Thursday, January 16, 2014
a living martyrdom, is better than none
Ada Cambridge (going back a few posts) decides that nature wanted her characters to marry. "She says that even an unlucky marriage, which is a living martyrdom, is better than none." Why should nature have any impact on book characters or any opinion of them: they are not natural but we are pretending, and if the sentences say that they eat like real people then the sentences can also say that nature wants them to get married like real people (the sentences can say anything they like), which means that we could add this faked Nature to the other impulses that we might see moving them or approving of them, elsewhere, earlier, in the same book.
Does nature want them to do other things, I wonder; did she want the protagonist to go for a walk on St Kilda pier in the evening, and did she make hints to the driver of the train that killed the father in the opening paragraph? Does nature enjoy the death of the father because the characters would never have been married if he hadn't died?
Other questions. Does nature like romance novels better than other novels? Is nature discriminating, or does style and characterisation not matter, as long as the characters get married? Does nature judge a novel solely by the number of characters who marry inside the novel? What is nature's favourite book? Can nature read? If not, why does Ada Cambridge care? Has she, by having the characters marry, missed her chance to defy nature without nature knowing about it?
Does Ada Cambridge believe that nature can read her mind?
Is she in fact correct, and is nature at this moment reading billions of books simultaneously by detecting the motions of our thoughts? Are the electrical discharges making its filaments twitch? Are our reading brains playing on nature like fingers on a piano? If so, then does nature understand Ada Cambridge's book as if it is a song? Why don't books have choruses?
Does nature prefer The Pirates of Penzance to any other piece of theatre?