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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Thursday, September 07, 2006

Abstaining From Creating Man

For the past and boundless eternity during which God abstained from creating man is so great, that, compare it with what vast and untold numbers of ages you please, so long as there is a definite conclusion of this term of time, it is not even as if you compared the minutest drop of water with the ocean that everywhere flows around the globe.
St. Augustine, The City of God, Book X11.12
Hmm, even St. Augustine, a welcome visitor to these pages, had something to say on the subject. So we worry ourselves writing about ‘man’ and we are not even a drop in the ocean. Dead Beat has said it before, we are self-absorbed. It doesn’t seem that we are going to change that, but if we must write about something less than the minutest drop for crying out loud, write about the ocean too. Otherwise we will dry up.

Until we can do that, let us abstain from creating Man.

It is all about location.

Locate your characters, locate your settings, locate your narrative. Locate the imagery in your poem. The poem, the short story, the novella, the novel are but reflections of something bigger. Following a single character in a short story for a short period of time, is not meant to solely reflect those brief hours or days, but the whole life of the character and further still the whole life of Mankind and further still…

There can be no fudging on this issue. Our words, must be very specific, very situated, and through this concreteness, they must ultimately reveal something of the abstract nature of our ‘world’. The specific will act as a vehicle for the abstraction. In other words the finite will reveal something of the infinite.

Easier said than done, Dead Beat knows this only too well.

Anyways you have had a lot of abstract Dead Beat and maybe for a while I need to be a bit more specific.

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