writer flailed on as he tried to convey the significance of the Argentine novelist and concluded by asking Cortázar’s forgiveness.

‘The man who wrote those words 50 years ago was me. And having commemorated the centenary of Cortázar’s birth this year, I find myself revisiting that old confusion. If anything, my dilemma has been compounded: In my youth, I was afraid of betraying his fiction. Now, so much older, I dread the prospect that I could betray the life itself of someone who considered me his brother.

‘But every act of writing entailed, according to Julio, some inevitable exercise of infidelity and duplicity. Silence, ultimately, was an even worse sin. May he forgive me yet again, then, for this homage, a form of keeping him alive.

‘It was thanks to the Chilean Revolution that I met Cortázar. In November of 1970, he flew to Santiago from Paris, where he had lived for nearly two decades as an expatriate, to attend the inauguration of Salvador Allende, the first socialist president of Chile.

‘Cortázar’s arrival drove young Chileans wild with enthusiasm, and I was the wildest of them all, his most ardent admirer. His first three books of short stories and his novel, The Prizes, turned ordinary life into a mystery and left us breathless, questioning our own sanity. And all this in the everyday street language of Buenos Aires, with a sly sense of humor.

‘But nothing prepared anyone for Hopscotch (1963), which became the foundational text of a generation: an earthquake of language, an assault on reality, anticipating, with its joy and radical demands on the reader, the social liberation that the youth of Latin America dreamed for our continent. “Hopscotch” challenged us to drastically break out of the prison-house of consciousness and history in which we were ensnared. We need, Cortázar said, to throw reality out the window and then throw out the window as well.

‘We became friends on that first occasion. Later, after the 1973 coup of General Pinochet that ended democracy in Chile, my wife, Angélica, and I had no home and no country, and it was Julio who received us and fed us and gave us refuge. No need to thank me, he would say — that’s what an elder brother does. I couldn’t imagine our roles ever being reversed.

‘In August of 1980, we went swimming in the bay of Zihuatanejo in Mexico, where our families were on vacation together. Our children had clambered back on the fishing boat Julio had rented for the day, and now it was Julio’s turn to climb up the ladder. I treaded water by his side, waiting patiently.

‘Abruptly, Julio said: “Ayúdame, Ariel.”

‘It took me a few moments to understand that he was asking for help. I boosted him up the ladder. In that brief, awkward moment that I held his body in my hands and helped him mount the boat, as I felt his bones, I was confronted by the irrefutable transience of Julio Cortázar. And indeed, less than four years later, the body from which Hopscotch and those perfect and hallucinatory stories had emerged was dead. Leaving me to search for some consolation.

‘A few years ago, on a visit to Buenos Aires, I noticed some words scrawled on a dirty white wall, addressed to Julio.

‘VOLVÉ, CORTÁZAR, QUÉ TE CUESTA?

‘Come back, Cortázar, how difficult can it be for you?

‘If so many of his characters could persist beyond death and the cascade of centuries, invading our everyday lives from ominous and malignant borderlands of fiction, why not Cortázar? Who is to tell us that he is not nearby, not only in his literature, not only in the memory of those who recollect him and who are also fading away into oblivion? Who can swear that Cortázar is not watching us, whispering to us from the other side of reality, and that he will continue to do so for century after century?’ — Ariel Dorfman

 




 

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Further

Julio Cortazar Website (Spanish)
Julio Cortazar’s Facebook Page
Works by Julio Cortazar (Spanish)
Julio Cortazar, his life
On JC’s ‘Hopscotch’ @ The Quarterly Conversation
Read ‘An Open Letter to Fidel Castro (1971)
Read JC’s ‘Cronopios and famas’ @ Google Books
Read JC’s ‘Continuity of Parks’

 

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Extras


Julio Cortazar, documental biográfico


Entrevista completa a Julio Cortázar – Programa “A fondo”


Julio Cortázar (Paris)


ENTREVISTA A JULIO CORTÁZAR EN PARÍS.

 

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Interview
from The Review of Contemporary Fiction

 

EPG:Let’s begin with some general questions. How would you characterize your writing within the context of a literary generation in Argentina and in Latin America?

JC: The question is somewhat ambiguous because there are many ways to belong to a generation. I suppose you are referring to a strictly literary generation. Let’s leave Latin America aside until later since the Argentine panorama is complicated enough. In order to understand generations you must have distanced yourself in time because while you are experiencing that generational context, you don’t realize it. I mean that when I began to write, or rather publish in 1950, I wasn’t aware of any generational context. I was able to discern some strengths, writers I admired in Argentina and others I detested; but now, twenty-five years later, I believe I’ll be able to say a few intelligent words about it. The first part of my work is situated along extremely intellectual lines, the short stories, Beastiary for example. It is rather logical to imagine that in the fifties I was inclined towards the most refined and cultured writers, and to some extent influenced by foreign literatures, that is European, above all English and French. It is necessary to mention Borges, at once, because fortunately for me, his was not a thematic or idiomatic influence but rather a moral one. He taught me and others to be rigorous, implacable in our writing, to publish only what was accomplished literature. It is important to point this out because, in that period, Argentina was very unkempt in literary matters. There was little rigor, little self-criticism. Someone as extra ordinary as Roberto Arlt, the opposite of Borges in every sense, was not at all self-critical. Perhaps for the best, since self-criticism might have rendered his writing sterile. His language is untidy, full of stylistic errors, weak. But it has an enormous creative force. Borges has less creative energy in that sense, but he compensates for it with an intellectual reflection of a quality and refinement that for me was unforgettable. And so I automatically leaned towards that hyper-intellectual bent in Argentina. But it is all ambivalent because at the same time I had discovered Horacio Quiroga and Roberto Arlt, populist writers. You know the division between the Florida and Boedo groups. I had also discovered those in Boedo. And what I called “force,” a moment ago, impressed me. So, for example, the whole “porteno” side of city life in the short stories of Bestiary, I owe—not as a direct influence but rather as rich themes—to Roberto Arlt. Because despite all that has been said about Borges’ Buenos Aires—a fantastic, invented Buenos Aires—that Buenos Aires does exist but it is far from being all that the city is. Arlt perceived things from below for cultural, vital and professional reasons and saw a Buenos Aires to live in and stroll through, to love in and suffer in, while Borges saw a Buenos Aires of mythic destinies, of a metaphysical mother and eternity. So you see, my place in that generation—which is not mine but the previous one—at the same time fulfills a kind of moral, ethical obedience to Borges’ great lesson, and a teluric, sensual, erotic (as you like) obedience to Roberto Arlt. There are many examples, of course, but this one should give you an idea of what I mean. Others in my generation followed similar paths at times, but I know of no one else who simultaneously encompassed those two poles. There were pseudo-Borgeseans who produced an imitative literature.

The worst one can do, as far as Borges is concerned, is try to imitate him. It would be like wanting to imitate Shakespeare. In Argentina, those who tried to copy Borges, with books full of labyrinths and mirrors and people dreaming they are dreamt by others—you know all those Borgesean themes—as far as I know, didn’t produce anything of value. On the other hand, those who tended towards a more populist approach, towards the Argentinian wan, like Arlt and Quiroga, there, many achieved extraordinary works. I would cite Juan Carlos Onetti’s case. He’s not Argentinian, but we make no distinctions between Uruguayans and Argentinians in literary matters. Quiroga was also Uruguayan. A man like Onetti, whose greatest early influence was William Faulkner, but, at the same time, the direct contact with the streets, the people, the men and women of Uruguay, had a personality that, in my opinion, made him one of the greatest novelists of Latin America. Onetti is a little older but we can be included in the same generation of those who were inclined towards realism and produced a more important work than those who sought the purely intellectual and fantastic side of Borgesean mythology. Unconsciously I ended up straddling the two sides because if you think about the short stories in Bestiary you will find what has concerned many critics and what everyone now knows, that my stories are, at once, very realistic and very fantastic. The fantastic is born of a very realistic situation, an everyday, routine episode with common people. There are no extraordinary characters like Borges’ Danes or Swedes or gauchos. No, my characters are children, youth, ordinary people; but the fantastic element suddenly appears. That was all completely subconscious for me. I’ve needed to read many critical studies to realize that. Really, I never know anything about myself; you critics are the ones who show me things, and then, I realize.

