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A daily record of what I'm thinking about what I'm reading

To read about movies and TV shows I'm watching, visit my other blog: Elliot's Watching

Saturday, January 30, 2016

New Yorker debut story shows great potential

Looks like a debut story from a smart young writer in current New Yorker, The Philosophers, by Adam Ehrlich Sachs - really 3 shorts that are a little like cerebral out-takes from NYer Shouts & Murmurs, each on a philosophical conundrum: the first is about a philosopher stricken with a paralysis that sounds much like ALS of Huntington's communicating the essence of his entire life's thinking to his son through a series of eyeblinks, the son stricken by the same (hereditary?) disease passess the message on to his son, and so forth across several generations to current narrator for whom the message is a garbled set of letters, and he wonders whether there has been a breakdown in communications or if his ancestor was mad or if he himself is losing his mind - which altogether seems like an allegory for the decline of civilization. The strongest piece is the 3rd, about a man found near-frozen sitting in a cardboard box, and the man claims to be the most intelligent person on earth and the inventor of a time machine. The cardboard box? Some very clever twists, which I won't divulge. We'll probably see more stories by AES in coming issues. Hoping he continues to develop and use his intelligence to create characters, mood, and narrative.

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