Monday, July 07, 2008
I think there are three monster types.
Some monsters you can fight. But some
monsters you can only run from.
And some monsters are such monsters
that you can’t fight or run away.
Some monsters—raging zombie hordes,
shifting swarms of mutant insects,
can overwhelm anybody.
The plot, then, must be built around
how the hero confronts sure death.
That’s what aesthetics is: It’s life
in the abstract. The many parts
of one’s self reduced to hero
and some supporting characters.
And how the hero faces death—
death, that is sure, unbeatable—
can be us in situations
where every choice we have is bad,
where we know part of us will die
and we—readers of our own life—
want the story to be worthwhile
before we open the next book.
Heroes die, but there are more books.
Parts of us die, but life goes on.
But plots, characters, settings change . . .