Carpe Noctem PDF eBook By Emil Lemort



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Title: Carpe Noctem
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Author: Emil Lemort
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Carpe Noctem is a dark, cynical, mildly Kafkaesque, occasionally surreal, psychogeographical travelogue of a misanthropic freelance software engineer. A tragicomedy, with a few dashes of Angostura, a touch of cruciverbalism and a peppering of cynical verse. At the start and the end of the book, Merlot reluctantly commutes across the earth, and back, to take up a new freelan Carpe Noctem is a dark, cynical, mildly Kafkaesque, occasionally surreal, psychogeographical travelogue of a misanthropic freelance software engineer. A tragicomedy, with a few dashes of Angostura, a touch of cruciverbalism and a peppering of cynical verse. At the start and the end of the book, Merlot reluctantly commutes across the earth, and back, to take up a new freelance role. A slightly more surreal style is employed in these parts, to that of the core part which is based around a stay at a hotel in Zurich. Stricken by depression, fever, bad judgement, poor luck and a healthy undertone of pessimism with regard to human nature, corporations, commercialism, religion and life, Merlot finally takes refuge and recouperates at a small airport hotel as he works on yet another contract. Although this central part of the book describes just one grim night out of a three month stint, it tries to portray the general vibe of his world. Merlot obviously prefers scribing the odd cynical ode, pondering the cryptic clues in his daily papers and people watching, than working in his monotonous day jobs; so the book is interspersed with his despondent interludes and some of his cryptic musings. Dialogue has been purposely kept to a minimum as the situations are described by the narrator through the eyes and thoughts of the strange characters, in particular Merlot, who is, in the central part of the book - our fly on the wall. Names are chosen in the old personified, emblematic style of the old Tudor morality plays; sometimes chosen by the narrator and sometimes by Merlot. The dystopian muddy morass that Merlot repeatedly trudges through in the Bavarian Forest is likened to John Bunyan’s Swamp of Despair and Slough of Despond, as he struggles under the weight of his thoughts, his misery and increasing fever, onwards toward his own Wicket Gate. However, Merlot rejects Bunyan’s proverbial Celestial City - rejecting what most would aspire to. Instead, he walks away, preferring to take refuge at a simple hotel, his Shangri-La, which is likened to Bunyan’s debauched Vanity Fair. The two cows that inspired this book, with their yellow identity tags and doomed life, reflect the two characters: ill fated Gout (our reptilian bête noir), and Merlot (our despairing, burnt-out, misanthropic traveller); both are also numbered (by days, and by hotel room), both are doomed, as they sit out to graze at their own bar, munching their own fodder, in a kind of Beckettian ‘Waiting for Godot’ style. Merlot being well aware that he is just a cattle class traveller who is milked of his soul as he “traded time for one more dime”. Therefore our two heroic cows, who have been appropriately named Vladimir & Estragon (tipping a nod to Samuel Beckett) appear like book-ends, at the start and in the epilogue. The book’s title is a play on the well known phrase ‘Carpe diem’, penned by the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus (Horace), in his first book of Odes. Emil Lemort, Adelaide, Australia

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