I’m going to tell you something, Evie. I don’t believe I’ve ever written anything intellectual. Some works lean in that direction; for example, Rayuela emerges from a concrete fact and the characters begin to talk, so they launch into theories. Well, you and I can also theorize now if we like. But it’s always on a secondary level. I wasn’t born for theorizing.

EPG: When you write, how do you choose the genre?

JC: I don’t. Before I begin, I have a general idea of what I want and I know automatically it has to be a short story. Or I know it is the first step towards a novel. But I don’t deliberate over it. The idea from which the short story is to be born already has the shape of a short story, its limits. Even long stories like “Reunion” (“Meeting”) or “Las babas del diablo.” I knew they were not novels but short stories. On the other hand, I sense at times that some elements begin to coalesce: they are much broader and more complex and require the novelistic form. 62 is a good example of that case. At first I began with a few very confused notions: the idea of that psychic vampirism that is later translated into the character of Helene. The idea of Juan as a character. Immediately, I under- stood that that was not a story, that it had to be developed as an extended novel. And that’s when I thought of chapter 62 in Rayuela and said to myself that this was the opportunity to try to apply it in practice to see if it could work. To try to write a novel in which psychological elements did not occupy center stage but rather the characters would be dominated by what I called a “figure” or a constellation. And they would react by doing things without knowing they were moved by other forces.

EPG: If you could save only five books from a fire that would consume all other books in the world, which ones would you pick?

JC: That’s the kind of question you cannot answer while the tape recorder is on.

EPG: Should we turn it off?

JC: No, because then the answer will be too pat, too well thought out. You say books, I don’t know; I think, for example, that one of the five works that I would like to save is a poem, a poem by Keats. Do you understand?

EPG: Yes.

JC: One of them.

EPG: Which one?

JC: Any one of the ones I love, the great odes: “Ode on a Grecian Urn” or “Ode to a Nightingale” or “To Autumn,” the great moments of Keats’s maturity. And while we’re talking about poetry, I’d like to save the Duino Elegies by Rilke. But five is an absurd number.

EPG: I know it’s an absurd number and it’s very difficult, but I’d like to know now, right now.

JC: OK. There’s a book of prose that I’d save, Ulysses. I think Ulysses is somehow the sum of universal literature. That would be one of the five books. I really should have punished you for this kind of question. Do you know how Oscar Wilde answered? They were more generous with him. They asked which ten books he would save. And Oscar Wilde answered, “Look, up till now I have only written six.”

EPG: You’re very humble to have not included any of your books.

JC: I don’t have to, I always carry them within me.

EPG: And what about Marx?

JC: I was thinking of literature. Of course, when you said books, I should have thought, from the historic point of view, of course, Marx and Plato’s dialogues.

EPG: You already have four of five. And now I’m almost ashamed to ask if you would have chosen the same books ten years ago when you wrote Rayuela?

JC: Yes, except perhaps for Marx. Because when I wrote Rayuela problems of an ideological or political nature didn’t interest me as they did afterwards. Perhaps the only exception would be Marx.

EPG: Nowadays which authors interest you most?

JC: It may seem strange to you but these last years, more than pure literature or fiction, I read books on anthropology, on certain kinds of contemporary psychoanalysis or psychiatry that fascinate me because I believe they are filled with possibilities as interesting as those of literature. And something I’ve done all my life and will always do is read poetry. I read vast quantities of poetry. No one asks me, no one interviews me or questions me about poetic themes, basing themselves on the principle that I’m not a poet but a prose writer. Nevertheless poetry is absolutely necessary for me and if there is some sort of nostalgia that I possess, it is that my work is not exclusively poetic.

EPG: But you include much poetry in your prose.

JC: Of course, and moreover I think part of my prose is thought out and conceived poetically, for example, Prosa del observatorio, not entirely because it is interspersed with those passages. But I believe it is a poem, above all the last part. It is very lyrical.

EPG: When you say you have to read poetry, that it is a necessity, which poets do you refer to?

JC: Since my youth I’ve leaned towards poetry in English, and now I still prefer poetry in English to any other, including French poetry that I have read with a greater sense of depth because I know French better than English. Nevertheless I have the impression that English is the language of poetry. Since my early years I felt profoundly touched by the English Romantics. Later I discovered medieval English poetry and I began to read anthologies. And later on I discovered Shakespeare, whom I’ve read more than once in English. Every once in a while I read him again, not all of him, but the works I prefer. Poetry in the English language is what really counts for me.

EPG: You like to compare the art of writing to boxing, to jazz and to photography. They’re your favorite hobbies. When did you become interested in them?

JC: What I do is pretty deliberate. For example, when I use metaphors or comparisons. In Latin America there is still the Romantic and somewhat quintessential tendency to search for metaphors and similes, the most noble comparisons possible. Now one can no longer compare someone to a swan but if one could, he would. Very early in life, I felt that one ought to approach the everyday elements in life that could be filled with beauty. A good boxing match is just as beautiful as a swan. So why not utilize it within a system of comparisons, within a scale of values. That’s why, almost from the start, there are many references of that sort in my books. It is purposely in order to desacralize, to bring literature down to earth because it should also have its feet on the ground. “High” and “low” are references in a Western scale of values, but at this moment they are changing and may already have changed for many people. When I was very young and began to work and had some money to buy a very poor camera, I began to take photos in a very systematic way, trying to perfect my technique. Later, my second camera was a little better. With it I took good pictures. I don’t know how to explain to you the reason for that interest. Down deep I think it was a literary one. Photography is sort of a literature of objects. When you take a photo, you make a decision. You frame some things and eliminate others. A good photographer is one who knows how to frame things better. And besides he knows how to choose by chance and there’s where surrealism comes into play. It has always seemed marvelous to me that someone can photograph two or three incongruous elements, for example, the standing figure of a man who, by some effect of light and shade projected onto the ground, appears to be a great black cat. On a profound level, I am producing literature, I am photographing a metaphor: a man whose shadow is a cat. I think I came to photography by way of literature.

EPG: So that for you photography holds a certain relationship to literature with regard to your approach to reality and perspective.

JC: Yes. And after, it became a way of completing certain texts of mine like Ultimo Round (The Last Round), where many photos are placed intentionally so that the reader may complete the selection with a visual image. The idea of collage—photo and text—fascinates me. If I had technical means to print my own books, I believe I would keep on making collage-books.

EPG: Can you choose one of these two sentences to describe Cortazar? “To live is to write” or “to write is to live?”

JC: “To live is to write,” of course not. As far as “to write is to live” is concerned, it is somewhat accurate. Writing is living a part of life, in my case a very, very important part, probably the most important, but not all of my life. I’m not one of those writers whose vocation takes over so that everything else lacks importance. I believe this was the case with Balzac, to some extent, and perhaps also with Vargas Llosa. He says so: to live, Vargas Llosa needs only a room, a table, a typewriter and to be left in peace with a lot of paper.

EPG: What would happen to you if you couldn’t write?

JC: I don’t know, I don’t know.

EPG: You’d be like the man in your short story who loses his head but they cannot bury him until suddenly he regains all his senses.

JC: Of course. If I were living in a country where they prohibited me from writing or if I were a prisoner and they gave me neither paper nor pencil, I don’t know. I can be very lazy about writing and spend long periods of time without writing anything, and I don’t feel worse for it. I do other things. I read, for example.

EPG: Do the nightmares and exorcisms emerge in a different form?

JC: Probably, no doubt.

 

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Book

Julio Cortazar Blow Up and Other Stories
Random House

‘A young girl spends her summer vacation in a country house where a tiger roams…A man reading a mystery finds out too late that he is the murderer’s victim…In the stories collected here — including “Blow-Up;’ on which Antonioni based his film — Julio Cortazar explores the boundary where the everyday meets the mysterious, perhaps even the terrible. This is the most brilliant and celebrated book of short stories by a master of the form.’ — Random House

‘A juxtaposition of reality and dream sequences begin when the protagonist of The Night Face Up is hospitalized after a motorcycle accident. Asleep after surgery, he dreams that he is in flight from the Aztecs in a ritual war and must stay on a trail known only to the Motecas. He wakes, thirsty and feverish, to find his arm in a plaster cast. He eats and sleeps once more, dreaming this time that he is off the trail. He grasps his amulet and prays, but is captured. Awake again in the hospital, he thinks of the strange, almost infinite, loss of consciousness he had experienced after his accident. Dozing, he awakens this time pinned to the ground by ropes. His amulet is gone. He knows he will be sacrificed and the priests carry him away. He awakens one last time, but this reality quickly merges with the dream. The priest is coming toward him with the stone knife, and he realizes that he is not going to awaken; that he is awake, and that it is the other consciousness which was a dream.’ — The New Yorker

 

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Excerpt

The Night Face Up

Halfway down the long hotel vestibule, he thought that probably he was going to be late, and hurried on into the street to get out his motorcycle from the corner where the next-door superintendent let him keep it. On the jewelry store at the corner he read that it was ten to nine; he had time to spare. The sun filtered through the tall downtown buildings, and he–because for himself, for just going along thinking, he did not have a name-he swung onto the machine, savoring the idea of the ride. The motor whirred between his legs, and a cool wind whipped his pantslegs.

He let the ministries zip past (the pink, the white), and a series of stores on the main street, their windows flash ing. Now he was beginning the most pleasant part of the run, the real ride: a long street bordered with trees, very little traffic, with spacious villas whose gardens rambled all the way down to the sidewalks, which were barely indi cated by low hedges. A bit inattentive perhaps, but tooling along on the right side of the street, he allowed himself to be carried away by the freshness, by the weightless con traction of this hardly begun day. This involuntary relaxa tion, possibly, kept him from preventing the accident. When he saw that the woman standing on the corner had rushed into the crosswalk while he still had the green light, it was already somewhat too late for a simple solu tion. He braked hard with foot and hand, wrenching him self to the left; he heard the woman scream, and at the collision his vision went. It was like falling asleep all at once. He came to abruptly. Four or five young men were get ting him out from under the cycle. He felt the taste of salt and blood, one knee hurt, and when they hoisted him up he yelped, he couldn’t bear the presssure on his right arm. Voices which did not seem to belong to the faces hanging above him encouraged him cheerfully with jokes and as­surances. His single solace was to hear someone else con firm that the lights indeed had been in his favor. He asked about the woman, trying to keep down the nausea which was edging up into his throat. While they carried him face up to a nearby pharmacy, he learned that the cause of the accident had gotten only a few scrapes on the legs. “Nah, you barely got her at all, but when ya hit, the impact made the machine jump and flop on its side . . .” Opinions, recollections of other smashups, take it easy, work him in shoulders first, there, that’s fine, and someone in a dust coat giving him a swallow of something soothing in the shadowy interior of the small local pharmacy.

Within five minutes the police ambulance arrived, and they lifted him onto a cushioned stretcher. It was a relief for him to be able to lie out flat. Completely lucid, but real izing that he was suffering the effects of a terrible shock, he gave his information to the officer riding in the am bulance with him. The arm almost didn’t hurt; blood dripped down from a cut over the eyebrow all over his face. He licked his lips once or twice to drink it. He felt pretty good, it had been an accident, tough luck; stay quiet a few weeks, nothing worse. The guard said that the motorcycle didn’t seem badly racked up. “Why should it,” he replied. “It all landed on top of me.” They both laughed, and when they got to the hospital, the guard shook his hand and wished him luck. Now the nausea was coming back little by little; meanwhile they were pushing him on a wheeled stretcher toward a pavilion further back, rolling along under trees full of birds, he shut his eyes and wished he were asleep or chloroformed. But they kept him for a good while in a room with that hospital smell, filling out a form, getting his clothes off, and dressing him in a stiff, greyish smock. They moved his arm carefully, it didn’t hurt him. The nurses were constantly making wise cracks, and if it hadn’t been for the stomach contractions he would have felt fine, almost happy.

They got him over to X-ray, and twenty minutes later, with the still-damp negative lying on his chest like a black tombstone, they pushed him into surgery. Someone tall and thin in white came over and began to look at the X rays. A woman’s hands were arranging his head, he felt that they were moving him from one stretcher to another. The man in white came over to him again, smiling, some thing gleamed in his right hand. He patted his cheek and made a sign to someone stationed behind.

It was unusual as a dream because it was full of smells, and he never dreamt smells. First a marshy smell, there to the left of the trail the swamps began already, the quaking bogs from which no one ever returned. But the reek lifted, and instead there came a dark, fresh composite fragrance, like the night under which he moved, in flight from the Aztecs. And it was all so natural, he had to run from the Aztecs who had set out on their manhunt, and his sole chance was to find a place to hide in the deepest part of the forest, taking care not to lose the narrow trail which only they, the Motecas, knew.

What tormented him the most was the odor, as though, notwithstanding the absolute acceptance of the dream, there was something which resisted that which was not habitual, which until that point had not participated in the game. “It smells of war,” he thought, his hand going instinctively to the stone knife which was tucked at an angle into his girdle of woven wool. An unexpected sound made him crouch suddenly stock-still and shaking. To be afraid was nothing strange, there was plenty of fear in his dreams. He waited, covered by the branches of a shrub and the starless night. Far off, probably on the other side of the big lake, they’d be lighting the bivouac fires; that part of the sky had a reddish glare. The sound was not repeated. It had been like a broken limb. Maybe an animal that, like himself, was escaping from the smell of war. He stood erect slowly, sniffing the air. Not a sound could be heard, but the fear was still following, as was the smell, that cloying incense of the war of the blossom. He had to press forward, to stay out of the bogs and get to the heart of the forest. Groping uncertainly through the dark, stoop ing every other moment to touch the packed earth of the trail, he took a few steps. He would have liked to have broken into a run, but the gurgling fens lapped on either side of him. On the path and in darkness, he took his bear ings. Then he caught a horrible blast of that foul smell he was most afraid of, and leaped forward desperately.

“You’re going to fall off the bed,” said the patient next to him. “Stop bouncing around, old buddy.” He opened his eyes and it was afternoon, the sun al ready low in the oversized windows of the long ward. While trying to smile at his neighbor, he detached himself almost physically from the final scene of the nightmare. His arm, in a plaster cast, hung suspended from an appa ratus with weights and pulleys. He felt thirsty, as though he’d been running for miles, but they didn’t want to give him much water, barely enough to moisten his lips and make a mouthful. The fever was winning slowly and he would have been able to sleep again, but he was enjoying the pleasure of keeping awake, eyes half-closed, listening to the other patients’ conversation, answering a question from time to time. He saw a little white pushcart come up beside the bed, a blond nurse rubbed the front of his thigh with alcohol and stuck him with a fat needle connected to a tube which ran up to a bottle filled with a milky, opales cent liquid. A young intern arrived with some metal and leather apparatus which he adjusted to fit onto the good arm to check something or other. Night fell, and the fever went along dragging him down softly to a state in which things seemed embossed as through opera glasses, they were real and soft and, at the same time, vaguely distaste ful; like sitting in a boring movie and thinking that, well, still, it’d be worse out in the street, and staying.

A cup of a marvelous golden broth came, smelling of leeks, celery and parsley. A small hunk of bread, more precious than a whole banquet, found itself crumbling lit tle by little. His arm hardly hurt him at all, and only in the eyebrow where they’d taken stitches a quick, hot pain siz zled occasionally. When the big windows across the way turned to smudges of dark blue, he thought it would not be difficult for him to sleep. Still on his back so a little un comfortable, running his tongue out over his hot, too-dry lips, he tasted the broth still, and with a sigh of bliss, he let himself drift off.

First there was a confusion, as of one drawing all his sensations, for that moment blunted or muddled, into himself. He realized that he was running in pitch dark ness, although, above, the sky criss-crossed with treetops was less black than the rest. “The trail,” he thought, “I’ve gotten off the trail.” His feet sank into a bed of leaves and mud, and then he couldn’t take a step that the branches of shrubs did not whiplash against his ribs and legs. Out of breath, knowing despite the darkness and silence that he was surrounded, he crouched down to listen. Maybe the trail was very near, with the first daylight he would be able to see it again. Nothing now could help him to find it. The hand that had unconsciously gripped the haft of the dagger climbed like a fen scorpion up to his neck where the protecting amulet hung. Barely moving his lips, he mumbled the supplication of the corn which brings about the beneficent moons, and the prayer to Her Very High ness, to the distributor of all Motecan possessions. At the same time he felt his ankles sinking deeper into the mud, and the waiting in the darkness of the obscure grove of live oak grew intolerable to him. The war of the blossom had started at the beginning of the moon and had been going on for three days and three nights now. If he man aged to hide in the depths of the forest, getting off the trail further up past the marsh country, perhaps the warriors wouldn’t follow his track. He thought of the many prison ers they’d already taken. But the number didn’t count,only the consecrated period. The hunt would continue until the priests gave the sign to return. Everything had its number and its limit, and it was within the sacred period, and he on the other side from the hunters.

He heard the cries and leaped up, knife in hand. As if the sky were aflame on the horizon, he saw torches mov ing among the branches, very near him. The smell of war was unbearable, and when the first enemy jumped him, leaped at his throat, he felt an almost-pleasure in sinking the stone blade flat to the haft into his chest. The lights were already around him, the happy cries. He managed to cut the air once or twice, then a rope snared him from behind.

“It’s the fever,” the man in the next bed said. “The same thing happened to me when they operated on my duode num. Take some water, you’ll see, you’ll sleep all right.”

Laid next to the night from which he came back, the tepid shadow of the ward seemed delicious to him. A vio let lamp kept watch high on the far wall like a guardian eye. You could hear coughing, deep breathing, once in a while a conversation in whispers. Everything was pleas ant and secure, without the chase, no . . . But he didn’t want to go on thinking about the nightmare. There were lots of things to amuse himself with. He began to look at the cast on his arm, and the pulleys that held it so com­fortably in the air. They’d left a bottle of mineral water on the night table beside him. He put the neck of the bottle to his mouth and drank it like a precious liqueur. He could now make out the different shapes in the ward, the thirty beds, the closets with glass doors. He guessed that his fever was down, his face felt cool. The cut over the eye brow barely hurt at all, like a recollection. He saw himself leaving the hotel again, wheeling out the cycle. Who’d have thought that it would end like this? He tried to fix the moment of the accident exactly, and it got him very angry to notice that there was a void there, an emptiness he could not manage to fill. Between the impact and the mo­ment that they picked him up off the pavement, the pass ing out or what went on, there was nothing he could see. And at the same time he had the feeling that this void, this nothingness, had lasted an eternity. No, not even time, more as if, in this void, he had passed across some thing, or had run back immense distances. The shock, the brutal dashing against the pavement. Anyway, he had felt an immense relief in coming out of the black pit while the people were lifting him off the ground. With pain in the broken arm, blood from the split eyebrow, contusion on the knee; with all that, a relief in returning to daylight, to the day, and to feel sustained and attended. That was weird. Someday he’d ask the doctor at the office about that. Now sleep began to take over again, to pull him slowly down. The pillow was so soft, and the coolness of the mineral water in his fevered throat. The violet light of the lamp up there was beginning to get dimmer and dim mer.

As he was sleeping on his back, the position in which he came to did not surprise him, but on the other hand the damp smell, the smell of oozing rock, blocked his throat and forced him to understand. Open the eyes and look in all directions, hopeless. He was surrounded by an absolute darkness. Tried to get up and felt ropes pinning his wrists and ankles. He was staked to the ground on a floor of dank, icy stone slabs. The cold bit into his naked back, his legs. Dully, he tried to touch the amulet with his chin and found they had stripped him of it. Now he was lost, no prayer could save him from the final . . . From afar off, as though filtering through the rock of the dungeon, he heard the great kettledrums of the feast. They had carried him to the temple, he was in the underground cells of Teo calli itself, awaiting his turn.

He heard a yell, a hoarse yell that rocked off the walls. Another yell, ending in a moan. It was he who was screaming in the darkness, he was screaming because he was alive, his whole body with that cry fended off what was coming, the inevitable end. He thought of his friends filling up the other dungeons, and of those already walk ing up the stairs of the sacrifice. He uttered another choked cry, he could barely open his mouth, his jaws were twisted back as if with a rope and a stick, and once in a while they would open slowly with an endless exertion, as if they were made of rubber. The creaking of the wooden latches jolted him like a whip. Rent, writhing, he fought to rid himself of the cords sinking into his flesh. His right arm, the strongest, strained until the pain became unbear able and he had to give up. He watched the double door open, and the smell of the torches reached him before the light did. Barely girdled by the ceremonial loincloths, the priests’ acolytes moved in his direction, looking at him with contempt. Lights reflected off the sweaty torsos and off the black hair dressed with feathers. The cords went slack, and in their place the grappling of hot hands, hard as bronze; he felt himself lifted, still face up, and jerked along by the four acolytes who carried him down the pas sageway. The torchbearers went ahead, indistinctly light ing up the corridor with its dripping walls and a ceiling so low that the acolytes had to duck their heads. Now they were taking him out, taking him out, it was the end. Face up, under a mile of living rock which, for a succession of moments, was lit up by a glimmer of torchlight. When the stars came out up there instead of the roof and the great terraced steps rose before him, on fire with cries and dances, it would be the end. The passage was never going to end, but now it was beginning to end, he would see sud­denly the open sky full of stars, but not yet, they trundled him along endlessly in the reddish shadow, hauling him roughly along and he did not want that, but how to stop it if they had torn off the amulet, his real heart, the life center.

