samuel x. brase likes to write

David and His Final Decision

Posted in novel planning, second novel by Sam X. on 1 October 2010

The climax of my current novel is less in the action (though there will be action) and more in the final decision of the protagonist, to either support the status quo or resist it. For an accounting of his reasoning, I turn to analysis of Ulysses. First, Joyce.

It was revealed to me that those things are good which yet are corrupted which neither if they were supremely good nor unless they were good could be corrupted.

And now, Blamires (who wrote the Ulysses guide I am using).

‘Those things’–the Irish homeland, the Irish tradition, culture, revolution–are indeed good. It is because they are good that they can be corrupted. It is also because they are not the supremely and absolutely good that they can be corrupted. It is right to be drawn by them. It is also right to resist their attractiveness; though resistance is costly. Vocation always is.

David comes to his decision, allows concensus, and then walks away–as a final act of resistance. Much as George Washington walked away from the presidency, much as Sulla resigned his dictatorship, he will put a final plan into place and say no more; disappear into pages of history.

Government is good–but not supremely good, and can be corrupted. It is also because government is not supremely good that revolution is likewise good–but also not supremely good, and thus can be corrupted. My novel simply posits: what does a man do when both have become corrupted? What does this same man do when his memory is missing?

I felt unsure of the ending for a long time, but Joyce has convinced me it is the right–the only–thing David can do.

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