Monday, May 4, 2009
More random notes
That hairy and nameless monster we call"truth", large or small t, is something we arrive at after the fact, up the road, after we're over the hill. The point of personal experience is something we assign later, when memory arranges the particulars in some fine fashion that makes the data resonate like some kind of grand or sad music that needs it's expression in talk, a phone call, poem , novel, blues guitar. Truth is the plausibility of feelings toward the events that shape our conditions, not the calculations that lead us to First Causes and Final Consequences.
Since experience is the hardest thing to convey --it is not an argument I'm making, it's a tightly knotted cluster of feelings and emotions linked to a sequence of events that I have need to relate to you, to bring you into (in a manner of seduction, dropping the suspenders of disbelief)-- I generally favor any writer to use any and all materials available and appropriate.
At best, we see an outline of the truth, a blurred reconstruction, and it's here we , as readers, need to give our trust to the writer to take us through an implied but imaginatively plausible world. Mastery makes us forget the lines we're reading, the very words we're taking in. Good writing , whatever it's style, origins or intent, quite literally pulses , and is that shape, the "truth" we want to pull the veil from.
Do you think artists are creating wonderful veils, or 'pulling' at some pre-existing veils? Important distinction, wouldn't you say?
The idea of the metaphor is metaphorical, and since the 'truth' it's protecting is metaphorial , or at least figurative in some way, it seems like a dead issue. What's useful is to consider the process 'through' the veils, or the arrangement, tone, and orchestration of the narrative events that lead a reader finally to the last chapter, the last page and he last sentence, where one arrives at the author's sense of an ending, and their implications of whether the tale really does "end" there, done with, having served its purpose of illustrating a 'given' moral lesson based on a nominally 'realistic' event, or whether the lives of the characters go on, after the last page, changed after an arduous narrative, braced for an unknown future.