Literary Crossovers I wish that I could wrap a character up in the fabric of the author's words and, carrying them by the handles of description and narration, pluck them from their own story and drop them down into the middle of someone else's. On sitcoms, sometimes, they do "crossovers" - episodes in which a person from another show appears and is integrated into the story line as the character he or she elsewhere portrays. I would like to create a series of literary "crossovers." I would send Funes to Vietnam with Tim O'Brien. I would ask him what he saw in a soldier's life and years after his return I would ask him if he ever escaped his memories of it. If Tim was haunted by mental snapshots of the man he killed on a moonlit trail, what would his memory do to Funes, who has no ability to forget those things that torture him? Could Funes, after tracing every image in his mind a hundred thousand times, find some meaning in the war that eluded Tim? One that eludes me? I would send Maude to Hester Prynne, who spends so many years in profound loneliness. Could even Maude touch Hester's soul? Could Hester touch Maude's concentration camp tattoo a little bit like Hester's scarlet letter - a physical manifestation of incredible suffering? Is Maude more like Pearl than like Hester? Not quite human, always looking at the world through tinted lenses? I would invite Harold to one of Jay Gatsby's parties. Might Harold, too, fall in love with Daisy's beautiful aloofness? Or would he stand in the shadows of Gatsby's magnificent house, afraid to dance to the pulsing music? Would he somehow befriend Nick, finding in him a soul of equal uncertainty? What could they teach each other? It is magnificently interesting to imagine these crossovers - these episodes that play in my head. I can see each one projected on the screen there. "Funes in Vietnam" is a tragic episode, one that leaves you with that feeling in your stomach that you're glad it wasn't real but afraid it might be close. The blood of innocent children and the screams of dying women seep into Funes' brain, dripping into his every thought. He is unable to forget anything, and so he lives the war in Vietnam a hundred times a day.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.