They come to your door, a man & a woman in their thirties very neat & well presented, smelling of soap, & they begin, “Hello, we’re just calling on people today–” & pause, & look puzzled because that doesn’t on its own seem to be enough to fetch a response from you, & eventually continue “–& thinking about all the conflicts in the world today, & how God might not seem to care–” & you’re seventy years old & you’ve seen enough & you really, absolutely & completely don’t know how to respond, & in the end clear your throat & manage, “I’m not interested in that,” which doesn’t seem to be sufficient or even true, then close the door slowly & stand in the hall looking down at the tiles & try to remember what you were doing before.
I love this one. Will x >
“I’’m not interested in that,’ which doesn’t seem to be sufficient or even true.”
That’s a lovely line. I think the reason I was so blown away by your later works — Light, Nova Swing, and Empty Space — is that they explore the relations between “sufficiency” and “truth” in ways that I’ve not seen before. I’ve no idea if that was what you thought you were doing when you wrote them,but that’s what fascinated me about those 3 books.
What’s true is not sufficient. What suffices — it’s not all true.
Don’t feel bad if you see no way to explain that in two sentences to a couple of young naifs come knocking on your door.
Hi Al. I’ve been interested in that distinction–which I first saw as a problem of articulacy–since I started writing. Now I see it as a problem that can only be stated emotionally, as in the post; & since the KT novels–especially Empty Space–I’ve been having fun with central characters who, unable to “solve” the distinction between truth & sufficiency (not just in their relations with others but across the whole spectrum of their lives), have responded by flattening off their own affect. So they are not only shown as failing to understand the universe they live in, but they also block similar understandings on the part of the reader. This isn’t making me any friends in the publishing industry, which increasingly demands relatability. Anyway, thanks for your comment here, & I’m glad you enjoyed the KT books.