When the Tale is Told by an Idiot; or, How You Imagine Fiction Gets Said

Afterwards; or, an Afterword

[a short story]


This is not an ordinary tale told by an idiot, but by a person who imagines his readers charitably. Should this stand instead for a good repast; should this tale be told by one who seeks to keep his readers sane, that is sanitized to the condition of conditioning persons to be good citizens? I do not know what you imagine is the role of author or narrator or any other -or you could imagine with respect to this writing and your reading. Be it as it is for whatever is, is; however, I am not going to venture a rightness or a wrongness for what is.

I, Thomas Sarebbononnato, have herein written an essay under the auspice of my creator, my author, who you will know by name, and I only can know by role, his role as author, writer–I am not so sure how they differ, although, I do know that you the reader might have some idea where and when a writer differs from an author–everyone knows how writer differs from narrator, thus how author does or could differ from narrator, thus how expositor does and could. But let me now say what I have come to say . . . the question, of course, would be to say or not to say, what I say in speech and what I say when I set pen to page, fingers to my keypad on my laptop. Words, words and more words, what we need are more words, just words, well-formed, well-founded words, having thus weighed the words, suiting them without sawing, and again reciprocally, suiting action to word–as you must have already suited, first the one to word, the former then to action–to catch the conscience of the reader–the layers that are wound, man, person, writer, author, expositor . . . what or when the expositor creates an expositor, narrators inside narration inside other narration we have seen in fiction before.

Why haven’t we, though, seen exposition in fiction or as fiction–fictional essays I have said before (by my author, his authority–what do you say now concerning this thing, a fictional essay . . .). What does it mean to call a piece of writing a fictional essay–essay does mean something, fictional less fixed in form than what we say when we say essay . . . essayer in French means to try, to put on trial, we were told back in college–yes, my author has set it that I have been to university . . . does that mean an essay as a short story or does it mean an actual essay with a fictional context or pretext or expositor–expositors are things made up, anyway, are they not? I am surely fictional, but that does not mean I carry no truth. What then am I saying about the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction? Why cannot essays be written on subjects serious or flippant that are contextually fictional? Why can’t an essay tell a story like a short story does, as authors do create stories to be told as fiction? Whatever the manner, the means, the method–and there is madness in my essays, as much as there is method, if you will. Herein then is an essay I have written under the guidance of my creator, the author, a child of his brain, if you will–we can only speak of my mind as you cannot speak of my brain . . . but then that is not true I have just realized. You can speak of my brain as you speak of what I see, what I think, what I expose, not myself as would someone in a raincoat . . . you do see the image, do you not? You can say about me–what? When? How? And the voice of this essay is an expositor myself as an alter-ego of my writer, I have hoped; at least in his brain, I am sure I have hoped . . . there is so much of any part of fiction that an author must know the all-about, even if not in the piece as written. All inferences must be concluded in the writers brain–or he must be able to if ever called upon, no? What is all this about multiple personalities in a person; am I not many persons? Are you, the reader, not many–is not the world a stage, and are we not the players of many parts? What then is it that needs to be said about this thing my author has created, announced, pronounced, adopted–the fictional essay, another form, one where exposition is used in the service of telling a story, much the way Woolf uses Lyric in the service  of, or to stand in stead of, narrative.

Wherever you see my name know that what you are getting is some of the life and a lot of the opinions of one Thomas Sarebbononnato. What’s in a name? Perhaps for you a load of freshly laid dog shit by another name would still smell like shit, but herein I cannot say it is the same, and that me by any other name would be equal to what I am with my name. Do I say that all is in my name? That my name tells you everything? No, I cannot say this. However, names in fiction as names here, do say more to you the reader, than they do to the characters or in life. Nonetheless, if someone were named Michael, there might be something that person could take from the symbolism one would derive from knowledge of the Arc-Angel himself. Yes, the Life and the Opinions of T. S.

Yes, Mr. Sterne, I am sentimental about my education, as I am about education, proper; but not the pandering today that masquerades poorly as education. What is if you were I, and not what if I were you, is what you should be considering when considering all the considerations of me, a character with more or less character . . . what do you call it when you question how a story unfolds based on imagined possibilities and probabilities you have all twisted up, when you question what a character does or says based on that character being you, rather than what would happen if you were the character. Hamlet makes much more sense when you say what if I were Hamlet, how would I order a hamburger at McDonald’s than what if Hamlet were I and how should he act accroding to me in Elsinore.


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