When We Talk About Life as if it Were Art

I find the “takeaway” to be very interesting.  Fascinating, even.  What we take away from a situation and what we learn from it, I mean.  Especially things and situations that are not intended for a person.  For example, I posted a piece here a while back that was written entirely and completely so I could work out my own demons.  A friend of mine, and a character in the story, read it, reread it, and used my piece of fiction, one that had nothing to do with him, as a means to evaluate his life.  My story sparked something he was already contemplating, known or unknown, and got him thinking more about it.

I am currently involved in something that has absolutely nothing to do with me.  I am, quite literally, a supporting character.  In fact, I am non-essential.  Me, as a person, could easily be replaced with someone else, or, even, eliminated altogether.  I am not relevant to the story.  But, because I am involved in the story, I am reaping the benefit of being able to take something away from the situation.  Me, my own side story.  My own B plot to follow the A plot.  Something that, interestingly enough, has nothing to do with A plot.  And, I’m sure, the other people involved have their own subplots that I don’t see, but mean something to them.

Therefore we have multiple stories going on at the same time.  The main story, in this case, the one that brought all these people together could simply be the jumping off point to explore these other fringe stories; it’s the MacGuffin, to speak in the language of narrative.  The main characters will endure the desired outcome (unless this is a completely different story than the one I think it is), but the fringe characters are the unknowns; their stories are more complex.  The main story provides a nice background to explore what is going on with them.

Life imitating art imitating life imitating art imitating life….

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2 thoughts on “When We Talk About Life as if it Were Art

    • Of reading, yes, absolutely. What I find interesting is that each reader takes something different from a text (not necessarily wildly different, but different nonetheless), sometimes what the reader sees isn’t even what the author intended. In my example, I never thought about my friend in the short story. He was merely filling a role in MY story, but he saw something deeper in the Him-the-Character’s story and it helped him change how he thought/felt about certain things. (That’s real specific since actual people were involved in that piece of fiction, but I maintain the same holds true for story not written about real people.)

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