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Soap for the Mind by danielzklein Soap for the Mind by danielzklein
Certainly the most demanding of my short stories. If you just stumbled across this, hello, welcome to my writings, but don't read this one first. Look around my other deviations. Try A Work Of Art (especially if you consider yourself an artist, this might speak to you), try Overwhelm (if your attention span is short) or On Ancient Gods.. (if you like semi-fantasy writing and simple storytelling).

Still with me? Great. This story was an elaborated answer to my good friend Isidora Glisic's question:
'Why should I pursue my dreams? Why should I study cinematography when my dad wants me to study math so I can eventually take over the family business? Why should I bother to dream, pretend my life is gonna be any better than the misery others live out?'

I couldn't simply answer that question in a short line or two. So I wrote this.

I hope, pray, that there are a hundred others out there asking themselves the very same question. And I hope that to them, too, this might be an answer.

This is a rather complicated story. Enjoy it, don't get stuck too much if you don't understand something, just read through it, it might all become clear in the end.

I would like to thank Lydia once again for the wonderful thumbnail. Couldn't be more fitting. You rock! Check out her drawing and painting and dabbling in digital art here: [link]
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jkrende Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
You know, I love the premise, very fight club indeed. I have a question though... why didn't you end it in both story lines, leaving the reader to wonder who the REAL person was, Alexander or Herman? Wouldn't that be a more interesting question? Who IS the dream?

It seemed to drag in one or two places, (From the king of dragging none the less...) but it was interesting enough to keep me reading and wondering what the real story was.
danielzklein Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Neither of them is real. Both happened in my mind ;P

(which really was the last thing I tried to say somehow; the fact that the bomb DID fall made the whole Alexander wrote Herman story stronger again)

This thing fell apart after 3/4s of the way, it's one of those candidates for rewrites.

Again, you're torturing yourself with no need by reading my stuff chronologically! Skip to "Death of a Dreamseeker", it's so much better than ANYTHING I'd written before it ;P
jkrende Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Hahaha. Okay! Okay! Tell ya what, send me a link and I'll hop over and look at that one. (You need to put titles up man, I hate our Generic gray dA logo... not that I hate dA, but nothing is visually memorable when it's rows of gray boxes...)
danielzklein Featured By Owner Feb 13, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Right! It's the thing that comes in four parts:


And here's a hint: when browsing lit, set browsing mode to LIST instead of THUMBNAILS. Thumbnails are dumbnails.
jkrende Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
Dangit boy. Now I gotta go fav them all...
danielzklein Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
:D Thanks a lot for all the favs :) I'm very glad you did like it. Guess you can tell why I was so impatient for you to get here; this IS quite a bit better than what I'd been writing a year ago methinks.
jkrende Featured By Owner Feb 16, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
It is, but it seems to be written just as well, only with a more evolved plot and direction.

You're welcome man. Good work, damn good work.
Phifty Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2004   Writer
This is a great piece, the concept is excellent and the prose flows smoothly.

It might have helped to have had some solid divisions between narrative (unless you meant for them to, sometimes confusingly, blend into each other. Which is possible) like **** or something of that sort.

The background noise was interesting but I think the "gay" convo may have gone on a bit too long.

The idea of a living idea is interesting. Additionally the concept that each man's imaginary/real counterpart keeps the other sane is intriguing and a gem.

There is a lot of other interesting stuff in here as well. The dialog is extremely well phrased but something (and damn it, but I can't tell you exactly what) keeps it from being totally real. I think it may flow too easaly... if that makes any sense.

This is well written and well conceived, your style is smooth and has draw. Your use of normal line breaks (with the above exception) is good, (though I would have used more) giving your piece good form. Additionally, you have successfully integrated curse words into your work, something many people on this site have difficulty with :D

All in all a good piece of prose.
Liminal-0 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2004
I've read the first 3 sections and I really like your style. It seems like something I wish I could write. I'll have to finish it tomorrow though, since it's nearly 3:00AM here and my eyes are about to fall out. I will soon explore the rest of your gallery as well, and I expect that I will enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed this piece so far.
Jade-Pandora Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2004
Why is that? Why feel stupid about commenting about a drawing or painting... you haven't sounded stupid to me. :) i do wonder why my writing has kept you at bay, though please, not the retelling of your stand on anything labeled 'erotic' because then you'll start leaning that way :stupid: and then i won't be able to defend you :poke: :rofl: Seriously though :giggle:....

