I feel bad for off-handedly bashing Bryce Courtenay (RIP) in a previous post. While my comment was honest, it was unnecessary. Peekay wasn’t such a bad kid until he became super. And that stupid chicken. I was glad when it died. Anyway, be glad the bird met such a a foul end, because without it the superification of Peekay would not have happened. Instead, he gets all “ah so, glasshopper” with the creepy old guy, who I kept expecting would lunge for Peekay’s willy at any moment, but instead just curled up and died. Anyway, sorry Bryce, please don’t haunt me from beyond the grave. Although, if you did, it would be kinda cool and would give me some good stuff for my next novel, so …
One thing my occasionally misfiring synapses have thrown up over the years is the relationship between that novel, the movie Taxi Driver, and string theory. I reckon it all comes down not to the power of one, but to the sum of it. Aforementioned misfirings and an underdeveloped parietal lobe (dropped on head as child) have prevented me from getting a proper mathematical handle on it, but somewhere in the mix is a proof for loneliness. Something to do with string theory, I am sure of it. I’m interested in this in much the same way that a pigmy might have found Dr Livingstone’s shaving mirror fascinating, because if there is a unifying theme in all of the novels I will ever write (pregnant pause) it will be that my protagonists are always alone. And bad at maths.
No movie (challenge hereby formally issued) explores loneliness as consummately as Taxi Driver. The film is a tour de force, but posits Travis Bickle as a sociopath. I find De Niro so nuanced in his interpretation of the role, that I’m convinced he’s not some psycho whack-job but a quiet guy who’s just had enough. It’s something I plan to explore in my characterisation, so I hope my faithful readers (yes, both of you) don’t get sick of it. So if you ever see my protagonist playing happy families at the end of some harrowing drama, you can bet that’s not the end of it. If, on the other hand, they’re lying in a puddle of their own excreta, barely alive, then there’s probably no sequel. Except by public demand of course. Public demand! Hah. Who says I’m not funny!
Anyway, have at thee with the obligatory graphics: