Slow-Cooked Sentences

My effort, not futile

Rachael Conlin Levy
“Sisifo” by Tiziano, courtesy of Wikipedia Commons.

I’m reading Albert Camus’ “The Myth of Sisyphus” as part of my research for the novel I began late last year. I’m looking for parallels, themes, ways to shape the loosely connected stories that all begin in the desert. I think there’s an existential element to these tales, an absurdity or desperateness to the lives they create in this near-dead, empty space.

Camus writes that although “The Myth of Sisyphus” poses mortal problems (suicide), it also is a “lucid invitation to live and to create in the very midst of the desert.” The issue isn’t the identification of what’s absurd, but the response to it, the consequences of it.

“I said that the world is absurd, but I was too hasty. This world in itself is not reasonable, that is all that can be said. But what is absurd is the confrontation of this irrational and the wild longing for clarity whose call echoes in the human heart,” Camus writes.

I’m enjoying this, the meander through the dense material, the opaque writing silhouetted against my more simple stories, the hope I carry that this exercise will help me the next time I tug at the tangled tale threads balled up at the base of my neck, for I need blood to flow freely from brain to heart so I may write.

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