Sunday, November 25, 2012
I know what Plato meant when he said that we could not apprehend reality directly. Everything is an echo or a facsimile or obscured or misrepresented or a lie. We are islands unto ourselves and though we build bridges to each other’s habitats, we never actually cross to them. Love is our best word for reaching out and almost touching the other. Abandonment is the horror of discovering that it is just one more slippery word.
As writers we are experts in the field of deceptive realities, though, paradoxically, we believe that our fictions contain more truth than the most meticulous academic factual account. I have just finished the first draft of the novella, now with a changed title. Easeful Death has become On Being Sinbad. I am working on the dialogue. It says too much at the moment. It is too literal. Literality does not really exist in the world of human communication. Approximation is all there is and that’s when you’re really good and have a real handle on words words words. Cutting back the dialogue so that it is truly spare enables the reader to make it his or hers by filling in the gaps. That’s what we like as humans. Filling in the gaps others leave. We are not then faced with the enormity of being on islands and uncomprehending of each other’s plight.