Working Title: Close to Nowhere

Sometims you come up with a decent title, but no story to go with it. In this case, we tracked it down and found only one pop song with the title, so it’s clear ground, more or less. I don’t even know why this compulsion to write yet another story, and that’s precisely what it is, in my case, a compulsion, an addiction, nothing more, and it comes and goes “as ceaselessly as the tides” (though not perhaps as regularly). So for now it’s input mode in the old yin and yang of the thing, low tides and high tides, and any day now a story might pop up that fits the working title.

And now the death of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and all the recent talk about the out-of-fashion-ness of ‘magical realism’ is taking a timeout as people honor that great storyteller and come to recognize that this so-called magical realism was really a way of merging journalism and fable in a place and time where journalism by itself was far too dangerous and fairy tales by themselves were far too innocent. Telling truth through lies has always been the secret weapon of the storyteller, probably from as far back as storytelling goes, and writers of Latin American fiction in the eras of brutal military rule had no other recourse. In current times perhaps they no longer have the necessity, but that doesn’t diminish the old hard realities. Today we can have books like 2666 but back then such a catalog of outrage would have met a different fate for its author. Instead you had the leafstorm and the evil hour, the sailor who fell from grace and the colonel to whom no one writes – myths disguising truths.




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