Thursday, September 20, 2012

Negotiations with the Universe


Over the span of years in which you read for escape—to get away from the restraints of the pre-teen years—then for identification—to experience vicariously what some teen-agers were experiencing that you weren’t—and then for competition—to see if you could do as well if not better than some of your fictional favorites—your preference for characters has experienced what you will call a literary Darwinism.

With few exceptions—here we go with the set-off comments again, this time using Huck Finn as an example and some of the Sinclair Lewis, John Steinbeck, and F. Scott Fitzgerald characters—your preferences have grown away from one- or two-dimensional sorts and toward the more flawed, quirky, and even notional.  Your operating theory being that these qualities of cranky, pestered individuality added not only more dimension but also more interesting dimension.

There is also the distinct possibility that you’d begun to suspect the sort of person you were about to become yourself.  As you tried your own hand at mastering the techniques of storytelling, the notion of other and of quirkiness and even more certainly of flawed impatience became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

An accomplished curmudgeon is limited in the range of characters and subjects he can essay, leading you to pursue a more Zen-like approach to existence.  To date, impatience still prevails.  The good news is still manifest in your impatience to get to work and, in consequence, to skirt things preventing you.

You have evolved by degree from preferring interesting adventure to investigations of the noir, darker sides of matters.  You do not root for dark results although you surely root for characters as pestered as you find yourself with the world about you.

More often than not, you are willing to settle for negotiated outcomes, remaining suspicious of the ones where the triumphs of virtue emerge as operatic exaggerations.

This is by no means an uncomfortable or frustrating place to be so much as it is fraught and precarious.

You await events and invest in characters of your own with a watchful eye, waiting, waiting…

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