After all's been said and done with, the world's a drugstore: you'll find a little bit of just about everything, and it's usually on sale, too....
The writer -- this writer --without as much as a "by your leave" steps out into that world full of streets and potholes and usually winds up taking a picture of Belken County fauna here and there. If he's lucky, a book'll come out of that. The trouble is that there's not enough interesting people to go around; never has been, not for everybody and not forever, either. There's always been a scarcity. Look at this: just how many Napoleons have we come up with so far? Or Hitlers? Or Jesus Christs?
Still, there are some people in this world who live in fear and tremble at the thought of committing some egregious social error: the wrong fork, the wrong wine, or of discovering a spot or two of fresh urine running down the leg of a pair of freshly starched khaki pants....
What happens is that these people wish to live perfect lives, and that's when I go to work, and, because of that ill-fated desire of theirs, they will never know the pleasure of passing out at a friend's wedding or divorce. No; there they are: clean, spotless, a box of handi-wipes at the ready and then, just like that, Death comes calling, and there they go forming a straight line down the chute where push sure as hell doesn't come to shove. As said, whenever I see these people, I go to work. I only wish there were more of them.
Up to now, then, we've only seen one Napoleon of note (one Romeo, one Raskolnikov); but the three share coinciding views: they each wanted something for themselves, and you have to ask yourself where the fiction of any of them begins or ends. I believe it's a fraudulent piece of business to try and dress them up with other names or with a change of clothing in the name of originality. You start dressing a monkey in silk and other finery, and you're going to wind up with one sad-looking monkey and little else.
Look, there's only one nickel in the whole world, and it's plugged, and everybody's had or will have had his hands on it at least once. Trying to come up with something original is about as bad as making love to your wife when you're thinking about something else at the time. You have got to keep your mind on the business at hand; the cult of originality be damned. So, all we've got to work with is people, but God love 'em and keep 'em.
From what I've seen, originality's about as plentiful and as easy to see through as a dumb joke, and man's got more of both than he quite knows what to do with. What happens is that we're forgetful, that's all; and too, we're mortal. The truth is that we're all equal, and the truth also is that we're not all equal. It's galling is what it is.