“If you’re looking for a deeper meaning, I’m as deep as this high ceiling”

Lou Reed, Images

2 Replies to “quote”

  1. Matt, my meditations on cipher-type characters lead me to the sense that these individuals are too often present in real life to be given a passport into story. Every character has to earn his or her keep, I say, which means the character has some job to do, whether to deliver a pizza or an eviction notice. Even the smallest of appearances has a life, which is what I look for in that individual. No one is entirely what he or she seems, there being some agenda or drama in that person's genes just as our species evolved to make us foragers (hunters & gatherers). I have to think this way because I come into the world plot challenged. My way of making story happen is to remove the cipher. If someone wants to act like a cipher, he or she has to in a sense work at it, just as an actor portraying a drunk has to focus overly on appearing sober. Imagine you, trying to cipher yourself out at a party, where someone recognizes you for a work you're not very proud of, but this person thinks it rocks. Thus you've been outed and indeed for something you have mixed feelings about at best.

    My sense is that thinking about characters this way, my choice of verbs and adjectives is affected, subtly imparting to that character a mannerism or posture that fights with the cipher-ness of his or her being.

    Cipher characters are cipher because no one in the story knows what they want but as writer I know what they want and thus I portray them, even in some piddling one-line walk-on.

    Simply put, I don't think we can afford to ignore anyone or anything inside the world we create. Any breech of this philosophy makes it easy for the reader to begin ignoring parts of our story.

  2. This reminds me of a Rorschach. Anyone can project anything on onto this. I also think it is very Talmudic. Reed was a New York Jew. I don’t know how involved he was with his culture, but in the Talmud, there are pages and pages of argumentative interpretations of the text, interpretations upon interpretations, as deep as a high ceiling, because you will never reach the essence of the meaning.

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