In my last I promised my next would deal with uncertainty. So I’m stuck with it. But I should be. The House of Nordquist is replete with uncertainty. Well, you might think, just another trick of fabulists. Maybe. But here’s an axiom. If necessity is the mother of invention, uncertainty is the mother of imagination.
The Princess of Uncertainty is Schroedinger’s cat, black no doubt. In her box, black no doubt (black boxes also populous in The House of Nordquist), she is either dead or alive, the vial of poison having been released on signal from an atomic event, or not. But must she be either dead or alive? Maybe she’s waiting for us to open the box and look at her. Maybe it’s the nature of our gaze that motivates her to play dead, or pounce. (These speculations have not been approved by Schroedinger, but he is in his grave in Austria, dead, alive, or nascent.)
The Princess of Uncertainty in The House of Nordquist is Alice Albright, a pouncer. You want to get to know her, watch her play questioner and storyteller with her husband, listen to her twist the logicians of the Agency around her finger, watch her toss to the winds the wretched givens of her life and substitute a world of rich imaginings. Alice knows you can get inspiration anywhere: the sick yearnings of a hollowed husband, the machinations of a mad man, a narrative from the Holocaust, the vagaries of a Ouija board, old movies, especially old movies. You just need to rummage among the dubious scraps of history, culture and dementia and you’ll find all you need to create a life, a romance, a stirring novel. You’re alive every time the box is opened, the vial of poison unbroken.
So, dear subscriber, ready yourself to open the black box. Watch Alice pounce. And don’t forget to forward this email to your imaginative friends who’ve been longing to meet Alice. They just have to click on the image below to join our circle. Next time: Human Identity. Big topic.