...some of what i have written isn't erotic for the sake of it, but has come flowing out or wrenched forth with the roots still attached as whatever it is when it arrives on one's plate. You have your drothers though as does anyone else. i haven't checked any recommended choices cause i'm busy finding my own which is the way it should be with everyone, free of outside influence... both yours & mine, so as not to cloud the issues important to each his/her own.

Meantime, long & windy steer the true course, eh? :diny: God i hope not! :O

the jade one :blackrose:
tearstone Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2004
Ganz interessant...
Freut mich, dass ich deine Arbeit gefunden habe =)

"or how much movies caused a degree of selective perception on his side that made him think it was that way"
- conceptually golden, aber wenn ich du wäre, würde ich es so ausdrucken:
"or to what extent movies caused this element of selective perception on his part, which gave rise to such suspicions"

Fight Club reference <tick>
Political commentary interlarded with amusing canine analogies <tick>

aber höchstwahrscheinlich, könnte es noch ein bisschen mehr deutlich sein -
you're obviously attempting to display Alexander's often tangential thought patterns, but sometimes shorter paragraphs could be used to allow the reader to continue grasping on to his mind's saddle.

The variety of enveloping concepts - ausgezeichnet
Gut gemacht, mein Freund =)
danielzklein Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
Vielen Dank! Ich freu mich noch mehr, dass du meine Arbeit gefunden hast! :)

Alright, I'll hold our public replies in english.
You hit the spot with that sentence. I did in fact rewrite it at least 5 or 6 times, never liking any version (not even the one I had in the work I submitted), but as you said, conceptually it's such a nice idea that I didn't want to leave it out. Your approach is the best so far - thank you very much - I will try to change it a little (since I'm ideologically opposed to using someone else's proposal as is :P ) and use it. As for the long-winded paragraphs, you're right, they're a direct look into Alexander's mind. I will try and see if I can make a few more helpful paragraph breaks, but generally, I *wanted* his thoughts to be hard to read. I wanted to create an impression of 'that mind is so advanced in its thinking patterns that even its casual thoughts are hard to follow for us'. Obviously, *my* mind isn't that advanced, so I had to cheat :P

You chose my hardest work to comment on first and you seemed to get it very well - my deepest respect. I gotta be off to work now, but I'll surely have a look around your stuff when I get back. You being German as well and having a perfect grasp on english as well, you might want to have a look at the poem Ode to Promise, since these factors put you in the rare group of people who might enjoy it. It's half english, half german, with interlingual rhyming. :D

Thanks again for the wonderful comment.
outshined Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2004
This is making me dizzy... but I think I understood everything. On the first reading even. As usual, I can't summarize what it means to me, yet.

I think this was my favorite section: ";P otential, Alexander thought, was lying like the proverbial gold on the streets, every moment was in itself a piece of dirt, that, if encapsulated by the proper mind, the proper shell, could develop into a pearl. It took the eyes of a poet and the tongue of a liar to form this pearl into something beautiful."

I also enjoyed the parts from the bird's point of view.

I didn't understand how the part with Frank and Bill tied in though, and the ending felt very abrupt. I was left wondering what happened to Alex and with a desire for more description of the effects of the nuke. I'm also sorry for starting every sentence in this comment with I, and for my apparent inability to write anything coherent today =/.
danielzklein Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2004  Hobbyist Writer
Weeeeeee hello outshined again :)
The bird was a lot of fun to write. Actually, Frank and Bill go into the same category. Background noise. I love to tie my stuff together with absolutely irrelevant background stories. Okay, so they're not absolutely irrelevant. Their presence makes a statement about which reality is more likely to be real. 'Writing about homosexuals is so trendy anyway' or something to that effect? I'll let you ponder that some more. Thanks for the continued interest, I keep looking at whatever you submit as well, but most of the time I don't really have much to say about drawing / painting :X I just feel kinda stupid when trying to say what I think/feel about a drawing or a painting, and I HATE feeling stupid :P
Jade-Pandora Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2004
Well then i feel bloody dang lucky... you actually commented on a drawing of mine, and a pencil sketch at that... and you were generous & kind in your response! :blush: So again i ask (from the initial post i just made)... stupid?? Well now i wouldn't say that, not this time. ;)

*aw see i just can't keep a straight face this morning* :giggle:

jadeybutts :blackrose:
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Submitted on
February 24, 2004
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