Friday, June 30, 2017

Continued monologues:

I guess it was Sherwood Anderson, that little bit in the introduction to Winesburg, Ohio, about the writer as an old man, dreaming in bed, friends with the old carpenter who fought in the Civil War, about how within there is this Joan of Arc fighter within...

Or was it Don Quixote, who comes up with the original concept that is an honest theory about the human being and experience.  There is the ongoing Quixotic monologue going on, the interpretation in the mind, such that he is in his own reality a chivalrous knight errant on a quest to do noble and glorious and adventure worthy things.  The great book is not just about his monologues, of course;  the narrator, and Sancho as well, remind the reader of what is in fact actually going on, in what we might term as real everyday reality.  His great helmet is not really a great helmet, but rather a barber's washbasin for things such as shaving.  The malevolent giants he believes he is facing are in fact windmills.  On and on.

Or is it Twain who allows us to be.  Huck serves as the narrator.  We get reality through his eyes.  And there is a peek at the Quixotic schism between reality and story, such as when Jim, who has a lot to lose, reminds us of things.  Huck makes up a story to tell Jim when they get parted in the mists and night of the big river, when they finally find each other, of how the night was all a dream.  But Jim looks down at the raft, all covered with litter and twigs and river detritus, tells Huck how heartbroken he was thinking he'd lost him, and then telling Huck basically how not right he is for telling him such a story, as if it was all Huck could thing of was playing a trick on him.

Or does it go back to Hamlet, the early king of the monologue, undisputed champion for eternity....

Reality must always be interpreted.  Most people keep that tale of reality within certain rational guidelines.  But there's more, a whole lot more, to it all.

And so I come up with these little monologues, forgetting almost to provide the reader with the real story, the true story, the actuality of what one does, work, the job, the real texture of life.  Even Hemingway, you see it, on the one hand the love of writing down reality as it truly is, as best as one can ever tell it as far as recording the things that happen, but yet, even there too, there is the great monologue, the story of being in the head, of how thoughts shape reality.  Of course Hemingway can be very parsimonious when it comes to those inner narratives, perhaps as he deemed it manly to be so.   We get little tidbits, not the flourishes of Quixote, not the great poetry analyzing the meaning of life of Hamlet so broad and encompassing, but the simple sentence at the end.  "Fishing in the swamp would be tragic."  Wow.

The writer's life is a fiction, but one that can not be extracted from reality.

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