December 31, 2018

Do we see the world as it is, or as we are?

Hannah Kelly


When I was at university I took a class on postmodern literature. As the months passed and I read novel after novel I was overtaken by a strange apathy. It might have been the weather, but when I tallied up all the books I’d read over that period I noticed that not a single one of them had a happy ending.
Postmodern literature, excuse the oversimplification, seemed to be saying to me ‘Ha! No neat and tidy narratives for you, with meaningful suffering and an upward trajectory.’ Mostly the novels cut me off in the middle of a good bit, or the hero missed an opportunity to change.
I wondered whether beginnings, middles and satisfying endings were the real opiate of the masses?
So I wanted to write a story where a character needs that narrative structure and is faced with a situation in which it does not exist. He is given next to no information about the stranger in the back of his cab. But because we see the world as we are, rather than as it is, he imagines a story, projects himself inside of it and gleans an epiphany.
Are there ever endings unless we make them ourselves?

Instagram: @hannahkellyillustration

The cover illustration is one of my own, I’m a writer/artist. I find I engage with ideas more in my writing, and use my art to recover from all that thinking!