Sunday, April 16, 2006

Literary pursuits on the far side of the world

Amazon keeps me sane

I've just received my latest from Amazon. Richard Temple, by Patrick O'Brian. Originally published in 1962, it has resurfaced in print for the first time in over forty years. In order to remain sane during imprisonment, the title character examines his life at painful and almost prosecutorial length; from a blighted childhood to life as an artist in London, abandoning artistic integrity to make money pushing forgeries, and eventually ending up in Intelligence after the outbreak of war, Temple personifies the anti-hero.

Subconsciously I must feel confined here, between reading Papillon, re-discovering The Great Escape, keeping Folsom Prison Blues in a loop on my computer's media player, and now this. That speaks volumes towards how I feel about life on Okinawa. Or perhaps my late-blooming authority issues have developed to the point where I truly detest being bound to anyone or anything by contract. The only thing I'm left to wonder is why it has only manifested itself after eight-and-a-half years in the Marines. Why the hell couldn't I have felt this way at seventeen and spared myself all the trouble?

1 comment:

kissyface said...

wow, that's a lot of literary confinement. what will you do once you are released? you are a good writer, and obviously intelligent. funny, even. what do you want? you're so young, the world is wide open to you.

saucemonster. i presume that's referring to booze. glad i wasn't a military brat, but i did get moved around way too much - just all within a 100 mile radius, and most of that within Portland. still, getting yanked out of schools, neighborhoods, and peer groups is disorienting. i can be quite a loner myself, and yet i love to be social, when i wanna.

"the idiosyncratic loner " part is part of your status as a Cancer. it's inevitable. that is, if you go in for that kind of stuff.