Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bar Fight: The Proposal

This is the proposal I have been working on for the novel Bar Fight, it still needs a little work and will probably undergo a lot of changes but let me know what you think…


        In the late August of 2001, Michael Caravaggio and his loyal friend Matthew were sitting in a bar and they were children.  In the following days a newscaster came on the television and told them there were terrorist attacks, that life revolved around text messaging and the internet, they were thrown into a completely new adult world and they remained, children.

  Bar Fight is an 87,000 word fiction novel about two All-American art students who aren't afraid to fight for what they really believe in.  They believe in their egos.

  Michael lives life as a flash of lightning, only occasionally glimpsed from the darkness of his private world in the destructive acts that define him.  When an influential local insults his love for art and red wine, the assault that ensues leads him to discover a new hobby, initiating bar fights for fun!  Have you ever wanted to give someone a beating?  Sure you have, but you can't, you know that it's wrong.  Bar Fight shows you the man who does.  Michael and Matthew are antiheroes.  It's their choice to be heroes or cowards but they always win.  It's their choice to be self-righteous or hypocritical because whoever they are they make it right.  They aren't afraid to satisfy our darkest impulses by doing the wrong thing, in just about every situation.
  They are talented, temperamental and live in a world of opportunity.  Michael is a direct reincarnation of the 16th Century Baroque, Italian painter of the same name, Michelangelo Merisi-da Caravaggio, the painter who notoriously fled through Southern Italy creating several historic masterpieces as a fugitive wanted for murder.
This story fell together for me in January of 2010 when I ran off to Europe and spent months wandering the streets of Caravaggio's Rome, inevitably traveling towards Southern Italy as I devised this character that was part alter-ego, part living contradiction.  You can read about the process of how I put together this story on my blog at http://blog.thebarfight.com/.
I believe that young people living in the economy of today will take Bar Fight to heart because they will find inspiration in the story of a young artist who has so many choices, who can be so self-destructive and still succeed.  Michael is discontent, his intensity of persona proves to be a blessing and a curse.  When the initial person he assaulted rallies the entire town against him, MIchael has a choice.  Will he run, fight or in the typical ironic fashion of this novel, do both?  Matthew doesn't have a choice, the lifestyle that propels Michael to such notable fame destroys him.
Caravaggio was the outsider who changed the game.  His art which often appeared profane at first glance, told a story that was pure and good.
Bar Fight  a self-conscious novel intended to challenge stereotypes and reveal an absurdity in the use of violence.  Why are we fascinated by the self-destructive behavior of others?  Is there a backwards sense of vitality and intrepidity there?  Does it connect to something within ourselves?  I needed to experience these feelings from a distance, through social commentary and fiction, so I wrote this novel for me.  I believe it has an audience.  I believe that all of us have a little bit of Michael Caravaggio in our hearts, anyone who enjoys reading transgressive fiction, such as novels by writers like ……….. and ……..……. will find "Bar Fight" interesting.
If you would like to learn more about "Bar Fight" or read a sample of the first chapter you can visit my website at www.TheBarFight.com  The site includes a link to a small Facebook following and blog (http://blog.thebarfight.com/).  Feel free to contact me at alanjmichael@gmail.com.  I appreciate your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

The "Bar Fight" Cara-Blog-Gio Blog



Selling a product may not necessarily be one of my strong points but hopefully I can develop this into something good.  Any comments, criticisms and suggestions are welcome through Facebook, the blog account or I can most easily be reached Michael@theBarFight.com!

No one has ever posted a comment on the "Bar Fight" cara-Blog-gio Blog and I would be really excited if they did.

Ideally I think this proposal as a whole could be much shorter.  I want the outline to follow a basic division of… Paragraph 1: Hook, Paragraph 2: Sales Pitch, Paragraph 3: Story,   Paragraph 4: Who is this for?,  Paragraph 5:  Who am I?, Paragraph 6: Closing and Contact.  This proposal doesn't really follow that structure, I'd like to reorganize it so i does and I'm also working on a second.

I'll keep you updated on the progress.



Translated From:


Monday, June 18, 2012

What's That Thing For?


This is how my roommates and I used our bidet during study abroad in the spring of 2007.  The day before moving out of the apartment I put the fish in a bowl and left it on the doorstep of a pet store early in the morning.  I think my roommate Ross ate the white one while I was away one weekend.  Please do not show this blog to any animal rights groups.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Caravaggio: The Rise to Prominence


Caravaggio's Cardsharps (1594) was one of the first paintings to help earn him the attention of an influential Cardinal.  The painting is somewhat theatrical in nature and it was later in his career that Caravaggio would begin to use blackness and shadow as a tool to separate that relevant to the scene and that not, a strategy most strongly influencing the visual and literary style of "Bar Fight."

Even the greatest have to start somewhere.  Caravaggio had arrived in Rome with no money and often had to take on work that was very unpleasing to him.  "Worse, he was given nothing but salad to eat in the evening, which served as appetizer, entree and desert (…)  After a few months he left with little recompense, calling his benefactor and master 'Monsignor Salad.' "

-That final quote was taken from Giulio Mancini's account of Caravaggio's life.

After he finally gained the patronage of Cardinal Francesco Del Monte his career rapidly skyrocketed to fame but he was seemingly unproductive during the earliest years of his life.  The ultra-conservative 1500's were hard times for an aspiring rockstar.

The strong contradiction of light and dark in Caravaggio's much later painting of  St. John the Baptist (1604) suggests a man in turmoil.  The painting marks the point in Caravaggio's career in which a distinctive use of blackness became definitive of his style.  It was created two years before he murdered Ranuccio Tomassoni, the time in his life in which he was described as one who would spend "a month in the streets for every two weeks in the studio, swaggering about with his sword at his side, 'with a servant following him, from one ball-court to the next, ever ready to engage in a fight or an argument'."

Saint Jerome Writing (Caravaggio, 1606) is the painting that more or less lends its namesake to Chapter 37 of Bar Fight, "T. Maxwell Writing," described in the novel with a computer in the place of a skull and modern clothing replacing the robe, sans beard.

Caravaggio's work, much like his life, much like the unknown fiction novel he would inspire some 406 years later, was a constant contradiction between, light and dark, "the sacred and the profane."

Close up of Caravaggio's depiction of the Virgin Mary, The Madonna of the Palafrenieri was rejected from the Vatican due to its obvious sensuality.  This was four years before his death.
The four images above have been taken from the public domain.


Sources

Mancini, Giulio.  (1617-1621). On Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio from Considerazioni sulla pittura.  (2006). The Lives of Caravaggio.  London, Pallas Athene.

Graham-Dixon, Andrew.  (2010).  Caravaggio:  A Life Sacred and Profane.  New York, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.