Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Grey Matter

No, not that grey matter. What I'm talking about is the stuff that makes for great fiction. The inconsistencies of life. The conflicting dilemmas we are all confronted with. The times when there is no easy choice -- where every decision comes with consequences. Sometimes grave consequences.

I just finished reading T.C. Boyles, The Tortilla Curtain which is a marvelous example of unbiased fiction. In this particular case the author tells the story of a married couple of illegal aliens trying to survive and find their slice of the American Dream on the outskirts of LA. As a counterpoint he uses a couple that on the surface is already living that dream. Through the eyes of these characters we examine the border issue that seems to be getting larger everyday. He also uses some great metaphors but I won't spoil the novel by saying anymore.

When you stop to think about it there isn't a whole lot in this world that isn't grey matter. At least if you have an open mind and REALLY look at all the nuances. there are always choices to be made that require a bit of debate. Pros versus Cons. Even on the most polar of issues. The ones that often divide the country.

Politics - I dare you to find a candidate that agrees or disagrees with every single thing you do. In the end we choose the one that fits best, simply vote along party lines.

Religion - Sure you could say this is a black and white issue, Either you believe or you don't. But Who do you believe in? God, Allah, Buddha ... and I know this is dangerous territory, but surely every one regardless of inclination has had a doubt somewhere along the line. Maybe not in the grand scheme of things. I'm certainly not accusing you of all being non-believers, but you've had to stop and think, Is buying a lottery ticket a sin? ... Do I really need to tithe the full ten percent? ... What about a beer every now and then. I'm going to stop here, because I'm already in over my head and this is a conversation for a whole other type of blogpage but still, There is a lot of grey matter out in this world and I happen to like my fiction chocked full of it. Hearing two sides to a complex issue educates me gives me something to think about, and yes, I do believe that well done fiction can be educational ... as long as the author gives the reader sufficient cause to trust the words on the page. But give me cause as a reader to lose that confidence and I no longer care about the words you wrote. So dive into that grey matter but please do it responsibly. Don't drink and drive. Call your mother every Sunday, and don't forget to tip the waitstaff. Good night and good reading.

2 comments:

Bluefingers said...

MMMOAOOOOAAAAHHHHHHH....THe evil spy is on to you.....

LOL....

Yours...

Bluefingers said...

Oooppsss...This should have been on the last post...

This was great. I loved the questions you raise with this, and yes I will go out and read this book.
Great Travis. You have given me food for thought, an no not bean sprouts...

Yours...