Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Conversation with Myself

Inner Voice: How do you feel?

Myself: Tired.

Post-Election fatigue?

In part.  The news.  The conversations in the street.  With friends.  The bombardment of political posts on Facebook.  A never ending stream.  It's like people have been reduced to one obsession, one subject.

It's understandable, though.

Of course.  As is the anger people feel.  But you know, from this election, there may be a couple of positive by-products.

Come on.  Like what?

The end of the myth, once and for all, of American exceptionalism.  I mean, we all know the arguments against it anyway - a country built on slavery and the way the Native Americans were handled and then civil rights stuff and on and on.  Don't get me wrong.  A fascinating place, the United States, with lots historically to recommend it, but people are people, to state the obvious, and I'm not sure why people are so shocked that Americans, like everybody else in the world, have their biases, hatreds, regional differences...Americans are supposed to be unique?  A different brand of humans than humans everywhere else?  I don't get that.  Never did.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Anything else good to report?

Maybe this.  Doesn't this election definitively put the lie to the idea of linear history?  It's a lazy kind of belief system, the linear view.  A little complacent perhaps.  Like history moves in a straight line, consistently forward with a positive thrust, people and society getting more open and tolerant all the time? I mean, that may be the overall thrust, but there are hiccups, regressions, retrenchments.  It happens everywhere and always has, in pretty much every culture, from what I've read.

So you go by the cyclical view of history.

Seems more accurate to me.  Really does.  But, whatever.  One thing's certain: you have to be vigilant, and not just in darker times. Because under the surface...Things can always, always, go backward.

If you say so.

Of course that's just one man's opinion. Fella name a' Adlerberg, first a' Scott.

That sounds familiar.

Sharp of you. It's from The Great American Novel, Philip Roth.

That's right. "Fella name a' Smith; first name a' Word."

Love that book.

Me, too.  But getting back to the election.  Are you curious to see how the next four years will impact people's fiction writing?

Definitely.  Especially friends.  Crime fiction writers and others.

Makes you wonder if we'll see a whole bunch of politically oriented fiction.

Maybe we will.  When you're inflamed, when miserable stuff is going on, there's that urge to do someting, say something about what's happening. 

You don't sound excited.

No, it's not that.  You just hope, with political fiction...you just hope people write what they need to write and whatever it is, it's imaginative.   Whether it's political in any obvious way or not.   You want to read stuff organically derived from the inside, if I can put it like that.

You can.  Though we're not at Whole Foods.

Now that you mention it, I am getting hungry.

We can end this talk then.

It's been fun. 

We should do it again some time.

The way things are now, there’ll be plenty, lots, to talk about.


Art Taylor said...

Always hard to know whether a good interview should be credited to the interviewer or to the subject of the interview, but... in either case, appreciated eavesdropping on the chat here.

Holly West said...

Your conversations with yourself are so much less volatile than the ones I have with myself. I appreciate the even handedness of both the interviewer an the interviewee.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed this post very much. Thank you, Mr. Adlerberg and Mr. Adlerberg.