Literary Conceit, part 478

One of the problems when your life is a literary conceit …

… is that you maintain faith in the happy ending.

Even with all evidence to the contrary, even with a terrible track record years-long, when things line up perfectly (aka literary conceit) it seems apparent that things should “work out”.

This is not only insane, but an incorrect assumption about literature.

“Literary” does not = happy ending. Ever read Anna Karenina? Yeah, that book has one HELL of a happy ending, don’t it?

The fact that things line up doesn’t mean shit. It just means that things line up. It takes a certain sort of brain to perceive patterns, themes, and I have always had that kind of brain. My perpetual heartbreak comes from trying to turn the patterns into something meaningful. Or at least something I can grasp.

Sometimes the themes are so loud that they often seem to be screaming at me to pay attention. I have learned my lesson through years of practice. I take note of the literary conceit, tip my hat to it, acknowledging, “Yes, yes, hon, I see you, I see you, thank you very much,” and then I do my best to pass on by.

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6 Responses to Literary Conceit, part 478

  1. JFH says:

    I don’t understand the term “literary conceit”, even after extensive Googling. It’s just not clicking with me. Can you explain it in terms I can understand (Well, I know you “CAN”, based on previous experience with your blog, but, would you?)

    BTW, Am I the only one that has a mental block when it comes to some (many?)literary concepts or is this a common thing related to right brain vs. left brain thinking?

  2. red says:

    Sorry, JFH – I don’t really feel like getting into it with such a personal post.

    I have gotten numerous emails from people who were touched by the post – who shared their own stories, who related … and a public venue isn’t the place for them to share that stuff. That’s cool by me. I am glad it resonated.

    It’s for those people I wrote it.

    To describe it in an analytical way would be wrong for me. To sit and discuss it in an intellectual way would be wrong for me. I described my experience and plenty of folks got it. For me, that’s enough.

  3. David says:

    Conceit: elaborate, fanciful metaphor, esp. of a strained or far-fetched nature.
    6.the use of such metaphors as a literary characteristic, esp. in poetry.

    Sheila, you’re one of the greatest human beings I’ve ever met and I love you with all my heart, despite my deep, dark inability to sometimes let people in.

  4. red says:

    David – thanks for basically making me put up this post. It was very cathartic and you were spot on in your reasoning.

    I had a rough week. I need to keep being open and keep writing. Thanks.

    Rumspringa this week? thursday??

  5. Tonio Kruger says:

    Ever read Anna Karenina? Yeah, that book has one HELL of a happy ending, don’t it?

    Actually, for two of its supporting characters (Kitty and Levin), it did. For the title character, of course, it didn’t.

    I know that’s not the point you were trying to make, but still…

  6. red says:

    Tonio – yeah, that really wasn’t my point – you chose to miss the larger point and … not sure what you’re doing with that comment. Letting us know you read Anna K?


    A really important internet skill on the internet is knowing when NOT to comment.

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