in-progress ... Men from a Broken Country:
You write the thing and then you have to write about the thing. The first is hard, the second is harder. At this point--while in progress--I'll just say this:
1. There are ten interconnected pieces.
2. Each piece contains a male character from some sort of broken country.
3. The following quote by John Cheever ran through my head through much of the writing:
The decade began for me with more promise than I can remember since my earliest youth. The war was over. Most of its reverberations were (for me) ended. I had done some work during the war but I had done it in holes in the ground and on ping-pong tables. Now this was over and I could work in peace. However, halfway through the decade, something went terribly wrong. The most useful image I have today is of a man in a quagmire, looking into a tear in the sky. I am not speaking here of despair, but of confusion. I fully expected the trout streams of my youth to fill up with beer cans and the meadows to be covered with houses; I may even have expected to be separated from most of my moral and ethical heritage; but the forceful absurdities of life today find me unprepared. Something has gone very wrong, and I do not have the language, the imagery or the concepts to describe my apprehensions. I come back again to the quagmire and the torn sky. One can think of this—the crudeness of this image—as a challenge to a writer, and I will leave it at that.