Listen to Jim: http://www.jimreedbooks.com/mp3/pulpnoir.mp3 or read on…
PULP NOIR: THE TIME OF FINDING THINGS OUT
Many solar cycles ago…
As the small child of human parents, I learned about the world—my version
of the world—in the usual manner: through sight, touch, smell, taste, sound,
vibrations…by the ingestion of impressions through intake points of my body
and its neurological complexities…by rearranging the patterns inside my head
to match up with—and sometimes differ with—the ideas generated by thoughts
and feelings, feelings and thoughts.
One enormously interesting way of learning about my world was through the
absorption of words, words composed of alphabet and numbers, strung together
and spaced in order to form sentences and passages and stories and essays both
true and manufactured.
As I absorbed more and more of these words, learning how to distinguish fiction
from fact, learning how to tell when “fact” was fiction, when “fiction” was indeed
fact…I began to see how much fun it was—and how sensible—to toy with words,
allowing them to exist as realities in my imagination but never letting them force me to
believe them. You see, I believed in their power, but I always knew the difference
between reality and fantasy.
Knowing this difference has formed me into the person I seem to be this day—a
secular dreamer, a realist who knows how to operate the spigot—the valve that
can be switched from hot to cold at a moment’s notice. I am astride two
worlds—living in the myth-based, superstition-driven, make-believe world
most of us inhabit each day…and the real world, the one that just is, the
world that operates as if human beings are a momentary figment in the passage
of time—which, of course, they are.
Once my feet were planted solidly upon these separate universes, I could get on
with the process of living my life and deriving pleasure from the kinships and loves
and ideas I most cherish—ignoring all the made-up stuff most folks spend their time
Part of my early education came from reading pulp fiction, the kind written by visionaries
and philosophers such as Ray Bradbury and Walter Gibson and Kurt Vonnegut and
Aldous Huxley and the hordes of individualists who emulated them in the soft and brittle
pages of pulp magazines.
Pulp literature was so filled-to-the-brim with ideas and joys that a person could learn just
about anything about anything…and metaphor became the way pulp readers got through life.
Understanding a good metaphor is worth a thousand books, a million words. Metaphor can
take you by the hand, by the mind, and lead you safely through a forest of dragons any day.
Want to know more? Come to the shop in June and July and look at samples of the enormous
selection of original, collectible pulp fiction on display here at Reed Books/The Museum of Fond
Memories. Maybe in so doing, you’ll find out that I’m full of useless whimsy…or maybe you’ll
discover you, too, are a metaphor-chaser, blithely tiptoeing past the potholes and explosives of life,
experiencing joy despite all those whose task in life is to make you screamingly bored or miserable.
Come along with me and eschew the obfuscating world
© by Jim Reed 2011 A.D.