Author: William Conescu
Country: United States (2008)
I stumbled upon this gem of a book through reading a review in, I think, Bookmarks. I was instantly drawn to the premise: the "main character" is actually a minor character who knows that he is a character and is trying to get the author's attention. What?!
Seriously. The little book did not disappoint.
Daniel is a bit peculiar compared to most people because he realizes that he's not just a person, but a character to be used at the author's whim. How does he know this? Well, he can hear the scratching of the author's pencil of course! Which is the creative carrot that entices you in.
Daniel, having a drink,hears the scratching over in the direction of this attractive woman sitting a the bar. He's fed up. Daniel no longer wishes to be a minor character, merely filling in the background scenes, he wants his own part. In fact, if he's going to be honest with himself and the author - he wants his own novel. Daniel has no other choice but to approach the woman who the author is writing about, forcing the author himself to acknowledge Daniel's presence.
Thus begins Daniel's role in the lives of friends Delia, Graham, Jon, and Monty. Just because the novel is about them, does not mean that Daniel cannot maneuver himself into a stellar role. Under the guise of a writer himself, Daniel conveniently shows up in the friends' lives over and over again, until he finally establishes himself. Question is, is it the part that he's always wanted?
I think I loved this book because I've always been fascinated with the concept of reality and perception. In college I read a play, "Six Character's In Search of an Author" by Pirandello. It's an absurdist play, in which a group of characters show up to a dress rehearsal looking for an author to finish their story. One of the many speculations from this play is that we are all characters, existing in separate realities all dependent on the performances of those surrounding us. Which ultimately poses the question which self is more real? Or are all merely illusions?
I'll have to re-read the play again. The above ramblings are relied upon from a memory ten years ago. (Although I do recall after turning in my analysis of the piece to my professor I put an asterisk at the bottom questioning the realness of the paper, or some such postscript that I felt was pretentiously clever at the time). Luckily, I just found Six Characters is on Project Gutenburg. Looks like I might have to re-read this one!
Regardless, Being Written is a quick read. I highly recommend!