Monday, October 31, 2016

Walls

Back in the 21at century before the common era, there was a wall situated roughly between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, extending nearly a hundred miles, its purpose to keep nomadic tribesmen from incursions into ancient Sumeria. 

Unless archaeologists discover something prior, this "Amorite Wall" gets the nod for being the oldest wall erected to protect one people from incursion by others. But this wall was only a foreshadow of the walls to come.

There was an Athens wall, erected some several years before the Common Era, meant to provide protection to the city state of Athens, yet another wall of about one hundred twenty miles in length, attributed to himself, Alexander, the Great, known as The Great Wall of Gorgan, but not to forget Hadrian's Wall, and, indeed, The Great Wall of China, extending from the Gobi Desert to the border of North Korea. 

Yeah, and there were walls in Constantinople and Berlin, meant to keep certain individuals in and certain other individuals out. There are walls in Jerusalem, Peru, Poland, and Wales. Indeed the explorer/historian Bernal Diaz speaks of walls way back then in Mexico. In a universal sense, wherever there are/were people, there are/were walls. Which got you to thinking.

For instance #1, Are there walls around narrative? You know, narrative--those dense patches of paragraphs, many with hidden topic sentences.  Without being able to articulate the matter as such, you moved between the approximate ages of sixteen and twenty with a mounting aversion for that great Everglades of narrative, text books, many of which you found inaccessible, with high potential for treacherousness.

2. Is there a possibility for having nonfiction narrative such as essays, speculation, and the various forms of biography without their being sealed off within a narrative wall? Considering historical and present day favorites, say Herodotus, Montaigne, Hazlett, Virginia Woolf, Mark Twain, E. B. White, Joan Didion, Francine Prose, the answer is a resounding yes.

3. Even more of a personal nature, is there a chance someone or some ones has/have erected a wall about your own narrative, keeping in cultural agitprop and keeping out potential originality? Is there a chance your narrative sounds so proper that it becomes indistinguishable from all other proper narrative?

4. Is there a chance you've lost sight of your interest in providing a challenging narrative rather than one of accommodation?

5. Is there a chance you, through no overt intent of your own, are imposing an embargo on the very imports and exports you hope to move from within without and from alien sources toward your own interior?


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