Sunday, December 5, 2010

Elementory and the nature of narrative

Time for a fundamental rethink of what the short story collection is about. Still like the title, and the story titles themselves, though the latter are a bit throw-away. And still like the the overall structure -- four sets of paired stories, told and re-told, and one connector ("Touch"), for a total of nine. But the elaborate architecture built around Frye may be a layer of arbitrariness too many. Really want to just focus on the notion of the Inversion and its consequences, as manifested on a kind of micro-level -- the interactions of individuals. Also some experimenting with just fiction and narrative per se. So, some possible themes:
  • The notion of the "dirty earth" (re: the Bergman quote) as opposed to world-spurning. (Fire/Bone perhaps)
  • The notion of the world's "unfairness" as opposed to those who deal with what they're given. (Water/Blood)
  • The most subtle or difficult of all perhaps is the combination of a kind of Darwinian fatalism (or, perhaps better, acceptance) coupled with a sense of embedded engagement (related to the compatibility argument re: free will and determinism). (Earth/Flesh)
The first pair, Air/Skin, may allude to all of the above, first as preview, then as recap.


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