Tuesday, October 16, 2007
I listened to a short story told by Andrew Sean Greer on Writer's Block.
It was a variation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's Wakefield but told in a different city (not London) and a different time (not 1850s. ) The plot was nefarious yet in an innocent way. The main character, Wakefield did not even understand his own motivations and why he whimsically chose to leave his wife and move one block over from his house to live a separate existence. He doesn't know why he didn't return for 20 years to his loving and devoted wife and his cozy fire.
It is a common fantasy to detach oneself from one's life, to, in effect, be dead to the world, yet to see the effect of one's death to those around you without being seen. Is that enough motivation for a person to become absent for an extended period of time? It is the Rip Van Winkle complex. That the people who count on us and who we count on can be ripped from us in an instant? Life, love and its bondage is fleeting and mysterious. Yet when we least expect it, can all come back again in a heartbeat.