Saturday, June 9, 2012
Minor keys No. 1
I thought I would take a break from writing directly about writing. 50 blogs is quite sufficient for the moment and they are all there for the interested reader. What I intend to take their place results from the comment of a keen follower of Azimuth who, a bit like the fanatical fan of the writer in Misery (no, it can’t happen to me, can it? I’ll just hide the sledgehammer!) was distressed at the end of the trilogy not to know what happened to the half-humans once the book had ended. “I love them,” she said. “They are real.” Now these magnificent seven adventurers may still be living in the cosmos. I may have created them or they may have made me create them but the fact is that they go on existing albeit in some pure thought form. This not such a bizarre concept. Indeed I saw a documentary asking serious questions about the basic quantum force of the universe and ‘thought’ was one hypothesis. Just as in The Matrix films it is posited that we are all actually a few lines of clever code in a vast computer program (again some scientists posit this as a strong possibility to explain present human reality) the characters that authors create may also live on after the last page of a novel in another medium. Rather a charming notion if we look back over great literature, don’t you think? Anna Karenina enjoying ethereal conversations with Hamlet and Bilbo Baggins. In this alternative universe all the characters every author has created, don’t die but exist in an ‘elsewhere’. The notion that minor characters in novels and plays have been unjustly marginalized by authors is not so new. Immediately I think of Six Characters in Search of an Author by Pirandello or Rozencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. The conceit in these and other literary artefacts is that we, the readers, are desperate to know more biographical detail about them than the author allows or even knows.
Since Azimuthcontains dozens of minor characters, there could be plenty to write about. It will encourage me to go into a channeling state, like a batty medium, and make contact with them again. One knock yes, two knocks no. My encounters with them might entertain you and at the same time lead you to buy the core material, Azimuth the Trilogy. I can’t be more frank, can I? This is marketing but not as you know it, Captain. Tune in for the first minor character’s extended life tomorrow.