Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Persistence of Hope

I met a man yesterday who tells me that he wrote songs with a famous Pop Diva. They have a secret arrangement that no one knows about. He also wrote some of the dialogue for a well-known war movie of recent vintage. Very interesting, to be sure. But neither of these things happened. It is a fixed delusion.  Then I spoke with a woman today who many years ago wrote a book about bereavement.  She has now made contact with a literary agent many states away. This women is certain that acclaim and wealth are inevitable now.  She spoke of winning the Nobel Prize. Her book is available on Amazon. It currently ranks about 12 millionth in sales. Why does anyone dare think that greatness has alighted upon them? What is the source of such audacity? I once read a quote along the lines of "The greater the talent, the greater the doubt." Perhaps there is something in that.  Every child swimming on a Saturday afternoon in front of  a somnolent gathering of grandparents is bound for the Olympics. We all cling to the notion that we are just one break away from our great genius being made patent for the world to behold. All of us are wrong. None of us is great. But the hope persists. Why?

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A New Idea?

When I finished Home, I said I was done writing. I think that is still true. For some reason, however, new ideas seem to be percolating up and announcing themselves.  As I have said before, most of these are just old ideas in slightly different forms. But now I have this notion starting to take form. I envision the story taking place in some near-future vision of Detroit. The actual city has shrunk to just the downtown area and the corridor out to the New Center and Wayne State University. Everything else has gone back to nature. From the I-94 north to 8 Mile is nothing but land slowly erasing what remains of the urban past.  In this large tract, two families have established estates, or Kingdoms. Woodward remains the dividing line. It is now a river instead of a street. Bursting water mains caused the concrete and pavement to give way. Then water began to trickle up until a river formed.  One the west side of the river is one large estate. On the east side is another. These two estates have an uneasy peace. That peace is broken when a woman from the east side falls in love with a man from the west side. The leaders of the two estates would be based on Macbeth (west) and Hamlet (east). The two lovers are, of course, Romeo and Juliet.  All four, of course, end up dead. I think it would be interesting to take the Shakespeare characters and place them in the wilds of what used to be a major city. The action might be driven by a Lear-like division of the Kingdoms.  Beyond that, I don't know much.  I suspect this idea will die aborning, but who knows?