In a single jump he came out into the hospital night, to the high, gentle, bare ceiling, to the soft shadow wrapping him round. He thought he must have cried out, but his neighbors were peacefully snoring. The water in the bottle on the night table was somewhat bubbly, a translucent shape against the dark azure shadow of the windows. He panted, looking for some relief for his lungs, oblivion for those images still glued to his eyelids. Each time he shut his eyes he saw them take shape instantly, and he sat up, completely wrung out, but savoring at the same time the surety that now he was awake, that the night nurse would answer if he rang, that soon it would be daybreak, with the good, deep sleep he usually had at that hour, no im ages, no nothing . . . It was difficult to keep his eyes open, the drowsiness was more powerful than he. He made one last effort, he sketched a gesture toward the bottle of water with his good hand and did not manage to reach it, his fingers closed again on a black emptiness, and the passageway went on endlessly, rock after rock, with momentary ruddy flares, and face up he choked out a dull moan because the roof was about to end, it rose, was opening like a mouth of shadow, and the acolytes straightened up, and from on high a waning moon fell on a face whose eyes wanted not to see it, were closing and opening desperately, trying to pass to the other side, to find again the bare, protecting ceiling of the ward. And every time they opened, it was night and the moon, while they climbed the great terraced steps, his head hanging down backward now, and up at the top were the bonfires, red columns of perfumed smoke, and suddenly he saw the red stone, shiny with the blood dripping off it, and the spinning arcs cut by the feet of the victim whom they pulled off to throw him rolling down the north steps. With a last hope he shut his lids tightly, moaning to wake up. For a second he thought he had gotten there, because once more he was immobile in the bed, except that his head was hanging down off it, swinging. But he smelled death, and when he opened his eyes he saw the blood-soaked fig ure of the executioner-priest coming toward him with the stone knife in his hand. He managed to close his eyelids again, although he knew now he was not going to wake up, that he was awake, that the marvelous dream had been the other, absurd as all dreams are-a dream in which he was going through the strange avenues of an astonishing city, with green and red lights that burned without fire or smoke, on an enormous metal insect that whirred away between his legs. In the infinite he of the dream, they had also picked him up off the ground, some one had approached him also with a knife in his hand, approached him who was lying face up, face up with his eyes closed between the bonfires on the steps.
—-

 

*

p.s. Hey. Just want to say, if it matters, that you’ll be seeing more restored posts than usual for the next while because the preparations for Zac’s and my film are starting to lock down my days to the point where the time I normally spend making new posts is getting very sliced and diced. I’ll try to keep the number of restorations as low as I can, and I’ll hope that either you won’t have seen the returning posts before or will be happy to see them again if you have. Thanks. ** David Ehrenstein, Thank you kindly for the beautiful characterization, sir. ** James Nulick, Hi. You’re a coaster guy then. Nice story. Someone should edit a book of theme park-set stories. Enjoy SoCal, man. Ha, yeah, back in the day whenever my mom would say to me, ‘You look good’, that was always a signal to me to start starving myself. I don’t think I could handle Bible study. Any resulting flights of fancy of note? Thanks, and thanks again! ** Jamie, Hi, J-J. I am happy to be warm and actually clean whenever I want to be clean again. Yikes, about the almost break-in. That’s eerie for sure. Do you have, like, an alarm system our anything? In the early 80s when I was living in West LA, I came home one day, unlocked my door, and found my landlord (who lived in the building) in my apartment, which was weird, and he was acting strange and left super fast, and when I looked around, he had unplugged my TV, stereo, and other valuable stuff and put them in pile, obviously preparing to steal them. When I went outside and found him, he offered me $500 to not report him, and I took it ‘cos I was very broke. I’m still unpacking and dealing with basically non-stop film stuff. Things are smooth, although there are a few crises at the moment, and our producer has set up a meeting to ‘talk about things’ this afternoon, and Zac and I are a bit scared of what that’s about. But, yeah, mostly fine. Understood about the office things basically triggering the emotional stuff. No, I actually hate when a process involves putting out lots of fires. I can do it without having a nervous breakdown, I guess, but, no, I’m, not into it. We’re kind of edging that situation at the moment with the film, and I’m working on keeping calm and pragmatic. I’m glad you liked the Reinke. Yeah, cool stuff. I still haven’t had a lengthy enough moment to be able actually explore my hood other than locating the closest tabac and market, but I’ll tell you when I do. You have a sweller than an ocean swell day. Busy love, Dennis. ** Scunnard, Hey! Buddy boy! It’s awfully nice to see you, my friend! How are you? Any chance of a catch up from your end? Would be heavily welcome. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Thanks for the link re: Kate Monica. Your love of her will get me heavily investigating her work as soon I get my next work break. Two day irritation spell, a serious one. Did your sleep last night finally knock it out, I hope? Yesterday Zac and I had a long meeting with our film’s costume designer to start picking out the outfits for the characters. She’s cool, so I think it’ll be good. Did more unpacking. There are three moments in our film where characters are reading books, and I’m in charge of choosing the right books, and I decided on two of the three, and third one is close to being picked. It’s tricky. We want the books to be meaningful and clue-like, but not too obvious. I started reaching out to get hopeful permissions for the music we want to use in the film. We need a Death Metal track, two interesting dance tracks, and, the only specific one, a song by Destroyer, which we’re hoping he’ll let us or use without charging us too much. And, yeah, more work like that. Today is a very, very long day of film meetings and stuff, so we’ll see about that. How was your Thursday? Calm in addition to eveything else, I hope. ** New Juche, Hi, Joe. Got your email, thanks! I’ll set about making a post, and I’ll hit you up if I think I need stuff from you. There are almost literally 12 new amusement parks planned for the Emirates. I suspect that ultimately only two or three of them will actually happen. How soon do you fly home? It’s getting close, no? You must be awfully happy about that. ** Steevee, Hi. Yes, curious about this seemingly out of the blue interest in Clarke’s work now. I guess the DVD collection came out recently, no? I assume that has something to do with it. Wild if the new Malick matches those other controversies. And nice since those films’ worth have ultimately won the battle. I like both ‘One on One’ and ‘Next Position Please’ quite a lot, but I’m the opposite, I prefer ‘One on One’, the songs themselves and its production to Rundgren’s sound on ‘NPP’, which I think is a little too clean and Rundgrenized, but it’s apples and oranges. ‘I Want You’ on ‘OoO’ is one of my very, very favorite Cheap Trick songs. ** _Black_Acrylic, Yeah, agree about ‘The Sketch’. And what an excellent name for a roller coaster. That game sounds super fun, nice. Safe trip to Leeds. How do you generally spend your time on train trips? ** Bill, Hey. I know, right? And I think it’s actually happening and close to being opened, shockingly. Oh, say hi to Omar for me! Cool! ** Misanthrope, Space guy, eh? Space is so seductive. I was going too say that’s weird but it’s not weird at all. Is not ‘The Dream Police’ a killer song? High five. I love your dream. Ha ha, I’ll tell Zac. It’ll probably make him want us to design a line of socks, which, you know … why not? ** Alistair, Hi, A! Thank you so much again! Zac was really touched by your good words. He’s a big fan of your novel. Ha ha, yes, we tried about 18 different ways of her saying ‘totally’, and that one won, I guess for the obvious reasons. Oh, wow, the new book is really close! When does it come out exactly? Can I make a ‘welcome to the world’ post here about it to do the blog’s small part in being one of its real world’s ushers? Bunch of love, Dennis. ** Jeff Coleman, Hi, Jeff! ** Right. I’ve brought back this post about the awesome Julio Cortazar’s book. Hope it adds to your day. See you tomorrow.

DC’s International Amusement Park Newsletter, Vol. 7: Coming soonish to a theme park or vacant lot nearish you

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2019: Wanda City Chengdu Theme Park (Chengdu, China)
At a total investment of 55 billion yuan, Chengdu Wanda Cultural Tourism City, situated at Binjiang New District, Dujiangyan City, Chengdu, occupies a 310-hectare site with gross floor area of 5 million square meters. The project will include a Wanda Mall, outdoor theme park, stage show, a hotel cluster and a Binjiang bar street, among others. The Chengdu Wanda Theme Park will feature a ski park, a horror park, a movie park, a shopping mall and much more.





 

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2019: Whirligig Woods (Saxapahaw, North Carolina)
A former designer for Disney parks and Busch Gardens has officially announced plans to bring an all new family entertainment experience, Whirligig Woods Amusement Park and Treehouse Resort, to Saxapahaw, North Carolina, to include an entire section dedicated to Halloween.

Theme park designer and Raleigh resident Bob Baranick, who has worked on projects around the world including Disney World, Disney Land, and Busch Gardens, is turning his dream for a North Carolina theme park into a reality with his proposed Whirligig Woods, which he plans to build on a 21-acre site in Saxapahaw, located in Alamance County on the Haw River less than 20 miles west of Chapel Hill.

The new theme park would include thrill rides, a tree house resort, and, most exciting, a Halloween-themed haunted land that Baranick tells us will be called Spooky Hollow. According to the report, Baranick plans to break ground in 2018, with the first phase of Whirligig Woods opening in 2019.




 

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2019: The Sketch (Orlando)
As you can see, this coaster is CRAZY, and very compact, which is completely understandable, as the new theme park it’s destined for will open within only 7.7 acres.

 

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2018: The Electric Eel (SeaWorld, San Diego)
Making good on SeaWorld’s promise to add more thrill-oriented rides, the San Diego theme park is announcing plans today for what it is calling its tallest and fastest roller coaster yet. The Electric Eel, which would make its debut in early summer of 2018, proposes a combination of loops, twists and a nearly 150-foot high ascent followed by an inverted roll that will offer riders an upside-down view of Mission Bay.



 

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2018: The Titanic Experience (20th Century Fox World, Dubai)
James Cameron’s classic film Titanic will be depicted from beginning to end in the new ride Titanic Experience to allow fans of the film to feel as if they are really on the sinking ship, from their first board to final goodbye. The ride will feature “an immersive experience that includes motion theater simulators and will allow you to experience what it was like to be on the Titanic in an exciting way.”



 

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2018: Polercoaster (Atlantic City Boardwalk)
The Polercoaster, a proposed vertical roller coaster to be built on the site of the old Sands casino, has received approval from the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, The Press of Atlantic City reports. The envisioned coaster will sit on one acre of land and tower 350 feet high. It will be located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Mount Vernon and Kentucky Avenues. Florida developer Joshua Wallack, who is building a similar amusement complex in the Sunshine State, has big plans for the Jersey site. “We’re obviously going to have a bar there,” he said.


 

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2018: Cirque du Soleil Theme Park (Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico)
Have you ever found yourself sitting in the back row under the blue-and-yellow Cirque du Soleil big top and thought to yourself: “The only thing that could make this better would be a three-hour line and $14 hamburgers!” Well, your wait may finally be over in 2018, when the first-ever Cirque de Soleil theme park opens at the Vidanta resort in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico.

The Park will fuse Cirque’s immersive entertainment with Vidanta’s luxury vacationing, creating a fantasyland where families can explore and get away from it all. It will have three hotels feature a range of components — a mix of interactive theater with water features, VIP hydrotherapy circuit for adults, experiential and interactive entertainment experiences, and embedded CDS actors. The park is meant to look like it sprouted up from the ground and will be overwhelmingly lush and green. What you won’t find: plastic tubing, slides, stanchions, etc.








 

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2018: Valkyria (Liseberg, Gothenburg)
In the mighty shadow of the valkyrie you are chosen for the ultimate challenge. Summon up all your courage and strength, because in order to rise you must first fall. Straight down! Europe’s longest Dive Coaster, with a vertical 50-metre-drop. Just as you are about to go over the edge the ride suddenly pauses. Before you plunge vertically into an underground tunnel at a speed of 105 kph!



 

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2018: ErotikaLand (Piracicaba, Brazil)
A new theme park in Brazil called Erotikaland will open in 2018. It’s pretty much similar to Disneyland, minus the cutesy characters and only more sex. There are countless plans underway for the park, one of them being genitalia-shaped amusement rides. All of the elements of the park will be related to sexual organs or activities.

Don’t expect to walk around with a tub of popcorn or a stick of cotton candy. The park will only offer aphrodisiac snacks and the restaurants will only offer meals with aphrodisiac foods. Despite being sex-themed, guests aren’t allowed to have sex inside Erotikaland. There’s going to be a hotel within the park itself for those who can’t hold it any longer. If they prefer, park officials will also be operating motels outside of the park for a fee.

A 7D cinema will be erected within the park. It will include vibrating seats that will surely tittilate the senses of those who want to watch something inside the theatre. You won’t be able to find mouse ears inside Erotikaland’s souvenir shop. You can probably get vibrators, plugs, clamps, and sex dolls for sale, along with some souvenir items emblazoned with the park’s logo. There’s a huge possibility that those who are under 18 won’t be allowed inside.










 

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2018: Unnamed Hyper Coaster (Energylandia, Poland)
You may remember Polish amusement park Energylandia announcing that it will be adding either an Intamin or a Vekoma hyper coaster for the 2018 season. The winner has been decided! Energylandia will be adding an Intamin hyper coaster for the 2018 season. It will be the world’s tallest (262 ft), fastest (86 mph) hyper coaster. The ride also features multiple airtime moments, a panoramic wave turn, and a water feature.


 

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2019: Grand Texas (New Casey, Texas)
Building a theme park from scratch is like riding a roller coaster. Monty Galland knows. He’s developing Grand Texas. “Things are going well,” said Galland from the construction site near the intersection of Highways 242 and 59 in New Caney. “They’re moving along much faster now. There’s a lot of activity.” Grand Texas will eventually be a more than 600 acre complex with a theme park, a water park, sports fields, hotels, restaurants and more.





 

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2019: The Pearl of Dubai
The Pearl of Dubai, set in the shallow waters of The World Islands development off the coast of Dubai, has been modelled after the mythical lost city of Atlantis and inspired by the look of the Hollywood films Pirates of the Caribbean and Avatar, according to Reef Worlds, the Los Angeles-based underwater tourism design company developing the project.

The five-acre park, billed as the largest sustainable underwater tourism site, will be accessible to swimmers and divers of all ages and levels who can view the site near the surface of the sea by snorkelling or explore it deeper underwater by scuba diving. The company hopes to create a park where “everybody can be satisfied”, with children able to snorkel, while parents go diving and teenagers explore the waters in a semi-submersible. “Ideally, we would be looking for somebody to be able to walk down the sand and right into the structure”, said David Taylor, director of development.







 

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2018: Time Traveler (Silver Dollar City, Missouri)
Silver Dollar City fans are buzzing with excitement over the recent construction taking place at the park. Footers are being poured and a building, presumably the ride’s station, is being erected. The ride is rumored to be the first Xtreme Spinning Coaster model from Mack Rides, meaning it could feature a launch and one or more inversions. Considering that the construction is taking place on a hillside, the coaster’s layout is likely to closely follow the terrain. In terms of theme, Herschend Family Entertainment, the chain owning Silver Dollar City, recently filed a trademark for the name Time Traveler. In a guest survey, the park revealed that a potential theme for the coaster would be a time machine that launches riders back in time to the Roman Empire.


