Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘sartre’

WOTH cover smallA quick look at Smashwords’ “trending” titles has me wondering about the company I’m keeping these days. Many book covers on there feature a “ripped” male torso, often tattooed and with titles that imply the illustrated man is a real bad-un who treats his wife/girlfriend/lover appallingly. The implication is that muscles and maltreatment are attractive to females, that Alpha male culture is alive and well, that if a man wants a svelte, blonde haired, blue eyed mate with a peachy bottom, he’d be better leaving off his cerebral development to spend more time at the gym, pumping iron or whatever else it is black hearted cads are supposed do.

I’m sorry girls, if I was never that way for you, that I was sensitive and somewhat flimsy, to say nothing of concave in the pectoral region, though, thinking back, it might explain a lot, and worse that I have been badly letting down the present Mrs Graeme by my lack of aspiration to the more simian levels of impolite society. She says not, but I fear she’s just being polite.

So it hardly seems worthwhile my putting pen to paper on yet one more story featuring an ordinary, if somwhat eccentric, oppressed guy, and a girl who rewards his kindness, to say nothing of his angsty, halting advances with her love. It hardly seems worthwhile putting out a title as vague and sexless as say: “Winter on the Hill” when there’s a chance it’ll appear on the same shelves as: “Bad boy punishes his b*&ch” and “Bullied by her Man”. It seems I’m niche, and my niche is getting narrower.

I know we’re talking about light entertainment here, fluff for kiddies maybe, people with the majority of their lives ahead of them, but still it’s worrying the type of stories they’re being told, to say nothing of the stories they’re telling others. And it’s no use me saying it’s not really like that, that I don’t actually know any cruel men, because for sure they do exist. It’s just that I instinctively distance myself from them and thereby defeat them by not entering into combat in the first place. I also stand so far ahead in time, at least from the perspective of life remaining to me, I’m as good as dead to the young for all the relevance I have, and maybe that’s the way it’s always been. My niche then, is people of a similar age and outlook to myself, which is what? Late middle age, middle income, and a Cappuccino socialist to boot? Yes, indeed, a narrowing niche.

My stories are about a man’s puzzlement at life, about looking at the crazy flow of events and trying to make sense of one’s self and others, and how in the end the events of life themselves are irrelevant, that it’s only in relation to others we truly discover our selves.

Sartre is a difficult philosopher for me, but it was he who said: “Hell is other people”, and I know exactly what he means – this line coming from his play “In Camera”. Three strangers, lately dead, find themselves in Hell. But Hell is a small, locked room and only themselves for company. Initially they await in dread the torture and the fire and brimstone of biblical telling, each eventually realising that while without the others their continued existence has no substance, it is equally the case there is no torture Hell can devise that is worse than “other people”. It’s a conclusion I’ve perhaps been fumbling towards myself, but the other way around, that if other people can be Hell – and they certainly can, especially to an introverted type like me – we can also find heaven in them. I don’t mean everybody of course, though we always do well to understand where others are coming from, their back-stories, their trials, their tribulations.

But is is worth spending the whole of 2020 on another novel, rambling towards that same conclusion?

Oh, well, go on then,…as if I could stop myself.

Read Full Post »