Monday, October 20, 2008

"This Side of Lazarus" (Over at AMV)

Last Thursday over at AMV, I posted a narrative essay/autobiographical short story I wrote as a sort of memorial for and an attempt to sift through my relationship with Grandpa Chadwick, who passed away at the beginning of this month. Shortly after I learned of his death and while trying to shock myself into grief, I read John’s account of the raising of Lazarus in the New Testament. Because I've been reading so much Gothic literature lately in the course of my studies, I was viscerally struck by the Gothic strain captured in that short account—the reanimated body, the deep emotion expressed by Martha, Mary, and even by Christ, the (threatened) bonds of kinship expressed between its main characters, the theological symbolism of Lazarus’ time in the grave, and the writer’s engagement of the senses in his attempt to capture the corporeality of this deeply moving moment.

Turning back to my earlier efforts to wade through Grandpa’s affliction and to a series of dreams that I had during that time, I started to write, to imitate, in a very distant sense, the tone of John's narrative. And thus came the birth of “This Side of Lazarus,” my nascent, fragmented movement through the psychological ties that bind the chaos of mortality to some higher moral order.

If anyone has any suggestions regarding readability, etc., I'm open to what you have to say. (And don't think that just because this a deeply personal attempt that I'll be offended at suggestions. Rather I welcome them as I try to create and refine this "alternate" world--to make it feel as real as possible.)