Tuesday, February 06, 2007

One Of These Days, Alice...

I know I post a lot of space stuff, but this is literally out of this world.

Michael Chabon on Cormac McCarthy's The Road and apocalyptic fiction in general.

I'm at this moment in the BDE right now, not quite of apocalypse, but certainly catastrophe, and again I find myself struggling with it. I think a lot of my concern comes from the depiction of the event. I'm a detail junkie. That's the culture I live in. I obsess in deconstructing the most uncomprehensible events of the day - disaster, like God, is in the details - and when I write, this comes out. I want to show the moment of failure, the progression of events, but I've come to realize that not only reduces the magnitude of the event itself, but the enormity of its impact on the people it affects. We know now, largely, how the towers of the WTC fell; on that day we didn't. Rumors of explosive charges ran rampant. What detached analysts very calmly called a typical pancake collapse looked like a volcanic eruption, or even worse, a mushroom cloud. I think I need to look at this event not through the eyes of an analyst, but a witness.

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