a man chases his daughter

A man chases his daughter along the pavement, shouting, “NO! NO!” I interpret this as command, panic, condemnation. Then I see that she’s stolen his ridiculous orange scarf. She’s giggling. He’s trying not to giggle. They’re dodging back and forth around a car. Ray Bradbury, interviewed in the Paris Review: “Get the big truth first. If you get the big truth, the small truths will accumulate around it.” I’d prefer to accumulate some small observations & see if they imply anything big–or indeed anything at all. Maybe it’s possible to work with that.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “a man chases his daughter

  1. Daniel del Valle

    Big truth or small truth? Michel de Montaigne, in one of his Essais, observes a cat staring at a bird in a tree. This goes on for quite some time until the bird suddenly drops dead in front of the cat, Montaigne asks: Is this coincidence or are we humans ignorant of some ability cats have?

  2. uzwi

    The cat sits for a minute or two then walks off. Half an hour later there’s some light rain.

  3. John Timberlake

    As usual my post may well be off at a tangent here, but Bradbury’s ‘big truth’ suggests some sense of billowing abstraction (eg. ‘All men are created equal’) whereas the small, particular truths might well problematise or ‘puncture’ such claims (eg ‘Yes but in your case we don’t recognise you as a man’ or ‘You are equal but you still can’t sit/work/eat/kiss here. There’s a bylaw against it’. In her excellent ‘The Odd One In: On Comedy’ Alenka Zupancic, via Hegel, suggests big abstractions grounded in material reality is the stuff of comedy (Lofty aims that are thwarted by daily routine a la Hancock). Whereas small particular truths that (might) speak to bigger truths are the stuff of tragedy (we may not all be Moorish generals in C16th Venice, but we all feel Othello’s pain etc etc). This is interesting to me re your writing and your starting point, Mike, because (if we accept Zupancic/Hegel) I see a kind of further twist back towards the comedic in your parodic ‘grounding’ of tropes and themes of the genre in quotidian and mundane.