|Posted on Monday, August 30, 2004 - 02:42 am: |
A member of the 'Nemonymous' discussion forum continues his close-ordered study of each story in 'Nemonymous 4':
Creek Man - #2 in the everdwindling series..... Like Tom Sawyer in miniature, `Creek man' initially has the homespun appeal of much rural Americana. Youthful rivalries, attitudes to authority, the seeking and breaking of boundaries both in terms of social interaction and in terms of personal development are all here. None of these things are new, but then we have the `creek man' as a surrealist addition, placed gently into the innocent environs of the young characters like a dingy Taliesin, or a hairy Moses in his basket. The resulting exploration of how these simple innocents respond to this intruder into their apparently uncomplicated lives is where this story takes us. There is, aside from the mystery of the creature itself, but one unanswered question which is left, tantalizingly teasing our imaginations as the narrative unfolds: what IS miss Grieg's relationship with the creek man? There is the feeling that this question might become answered when, discovering the children's destructive behavior miss Grieg takes her revenge! In any case, Jimmy's cousin Sophie becomes the catalyst. The lads had intended some kind of misguided experiment, assembling whatever scientific equipment they have to hand (however inappropriate), but clearly with little idea as to how to proceed. Sophie has the certainty of ignorance fed by the contents of a fairly hysterical sounding magazine. Convinced the strange figure is an alien, she persuades the boys to kill it by stoning. The simplicity of the narrative, and the natural uncertainty of the characters (note how many of their statements end in a question mark) give this whole scenario an unnerving sense of reality. It is an extrapolation: something which, given the circumstances, would appear to be an almost inevitable chain of events. The appalling nature of these actions point a big finger at the basic nastiness of the human race. Anything which is `different', no matter how passive or non-threatening, is regarded as fair game for abuse, vivisection and ultimate slaughter. The enigmatic Creek Man remains little more than catatonic throughout this whole episode, and this strange but uncompromisingly inactive and innocuous position is essential to the story. Any sense in which the being might be even the least bit frightening or menacing would provide an excuse for these young people's actions, and neutralize the main message and genuinely horrific outcome of the narrative. The final act, a stoning, is of course quite biblical in its association – the barbarism of the ancient past as a fact of life in the present. The weakness and conscience of the narrator does nothing to appease the horror of this conclusion. Peer pressure, or the desire to appear heroic in the eyes of the enigmatic Sophie override any sense of guilt or humanity in the heat of the moment, and again it is left to live on in our imaginations as to how such an act will affect these young people – as it surely must - for the rest of their lives.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:28 am: |
are we even sure the creek man is an alien? we don't hear any mroe about it than what we hear from the kids and the 'fairly hysterical magazine'. that;s what really got to me about it.
the story seems to saysomething about the inside of us all. not evil inside us. just directionlessness. trying to do good but never being sure what it is.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004 - 09:38 am: |
i'm not sure who i think the author was though. jon fain, maybe?
|Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 08:49 am: |
From originator of the Creek Man treatment above to the nemo discussion Yahoogroups forum about Anonymous's comments above:
This is true. The only one who believes it is an alien is the girl -
it could be anyone, or anything! As for trying to do good, I see
little evidence of this, other than in the reluctance of the
narrator. To me it comes over as weakness, as well as
directionlessness - 'I was only following orders'......
|Posted on Sunday, January 02, 2005 - 04:12 am: |
I am only mentioning the denemonisation specifically on these boards of this story (and yesterday APOLOGISING...) because two threads had already been set up for them due to particular discussion of them here. The rest of the Nemo~4 stories will be announced on Veils&Piques under cover of darkness...
"And William had the wisdom to make capital out of this distorted idea of beauty whenever he could."
From the ‘Just William’ books by Richmal Crompton
'Creek Man' has now been denemonised to members here:
I hope there will be a denemonisation from Nemo~4 each day until the stories are all denemonised.
All these authors were anonymous to the editor/publisher at the time of issuing the contract of publication to them.
“And upward along that pallid path my fevered fancy pictured a thin shadow slowly writhing; a vague contorted shadow struggling as if drawn by unseen demons.”
From ‘The Moon-Bog’ by HP Lovecraft