Conversing with a Dead Man

August 30th, 2008

It’s the weekend and I feel the need the relax, to take time out from forums and writing and programming and phone calls. So I take up Karoo and start reading. I read this:

It is relaxing, playing the image Cromwell has given me to play.
I had forgotten the mindless comfort of being an image instead of a human being.
It’s not a lack of willpower that makes me go along with the charade of playing the image I’ve been given to play.
There are benefits.
I need a break from being.
Everyone, I think, needs an occasional break from being.

In those few sentances, the author captures how I feel at that very moment. Writing, I often think, is a form of displaced communication. The author is displaced from the reader in time and space, but the aim is to communicate emotion, fellowship, and solidarity with another human being. It is the great honour of being an author that you can never know who is reading your work, where, or when.

The author of Karoo is Steve Tesich. He died shortly after completing it. I am having displaced communication with a man who knows exactly how I feel at this moment in time, a man I have never met, a man I never will meet, a man who is dead. I understand and feel now what he knew and felt then. Our conversation goes beyond time and space, perhaps to another dimension beyond any scientific understanding. It is magical.

Writing is magic; that’s why I love it so.

Entry Filed under: Observation & Musing,Writing

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