Thursday, November 8, 2012
Just a Thought
For the upcoming volume of collected stories, one of the pieces that had to be dumped was a well-intended but lousy experimental story that mixed the personal thoughts and experiences of the narrator with a "pitch" that he was making to a comic book publisher, the real and the fantastic uniting into a kind of howl for attention. The gist of the story is that the narrator-writer, who seemingly has fallen on Hard Times, spills out his guts to an editor that he's worked with before and gets a form rejection letter in reply.
I liked the idea behind the story, but in practice this was one piece of cheese that stank too much. In any case, bits of the "pitch" segments had been incorporated into other projects. A very few passages from the "personal" segments could be salvaged, and they were folded into another story that needed some more meat on its bones.
It's called "editing."
Cutting to the chase, there's a paragraph in the first story that I can't find a home for anywhere, but I quite like the sentiment and hate to just leave it in the dustbin.
Isn't what blogs are for? Here it is:
What right did I have to feel angry and pathetic, to get drunk every night and say boo hoo hoo woe is me? In China, the government was busily butchering students in Tiennamen Square. Eastern Europe was about to explode, taking not just lives, but the things produced by those lives: great architecture, great works of art, great writing. Bridges, books, paintings: because it was not enough for these people to kill their enemies: they had to kill everything that their enemies had ever created, stood for, dreamed about. Which raised the question: in a world of religious intolerance, where works of human beauty, hope, passion, genius are being destroyed in the name of one god or another, is the practice of trivial art a mortal sin?