not knowing jack

I am stuck w/ the book again.  I have idea after idea how to add an aspect that will give it some or another thing I want it to have– perspective, humor, scenic unpanicked authoritative meditations… palpable characters…

Right now I like this idea that the supposedly mythic Jack can really be what I wanted him to be– a version of the cartoon-madman in “Madmen”– I loved in that story my cut-out image of the “madman” that seemed balanced with a depiction that suggested his larger humanity.  But Armand was essentially sweet and I do not think Jack is at all.  I was also deeply moved at a reading the other day, a writer I haven’t encountered before reading from her novel about southern evangelicals and the young narrator’s madman father– b/c of the perspective — my favorite thing about writing adolescents– there can be an innocence of what the larger culture brings to your understanding of something — i.e. it’s your dad, and that’s what he’s like– he’s not in a mania, he’s your dad being like that– that is the perspective that has been most successful for me and I know it– and I loved this girl’s piece–(her name is Angela Pneuman)– it was moving and beautiful– and I’ve excluded from this novel that perspective that has served me so well  b/c I want to make myself contend with a narrative perspective that “knows” more and has to somehow filter and sort thru all the static to find not what is essential, but the layers of complexity and perspective that something like being older and wiser might be able to offer.  But then I have to be older and wiser in a way that I haven’t been able to access.  I don’t know my version of it, the version that doesn’t feel — seriously– patriarchal.

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