Apologies for recent and short-term blogging silence, friends and fellow readers. The biggest thing slowing The Bathroom Monologues has been on my novel-in-progress, We Don't Always Drown. I've just finished re-plotting the final act and think it's devious enough to go forward. Right now it weighs 76,000 words and feels ready for a big trick of a conclusion. I'm hoping to finish the rough draft before next weekend, when I hit NYC to see Waiting for Godot with friends.
This composition string has taken its toll on reading time; I'm even days behind on blogs, let alone my NaNoReMo pick.
I'm a third of the way through The Master and Margarita. At this stage in my career, I still feel awkward critically assessing the novels of others. So far the novel is delightfully cheesy in a way that none of the Russian heavy hitters I've ever read has gone for, including the deliberate, knowing setup conversation between those darned secular elites and the man we know will turn out to be Satan, as they deny his existence only to be blown away.
This is a good cheese, and an unusual cheese, especially for the contrast of flashback narratives to Pontius Pilate's encounters with a Yeshua of some renown. This Yeshua behaves skittishly, mortal to a fault, even denying his own teachings to get out of being convicted. Where the Satan-against-Soviets satire seemed gleefully pro-Christian, this depiction reads highly anti-Christian. Am I wrong? I almost hope not, because the collision of those two themes could make an incredible novel, and one third of the way in, The Master and Margarita hasn't uncloaked its true shape yet. It could wind up as a number of kinds of novels.
What this really calls for is research on cultural context, but I'm so deep into writing my own novel that reading time is slim. This has slowed down my consumption of Bulgakov's novel, but I'm no less enthused to read it.