Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Read Wakefield here

I like this story if only for the soothing W throughout. This line resonates with me, "when she had been more years a widow than a wife..." I feel like I approach that day myself.

Of course, in the story it's all a cruel caprice and Wakefield's wife is no more a widow than I am. Wicked man, that Wakefield. Worst sort of procrastinator he turned out to be. What did he do all that time? That's what I wonder whenever I read this story. How did he earn his bread? What sort of credentials did he provide his new landlady?

Hawthorne would have us believe Wakefield set off on a tangent and could not find his way back for twenty years. And if I knew where he went to work, maybe I could believe that.

The ending caught my attention this time around. I feel Rod Serling's cadence and can well imagine him speculating about Wakefield becoming, as it were, a denizen of the Twilight Zone. Can you hear it too?

Amid the seeming confusion of our mysterious world, individuals are so nicely adjusted to a system, and systems to one another, and to a whole, that, by stepping aside for a moment, a man exposes himself to a fearful risk of losing his place forever. Like Wakefield, he may become, as it were, an Outcast of the Universe.

I imagine Hawthorne in an attic more years than miles from where I sit trying to wrest a living from his writing. Oh, what teleplays he might have written.

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