 

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2018: Six Flags Las Vegas
The world-renowned Theme Park chain will be adding the city of sin to their roster come Summer 2018! This new attraction is said to be located at the edge of town, off of Blue Diamond road. The park will take up around 262 acres, and the attractions will be themed with some familiar characters, along with some new characters that will be revealed in cinemas shortly.

 

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2019: Six Flags Dubai
Six Flags has released new details about its Six Flags Dubai project, which is scheduled to open in late 2019 as part of the second phase of the Dubai Parks and Resorts development initiative. Six Flags Dubai will feature 27 rides and attractions. The park will include “world-record breaking roller coasters, water slides, shows and a variety of food offerings.” Guests will enter and exit the park through an impressive, state-of-the-art (and fully air-conditioned!) promenade which will offer a VIP mezzanine, space for private and catered events, as well as retail and dining. The area will be home to three attractions including the park’s signature roller coaster that will encircle the promenade.






 

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2019: Gold Nugget Theme Park (Deadwood, South Dakota)
With no other major theme park or large-scale family entertainment center in the region, principals of the proposed $40 million to $80 million Gold Nugget Theme Park revealed their plans at a public meeting Monday in Deadwood. Ideas for the park include The Lost Mine Sluice, a themed water park attraction; The Hickok House, a dinner theater with live entertainment along with dining and cocktails, with a seating capacity of 1,100 to 1,500; The Winchester-Remington Lodge, an upscale Lodge and Restaurant; The Miners Camp, 100 log cabins; Conestoga Campground, 240 RV parking spots; The Great Sioux Powwow Grounds, 50 teepees for camping; and The Deadwood and Gold Nugget Railroad, an 1870s steam train through the Gold Nugget property with a final destination in downtown Deadwood through Whitewood Canyon.

 

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2018: Toy Story Land (Walt Disney Studios, Orlando)
In Toy Story Land, you’ll find yourself shrunk to the size of a toy to explore the world of Andy’s backyard with your favorite Toy Story characters, including Woody and Buzz. There are two new themed attractions being developed for Toy Story Land.

The first – Slinky Dog Dash – will be a family coaster attraction you’ll want to ride again and again. The attraction features a coaster track that Andy has built all over his backyard using his Mega Coaster Play Kit, but as you know, he has a pretty amazing imagination, so he’s combined it with some of his other toys, according to Imagineer Kathy Mangum. On Slinky Dog Dash, you will zip, dodge and dash around many turns and drops that Andy has created to really make Slinky and his coils stretch to his limits.

The second all-new attraction in Toy Story Land will be Alien Swirling Saucers. This attraction is designed as a toy play set that Andy got from Pizza Planet, inspired by the first Toy Story film. Aliens are flying around in their toy flying saucers and trying to capture your rocket toy vehicle with “The Claw.” As you rotate around the toy planets and satellites as part of the game, you’ll swirl to the beat of fun “Space Jazz” music developed just for this experience, Mangum said. The music, the lighting, and the sound effects will add to the flurry of your adventure while “The Claw” looms ominously over you.




 

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2018: Ocean Park (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong is set to welcome a new water park in July 2018, almost two decades after a previous one was closed. A ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction of Tai Shue Wan Water World was held at Ocean Park on Thursday. Ocean Park Chairman Leo Kung Lin-cheng said that the new water park will be able to host 1.5 million visitors a year. It will feature multiple outdoor and indoor swimming pools as well as water slides and a sea turtle exhibit area, according to a government planning document.


 

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2018/2019: Metsä (Japan)
A brand new theme park based around Tove Jansson’s much-loved Moomin characters is to open in Japan in 2018. ‘Metsä’, meaning ‘forest’ in Finnish, is a joint venture between Tokyo’s FinTech Global Incorporated (FGI) and Moomin Monogatari Ltd. Its wooded location on the shores of Lake Miyazawa in Hanno is intended to evoke the Moomins’ Finnish homeland. The new theme park will incorporate two zones. Metsä Village is scheduled to open in Autumn 2018, and MOOMINVALLEY PARK will open in Spring the following year.

Metsä Village is being designed as a Northern European lifestyle country park. With no admission fee, visitors can relax or pursue outdoor activities in the park’s natural setting. Additionally, there will also be a covered European style market selling fresh local produce as well as arts and crafts. Accommodation will be offered in the form of lakeside glamping and a hotel with en-suite saunas.

At MOOMINVALLEY PARK, guests will be able to immerse themselves in the unique world of the Moomins. Landmark buildings recreated from the original stories will include the family’s Moomin House, the lighthouse and the bathing hut. The park will also feature a number of attractions, plus a restaurant and a Moomin store selling original park products. Japan’s new Moomin attraction is being designed to deliver ‘Six Experience Values and 3 Guidelines that Lead to a True Sense of Contentment’:

1. The experience of adventure, of discovery, of learning new things.
2. Natural experiences – a gentle breeze at the lakeside, soft grass under foot, the changing seasons.
3. The satisfaction of achieving goals through one’s own effort.






 

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2018: Asgard Viking Adventure Park (Haugesund, Norway)
Prepare to embark on a fun-filled adventure at Asgard, where the Age of the Vikings comes roaring back to life. Celebrate the Viking spirit with thrilling rides, dazzling shows, extraordinary dining, and marvelous shopping opportunities. You’ll be immersed in an amazing world of heroes, monsters, and magic…action and adventure…gods and giants…high courage and low treachery…strange beings and wondrous places…primeval creation and cataclysmic destruction. It’s a one-of-a-kind, year-round destination with indoor and outdoor experiences that will engage every member of your family as it triggers the imagination and inspires participation. And it’s all presented on authentic Viking land.






 

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2018: Koma (Walibi, Belgium)
Walibi Belgium, the famous Belgian amusement park of the Compagnie des Alpes, will offer in the summer of 2018 a new sensational attraction to its public, a brand new roller coaster Bolliger & Mabillard. Walibi chose a name for the less original, since it will be called “Koma”, in reference to the clinical state of abolition of consciousness and vigilance. Without inversion, type “Hyper Coaster”, this one proposes a course of 1450 meters full of surprises, of which 9 points of airtimes. Built by the well-known Swiss manufacturer Bolliger & Mabillard, “Koma” will culminate from the top of its lift at 61 meters, which will allow its 3 trains composed of 7 cars each for a total of 28 passengers per convoy, Speed ​​of 117 km / h. The “Koma” circuit will be largely above the lake, integrated into a new area that will cover 2 hectares encompassing the Radja River and including shops, as well as a food court. The “Cobra” you will take the road to France, the redemption by the Parc du Bocasse for 4 million euros should be signed in the week. A soundtrack will also be specially created for the attraction and will be broadcast in the train station, in the waiting line as well as in the lift. Sound and visual effects are also provided and will be activated during the passage of the trains. Lights will also be visible at night on the sides of these. With “Koma”, Walibi Belgium will thus hold the highest, and the longest roller coaster in the Benelux.


 

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2018: RMC Mean Steak (Cedar Point)
So what’s going on with Mean Streak? I posed the question ten days ago and The Point has been completely silent on the issue. Meanwhile construction continues on site at the park with new RMC style track being set into place, and some interesting new changes being made that promise that whatever is happening to Mean Streak will truly be something special when it does open.




 

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2019: Nagatino Theme Park ‘Dream Island’ (Moscow)
Construction has recently begun at our project Nagatino Theme Park ‘Dream Island’ which is set to be a new world class amusement park and “Moscow’s version of Disneyland”. The territory of the new theme park covers 100 hectares and will include the world’s biggest theme amusement park, multifunctional concert hall, multiplex, 4 star hotel, yacht club and children’s yacht school. Much of this territory will be developed as a public park, including a pedestrian zone along the bank of the Moscow River. “Dream Island” is currently one of the largest social projects in Moscow and its development is highly supported and welcomed by the government and citizens. The architectural concept for the park was initially developed and designed by Chapman Taylor. Nagatino Theme Park is expected to be visited by up to 4 million people annually.


 

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2018: International Space Center (Ashdod, Israel)
Israel isn’t known for its amusement parks, but that could change soon as a new space-themed park is set to open in Ashdod. The International Space Center will feature displays, movies and activities all connected to space travel, with special shows and events featuring space industry personnel and astronauts from Israel and abroad.

Among those activities will be the 3D space experience, in which participants will have the opportunity to participate in a simulated space flight, with interactive displays to help visitors learn about the planets and the future of space travel. There will also be space-themed rides, games, snack bars – and, of course, a gift shop – to provide visitors with an “out of this world” experience.

Besides fun space stuff, the park will feature a more serious side, hosting an incubator for early-stage start-ups working on space-related technology. The site will also be home to the Israel Space Cadet Training Center, designed to be Israel’s premier academy for astronautics, aeronautics and space science.


 

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2018: Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi
Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, an indoor theme park spanning 1.65 million square feet, will feature 29 rides, shows and interactive attractions. Currently, theming is underway throughout the park. The park will feature characters from its portfolio of DC Comics Super Heroes universe including Batman, Superman and Wonder Women and cartoons such as Bugs Bunny, Scooby-Doo and Tom and Jerry. Factory acceptance testing for all rides is nearly done, and delivery and installation of rides has already started. Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi will be situated alongside other theme parks in Yas Island including Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, CLYMB, and the recently announced SeaWorld Abu Dhabi – which is set to open in 2022.





 

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2018: SW8 (Alton Towers, UK)
Alton Towers has submitted a planning application for a wooden rollercoaster, scheduled to open in 2018. According to Ride Rater fan page the project is currently dubbed SW8 and will be built by American manufacturers Great Coasters International (GCI).


 

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2018: Ferrari Land (Port Aventura, Spain)
Ferrari Land, about an hour southwest of Barcelona, will feature five rides based on the sports car brand when it opens next door to the PortAventura theme park. The 19-acre Ferrari Land will be about a third the size of the original Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and about as big as a single themed land at PortAventura. The $140-million budget for the entire park is less than Disney or Universal spends on some individual attractions.

Visitors will enter Ferrari Land by way of a checkered flag plaza with a fountain sporting a statue based on the carmaker’s prancing horse logo. Display models of the Spider, Italia, Berlinetta, California and Speciale sports cars in Ferrari’s signature red will ring the entry plaza. The park will feature five rides: a launched roller coaster, a pair of drop towers, a miniature motorway, a race car simulator and a whip ride.

The Vertical Accelerator coaster will rocket riders from 0 to 112 mph in 5 seconds up a 368-foot-tall top hat spike. The ride is billed as the tallest coaster in Europe, besting the 249-foot-tall Shambhala next door at PortAventura. The Ferrari Land coaster won’t be as tall (456 feet) or fast (128 mph) as the similar Kingda Ka at New Jersey’s Six Flags Great Adventure.






 

 

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p.s. Hey. ** Steevee, Hi. Well, there you go. If it’s gotten to the point where Malick’s critics are so divided that a place like the Voice runs dueling reviews, then that only speaks to his work’s admirably confusing power as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure about Dominowe’s influences. Is there not an interview with him out there somewhere? Very cool about the ‘Scum’ release and even more about your piece on Clarke! Congrats, I can’t wait to read it! ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Well, you were speaking a while back about current queer film having lost its daring, and Reinke is a good example of queer film, or video in his case, really going for it. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Me too. We really need to have that big problem behind us asap. We’re swamped. Like I think we’ve talked about, ‘Trainspotting’s’ language in the original is tough even for an English speaker, or at least a non-Scottish person, but just go with the music of it, is my suggestion, and let it make sense when it does and be garbled-seeming when it doesn’t. Great novel. My guess is that ‘PGL’ will ultimately be a little longer than ‘Cattle’, but it’s really hard to tell until we get into the editing. That’s when you figure out what the movie is or needs to be. That’s my very favorite part, no surprise. I hope you’re feeling less irritated today. The good thing about irritation is that a decent night’s sleep can sweep that kind of circumstantial stress away. Hope it did. Kate Monica: the name seems kind of familiar me, but I don’t think I’ve read her. Of course I’ll go see what I can find about her today. Thank you! My apartment is warm! And my showers will now be hot! It’s weird how exciting that feels, ha ha. Yesterday involved mostly just starting to unpack boxes and conferring with Zac about the film stuff progress. It seemed to just kind of happen and eventually end uneventfully. How did Wednesday turn out for you? ** Alistair, Hi, A! Very lovely to see you, my friend! I’m so happy you liked ‘Cattle’ so much! That really is so great to hear and means so much coming from you! I’ll copy and paste your comment and zip it to Zac. The music in scene 2 is ‘Get Out 3’ by Pita (aka Peter Rehberg). It’s on his album ‘Get Out’. That scene changed a lot between the original plan and what we ended up shooting. Originally, it was going to be the singer of a noisy rock band (initially I planned to ask Sonic Youth to be band, but then they broke up) playing a gig in a club. He was going to be singing a song rather than doing spoken word. The same thing was going to happen — audience members attacking him sexually and dragging him into the audience to molest him. But in that version, the rest of the band going to enter the audience, surround the assault, watch, and spontaneously score the assault by playing improvised, noisy music while the singer contiunued to try to sing the song while being attacked. But it was just too logistically ambitious and costly to do it that way, so we had to shift it into an electronic/spoken word performance, and we slotted the ‘The Worst’ text in for the obvious reason — the creepiness and volatility of a guy being assaulted as he recounts the most horrible things that have happened to him in his life — which worked out okay. Really, thank you so much, Alistair! That’s really, really great to hear! How are you? What’s up with your novel’s path to us? Big love, me. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I’m glad you liked the Reinkes. I thought you might, so that’s cool that you did. How’s stuff? ** Jeff Coleman, Hi, Jeff! Wow, it’s already available? I’ll see if New Juche is up for pushing the ‘welcome’ post’s timing up to asap. New Juche, If you see this, should we do the ‘welcome’ post for your book soon? I’m way into it, if so. Everyone, New Juche’s new book ‘Mountainhead’, which is amazing, is already available to order now even though it technically won’t be out for a while. I’m going to do a welcoming post for the book soon, but, if you can’t wait, Jeff Coleman has alerted us that you can order the book right now by using this link. Thanks a bunch, Jeff! ** Misanthrope, Hi. ‘Good different’, yep, aren’t we all hopefully, ha ha. Thanks about the title. Yeah, not bad, right? And it does cool things re: the film and its story, I think. Pass along the G word on ‘Closet Monster’ please? Bon day! ** S., Hi, man. The move was a success, I guess, although until I unpack everything, it still feels like it’s happening, which isn’t a terribly good thing, although not bad either. New Cantrell? I’ll go hear that. I guess life is always weird, but we only notice that once in a while? Strange. ** Bill, Hi. I’m happy my post did its appointed job then, cool. The good thing about pokes is that they function at almost any speed, I think. Jesus, what the hell was I just trying to say? More coffee for me. ** Right. Today you are being subjected to my amusement park fascination/fetish as you occasionally are, and I guess that’s that. See you tomorrow.

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