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Story 3: THE SILENT MEN 
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Wow Tom, that is a beautiful idea - how "a person unconsciously and wholly discloses the seemingly hidden self in any expression." Disclosure, in this existential revelatory sense, is very far from the conventional doctrine of truth as representation, restricted to our explicit ideas. It is like God sees into our soul, like that gospel song his eye is on the sparrow. Consciousness is such a small part of style, and of mood for that matter. Heraclitus had another nice saying: 'nature loves to hide'. Are style and soul the same? Surely we can create a fake style which is out of touch with our soul? Can we discern the truth beneath these layers of meaning, or is soul just there in principle as an ultimate tantalizing insight?



Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:12 am
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Likes the book better than the movie


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Robert Tulip wrote:
. . . that is a beautiful idea - how "a person unconsciously and wholly discloses the seemingly hidden self in any expression."


Notice how you can (I imagine) in many cases recognize from just a few words who is talking in BookTalk. Expression is permeated by individuality. In telegraphy this unintended expression of self is called fist.

Quote:
Are style and soul the same?


Style is the utterance of soul, but basically they are identical just as we cannot separate a flower from its fragrance.

Quote:
Heraclitus had another nice saying: 'nature loves to hide'. Surely we can create a fake style which is out of touch with our soul? Can we discern the truth beneath these layers of meaning, or is soul just there in principle as an ultimate tantalizing insight?


People love to hide but also want to be found (Poe's Imp of the Perverse). We consciously try to create a self for public presentation, but unconsciousness leave clues to the real self exposed. Given time and meditation, anyone who looks will eventually arrive at the self, no matter how dressed up it may be.

Tom



Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:21 am
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Genius


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yodha wrote:
Thomas Hood wrote:
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2455/is_3_34/ai_59211539
Camus's "The Silent Men" and "The Guest": Depictions of Absurd Awareness - Critical Essay
Studies in Short Fiction, Summer, 1997 by Rob Roy McGregor

Woah Thomas, that article was quite some read! :cry: I don't think I understood any of his absurd philosophy. But, it did help me in understanding the stories better.

As for all the stories from this book, the endings are the most puzzling. In this story, why does Yvars say that "Ah, it's his fault!"?
The above article provides some of the possible reasons:
Quote:
Is the blame for the general collapse of interpersonal relationships? For his own daughter's illness, a kind of retribution for his treatment of the workers? For establishing a personal barrier that prevented Yvars from expressing concern for Lassalle's daughter? Or is the placing of blame a self-serving exculpation for his failure to call out in sympathy to Lassalle?

I wasn't quite satisfied by any of the above.


I took it as a kind of 'what goes around, comes around' philosophy. His daughter getting sick and having to go to the hospital happened, it was thought, because of his meanness as a boss who wouldn't give them what they wanted.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:21 am
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Genius


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Robert Tulip wrote:
Surely we can create a fake style which is out of touch with our soul? Can we discern the truth beneath these layers of meaning, or is soul just there in principle as an ultimate tantalizing insight?


And is it really necessary to do so in writing? I ponder that often. When I write, it's my life and current circumstances that come through.

I doubt my soul is aware that my bones ache a lot these days, that I cannot think about 'other side of the sea' excursions without considering where I'm going to sleep and how comfortable I might be sleeping out on the land, like I could get away with doing as a young woman.

My soul, the way I see it, carries the memory of many lives, and contemplates a much different existence than I, in this present physical body, would think about.

Yet when I deliberately write from the POV of a younger woman (or man, at times - it's a great writing exercise to write from the opposite sex POV), I don't get hung up in providing comfort for the younger woman's aching bones - I tend to use my own younger self as a basis for the character. Sometimes, it's a younger self that did not exist - sometimes I give her a freedom that I, myself, didn't have. Sometimes it's a mirror of exactly who I was.

But soul? I couldn't begin to imagine what it would be like to truly 'write from the soul'. I'd have to call it 'writing from the mind'.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:49 am
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Genius


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Here's something I just wrote this morning, for one of the 'daily writes' at a writers' forum . . . I'm not here to show off my talent (or lack of) as a writer - this is just to show that my writing does indeed reflect who I am and where I am at this point in my life . . .

