Somewhere Inbetween

I have little choice but to read on (I am well drugged by now). I want to know (I need to know) how Martin sums his half century because it is my age too.

    feynman diagram

    Things fall into two classes: things that happen to me and things that happen to other people. When they happen to me they matter very much and they become my experience. Sometimes other people happen to me and they become my experience too. Sometimes, but not very often, this happens when I read a book.

    Experience is my favourite book from my favourite novelist which should make it my favourite novel but for the fact it is not a novel. For once Martin (we were once on first names, I fancied his girlfriend) is not teasingly glimpsed within an oh-so-clever post-modern narrative. Instead he is to the fore, a short man in middle age, highly sexed and with terrible teeth, who is also a writer with fully developed powers of expression. These all dictate that he perform – that he dazzle – but there is also something else going on. This time Martin has chosen to share with the group. We get a jump cut narrative of his life, his children, his friends, his times, his father – all (natch) in high style and carpet bombed with famous names. (He is bent on disclosure but he cannot help himself).

    But once you open up it can be hard to stop. ”And I’ll finish on this….” Experience has a last chapter, a postcript, an appendix, an addendum. I wish he would wind up but I am well drugged by now and I have little choice but to read on. I want to know (I need to know) how Martin sums his half century because it is my age too. (He has always been a couple of years ahead of me,. I catch sight of his rucksack round the next corner as I hike upwards, often finding my inner world in his cast off words).

    So finally we are in Poland, at Auschwitz and Martin plays his last shot at full stretch, it’s a tremndous get ;full of risk, a lunge to connect the universal with the personal. He meditates on our capacity for atrocity, the cruelty that defies credulity. He wrestles with comprehension and comes up short because his own direct experience just doesn’t get him there. Humbled, relieved, baffled he glosses his life to date… ” I have never been told to believe anything really unbelievable, just the usual articles of faith for a man of fifty (and they seem unlikely enough): that the parents are going, the children are staying, and I am somewhere in between”.

    Martin has named the place. I am in the zone.

    It’s time to attend.