I sat down in front of the TV with my popcorn. I clicked "Recorded Movies" . Hmm. I click "Raisin in the Sun" since I remembered liking it many years ago, but could remember little of it. The movie began. Stars: Sidney Portier and Ruby Dee. I started to eat my popcorn.
I read on the screen: A Raisin in the Sun is a play by Lorraine Hansberry that debuted on Broadway in 1959. The title comes from the poem "Harlem" (also known as "A Dream Deferred") by Langston Hughes.
I put down my popcorn.
To dream of a better life is universal. It was my father's dream, Sanya Voronov's dream in THE PROVIDER. In the photo below of my beautiful young parents, you see them full of dreams even in 1929, the year The Great Depression fell. (The boy is my brother.
It was Willy Loman's dream in "Death of a Salesman". It was the protagonist Ralph's dream in John Cheever's "A Pot of Gold", one of the great short stories of the 20th century). A man struggles toward his dream; And his heart is broken.
I tossed out my popcorn.
FEEDBACK on "The Man on the Porch" —
In my last blog, I asked for your input re expanding the flash fiction teaser “Man on the Porch”. (It’s only a page and a half long, less than 500 words as usually required for flash fiction.)
In your feedback, a few of you encouraged me to “try” an expansion as an experiment.
Take note. This is a “horror” story – and not inclined toward admirable characters.
Leo Tolstoy’s novella “The Death of Ivan Ilych” is about a main character who is thoroughly unlikeable. Same for Herman Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener," and the same for Thomas Mann's "Death in Venice".
I told my girlfriend Joni Gordon that I fashioned a character after her, and she immediately said, "Is she likable?"
I confess that I went all through college never having heard about the likability factor. I was startled to learn that readers want protagonists to be likable.
So I expanded "Man on the Porch", and I found that I was delving into motivations and expecting sympathies to sprout. But I could not really add anything of significance that had not already been indicated in the original flash fiction. So it stands, a short horror story.
GOOD NEWS from a reader:
Susan Sheldon wrote to me:
I was up again all night finishing 'The Way They See'.
Tag line for your publishers:
"Great read for those who have insomnia."😁
THE WAY THEY SEE is the love story of a young, small-town couple in the 1950's. Their lives are totally altered because of a single misperception each conceives about the other. The young man goes off to college and law school but does not return for the young woman. He marries into New York society. The young woman enters into a suffocating local marriage. Twenty-five years later, the couple meets again with baggage.
The opening paragraph begins —
“Susannah Lindstrom could not mark the day she fell in love with Sam Geddes because they played together as children and then as teenagers and all through high school. And Sam loved Susannah. Then Sam went off to college, out of their small town. And Susannah waited for his return. And waited. . .”