Cautious Rider

It was springtime, yet a pale sun had hidden behind ominous clouds for the most part of the day. At dusk, a light snow fell across the city, making Doris a cautious rider. She was moving down Indian Road, her recently purchased Schwinn on 'manual'. Right foot firmly planted on the pedal, the other ready to facilitate a sudden stop, she kept her eyes peeled to the storm-damaged tarmac, avoiding the worst of the ruts and holes, yet-to-be filled by tightly-budgeted city work crews. Just the thought of taking a slip and tumbling across the road was enough to make her bones ache in fearful anticipation.

The scent of freshly roasted chicken emanating from the machine's rear basket made her anxious for home. Still, she doubted she'd eat right away; she was tired from her weekly stint as a volunteer at the garden centre, and looked forward to an evening nap, that might well extend into the wee hours of the morning. A late-night snack had a good chance of taking precedent over supper during the more civilized hour of eight.

At the entrance to the lot, she was tempted to throw the switch and let the bike go putt-putt-putt down the cobblestone walkway, but reluctantly dismounted and walked toward her closed-in patio behind her ground-floor apartment. She knew from her years as being a tenant and part of a superintendent team, that the last person to be breaking common-area rules should be either staff or owner of an income property.


Of course it needs re-working - it's done as a 'quick write' kinda' thing . . . but it tells the reader about me:

1) I'm an older woman;
2) I'm one of two things - the owner of an income property - or - a 'wanna be' owner of an income property;
3) It tells the reader that this writer is contemplating the purchase of an EE-lectric bicycle;
4) It tells the reader that I am conscious of other people and how they might feel about me - how they 'would' think about me;
5) It tells the reader that I actually think about being in the situation of owning an apartment building, having an electric bicycle and how I need to nap after having done some work.

It tells how I am, how I feel, what I might like - it tells the reader that I like (enjoy immensely) chicken and that is what I'd choose were I picking up supper for myself after a day's work.

My soul, and I'm sure of this, is unaware of all this.

Were I to 'write from my soul', I'd need to meditate, then write what actually crept into my mind while meditating - that's where I'd find out what my soul would write.

I use dreams in my writing sometimes - dreams actually tell me what I really think, want and how I really feel about things. But that's writing from the 'subconscious' . . .

I'd like to think that when I die, I'll be fully enlightened and God will not send me back to do anything over. That is when my writing will be done in stardust, if I feel a need to write anything at all.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:06 am
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Genius


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Now, about Albert . . . his writing and what it tells about him;

1) he is writing in a time when things are tough; there are no fancy electric bicycles - he's getting by on a bike that has only one pedal!

2) people indeed 'are' old at 40; life makes it that way. I remember my parents at that age - they seemed ancient and it wasn't just because I was young. I look at old family pictures and think 'geesh!' Grandma looked like an old lady when she was in her thirties! And, it just so happens, my maternal grandmother 'was' a 'grandmother' at 32! Furthermore, her first born was also a grandmother at 32! The newspaper actually did a write-up on this . . . so how in gawd's name did that come about? Well, they got married young, in that time zone . . . they got married and the only way to use a 'birth control pill' was to hold it 'tween yer knees at all times!

During the years the kids were in grade school, there was a depression on - men were lucky to have work. Women had work too, especially when the men were at war - but it wasn't the kind of work that involved sitting at a front desk in an office and looking pretty - it was work - hard physical work, in some cases.

Everything involved in running a household was harder, raising children was hard - the average couple didn't have money for daycare.

People aged quickly; just working in those dirty factories was enough to do it.

Albert Camus's stories tell me what the man actually thought about, what he liked and what he didn't like - the stories tell me that he thought about what other people thought about, what they liked, what they didn't like.

This story, in particular, tells me that 40 year old men valued their time at home, with the family - they weren't raring to get out with the boys on Wednesday night - they actually liked being at home with their wives, enjoying a drink on the 'terrace'.

This story tells me what the author thought about the 'workplace', the reality of a union's demands, what was actually possible and what was not. Certainly, he believed in justice for the poor man, but he also understood and empathized with the business owner.

He, as Stephen King would say, knew how to 'strap it on' when it came to telling his reader what life really was all about.

I don't need any lit/comp teacher to tell me that.



Fri Jun 13, 2008 6:28 am
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