Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Writer and Story, Dr; Frankenstein and His Monster

You still sting from the memory of the loss of your first pocket knife, given you on your sixth birthday, a treasure that fell out of your pocket when you were in the room of a person you supposed to be a chum.  Months after the loss, you saw your supposed friend with it, claimed it, and were greeted with the mantra, "Finders keepers, losers weepers."  Scarcely a week elapses when, should your hand enter the right side pocket of your trousers and you encounter your present pocket knife, you think of that knife from so long ago, and you often think of its effect on you, which is to say it is possible to discover upward of ten pocket knives in your various drawers or storage shelves.

There is an adjunct sting associated with past pain in relation to upward of fifty fountain pens among your present possessions.  Although you would under most circumstances, have illustrated art books and collections of photographs among your books, there are any number of titles specific to Oriental artists, due in compensation for another example of finders keepers and the loan of a book of Hokusai illustrations to one friend and its reappearance in the home of another.  Thus three examples of things.  As well, there are photographs and correspondence and paintings from deceased friends, and of course memories of them.  From cyber visits to current-day Virginia City, Nevada, you have the presentiment that, were you to return for a sentimental journey, you would be saddened by what you saw and what you did not find.

All this is a laundry list of events that in some way or other shaped you in someway into the person you have become.  All this is recognition that no one gets through unscathed by such things, much less without having some embedded response to them.

You can add here the fact of being shown on a screen an image that reminded you of a tiny red carnation, only to be told it was by no means good news, was in fact a malignant tumor.  And now your most recent surgical adventure, the farewell to the lens you were issued at birth and its replacement with a stunning addition to your visual capacity.

These items represent a mingle of good and bad, of pleasure, some form of pain or another, and the resulting modifications and adaptations within your range of behavior.

These are yours; everyone has them to some degree.  These encounters have open-ended potential.  You are in the sense of having been around for as long as you have, joined in bonds of common and uncommon experience with anyone you see about you in real time, on line, or in digital imaging.

Adding to these common bonds, you've acquired friends, associates, acquaintances, some of whom have been lovers, friends, or individuals for whom you feel degrees of animosity.  Thus into the pattern comes the energizing dynamic of personal chemistry.

In your own experience, you have felt various types of chemistry so far as other individuals are concerned.  Some of the chemistry was or is frankly sexual, others of a more Platonic or mutual interest basis and, not to forget the chemistry of repelling forces, the chemistry of antagonism.
You've also noticed in various dramatic productions a subjective quality of chemistry between two or more actors, making the roles they portray of even greater interest to you,  This chemistry between characters fascinates you, causes you to wonder openly about the relationship between characters you create to the point of causing you to pursue reading about acting techniques as well as watching with focus the chemistry or lack thereof between individuals you see about you.

How do past experiences turn the lives of individuals about you and the individuals you offer up on a serving platter to the narratives you have created and have hopes yet of creating?  You look for quirkiness in yourself and have no difficulty finding it.  From time to time, you think you understand why a specific person behaves in a certain way.  Sometimes your understanding comes from direct experience in the sense that the individual admits to a response you understand well because you respond in the same way to the same stimulus.  Other times, you deliberately try to see a response at some difference from your own, followed by a serious and devoted attempt to "see" that response as a truthful and, thus, believable one.

Thrilling as it was and is for you to hear information about individuals who have in reality set foot on the moon, it is more thrilling for you to read of characters who set foot on the novels and short stories of writers, dramatists, historians.

Somewhere in the process of creating your own characters, there is the calculus of you moving beyond Dr. Frankenstein's attempts to create life from the scraps of individuals who once lived and are now summoned again to live again under different circumstances.

In a sense you are sharing Dr. Frankenstein's hubris by thinking you can create life, but your path shears off from the fictional doctor, joining the multitudes of men and women for whom creation of story is a way of expressing gratitude for the ambiguous nature of mankind.  Through this haze of ambiguity, you seek to record your hunting expeditions in much the same way petroglyphs on rocks and etchings on cave walls depict rituals and hunting expeditions of a more modern kind.

There is some informed speculation that many petroglyphs and cave drawings are the works of shamans, many of whom, in altered states of mind, attempted the same sorts of essays you attempt when you bring your characters forth.  You wish to know why things are, why you behave as you do, why others respond to life events as they do.  There is something you have in common with your forebears.  They were hunting and gathering.  You are hunting and gathering.  They were foraging.  You are foraging.  They were in hot pursuit of truth.  You are in hot pursuit of understanding.

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