The Limit of Desired Knowledge
The fact that we are born without a choice, that we are expected to rise into being from a one celled organism to man without any external doubts is a perpetual theme to existence. Doubt is a threat, a precarious uncertainty that looms over every deed, making the daily reality of one persons life unreal. Sources of information, like the media, can make your head spin with fear, giving the viewer a new neurosis for the day. It happens to us all, when you find out a pedophile lives next door this whole time, or to realize your block offers under aged prostitutes, or in fact there NEVER was weapons of mass destruction. Paradigm shifts are frightening for they highlight the infinite discrepancies in our perceptions that have been there the whole time. We don't want to be ignorant, but we also desire to be safe and comfortable. Like a bad acid trip, if we know to much at once, or accept all the motives for our flawed behavior simultaneously we are prone to “freak out”. In these three pieces the characters undergo a shift of perception that may destroy or strengthen them. The three tales are “That in Aleppo once...” by Vladimir Nabokov, “Janus” by Ann Beatie and “The Killers” by Ernest Hemingway.
These characters, like all humans, are haunted. They are haunted by the infinite possibilities their brains can dimly perceive. They are haunted by the illumination that the choices they made wee misinformed, that their previous lives and actions are arbitrary and frail. Triggers are hidden everywhere, pulling the characters thread of certainty away with a glance. All men mutate into the other lover(Nabokov). The decorative bowl on the table is a portal where decisions are easy(Beatie). Two men at a Diner reveal the murderous machinations of sport and crime(Hemingway). The characters are never the same at that moment, they are experiencing an inverted epiphany: we all...