Eclipse Time In Utopia, reviews of old works April 6/24

Just re-read The Stand and it is addictive now as it was many years ago. However we are stuck with the old problem (for contemporary fiction) that the good people, like Mother Abigail, are passive and don’t really effect much of anything, and is the virtuous victim, while the Evil Dude is active, alert, seeking, moving and doing as well as homicidal etc. A hundred or so years ago the good guys were usually mountain bandits swearing revenge and leading their merry men down the declivities with savage yells. They assaulted the Evil Baron and set fire to his castle, galloping away with a fainting fashionista princess as a hostage, fell in love etc. Mountain bandits were usually about a nine on the Get ‘Er Done chart. But for more than a century our central character is usually a loser. A virtuous, sensitive, deeply caring loser.

This doesn’t seem to apply to the gazillions of non-literary fictions self-published on Amazon although sometimes you see it creeping in because the whole Evil-Active, Good-With-Chronic-Fatigue-Syndrome is so pervasive it seems that a beginning writer can hardly evade being influenced by it. At any rate, the number of post-apocalypse, apocalypse and Fall of Civilization novels are unnumbered — pages and pages of them.

They interest me — at least for a few sample pages — because I’m curious as to the main character’s character. What’s the alternative? I suppose the ancient and rather worn-out virtuous victim MC will fade away eventually.

I am also reading all of John Cheever’s short stories. I admire him very much. I love his work. Shady Hill was his Troy.

I think these are about all the flowers we are going to get this spring. It’s painfully, depressingly dry. They are a kind of desert flower, or bush, I think. They bloom no matter what. We are turning into Arizona here.

But the eclipse is coming!

The town is already filling up and the Parks department has gifted our highway approaches both north and south with a great many flags, it looks great, the park is filled with gifts-and-trinkets booth and when I was in town today to get mail etc. I was glad to see Sherriff Nolasco and several Uvalde Sherriff’s department cars parked around town.

Just heard from my Lighthouse Island friends, going to dinner with Bill and Cathy Wightman Sunday evening and am on my way to speak at the Eudora Welty lit. festival in Jackson Mississippi next Tuesday. Looking forward to all of it and now I have to answer Elvia in Coatepec, if I get a letter off in Spanish before my hip starts hurting it would be a good thing.