Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 61

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 61

…Willard Libby’s mental prison continued…

A discombobulated human brain, safely ensconced in a distant mental hospital, begins the near impossible task of putting thoughts back together, spurred on by the visit of a friend. Like Charlie McCarthy without Edgar Bergen, this poor soul is left without an advocate, an audible voice to explain the inexplicable; The Charlie McCarthy Show, sponsored by Coca-Cola, being one of the few forms of entertainment he gets over his room’s loudspeaker every Sunday night.

‘I am getting tired of being treated like a child. They speak at me not to me. If I could speak I would tell them that they are all a bunch of quacks. The drugs they gave me were meant for a raving lunatic, do I look like a raving lunatic? No, but when in doubt there has to be a drug solution. The guys who stole me away from Argonne…….Wolf—Wolfgram I heard him called by name, caused me to become concussed. Couldn’t these cretins figure that out? I am sure I was about to come around once I was thawed out, but noooo, use high voltage to shock me into consciousness. Brilliant! I have a monumental finding to share with the world. Billy said it will cause a revival, a thousand times bigger than his crusades. The Pope should know all about crusades, unless conquering countries in the name of God isn’t kosher. Kosher pickles are the best, I usually have one with my grilled cheese sandwiches; the only food at the University cafeteria that is digestible. Chicago that is where the University is; I don’t have a clue where I am now. Martin will take care of things; he likes the tuna fish casserole.’

Madness or brilliance; there is a fine line between genius and (in)sanity.

Genius


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 58 (end Ch. 6)

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 56

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 56

…a prisoner of his own mind…

“We will leave him in your care, but I need your personal guarantee that you will not tamper with him. As long as he maintains physical viability, leave the rest alone. I mean it.” Martin takes responsibility for his friend.

“Message received loud and clear,” the doctor hears.

“And I will be calling you every day for updates on his condition. And if anyone else calls about his considering his health or lack thereof… you tell them he didn’t make it. No one beside us is to  know that he is still alive.”

“I think I understand where you are coming from. That is agreeable. If you call me at home, at this number,” he hands Kamen a doctor’s script with his home telephone, “say 8:00 PM sharp, I will be available.”

‘Don’t leave Martin; I have things to tell you. Mastadon was misspelled, I don’t know why. Wolf told me that they were in control; a Mastodon is like a Wooly Mammoth, lived 12,000 years ago, identified the age of one correctly sometime, I do not remember. Take me with you, I know you told Doctor to fake my death, don’t allow that to be prophetic. The dinosaurs walked the planet with the mammoth and humans. I sure could go for a plate of steak ‘n eggs. Take care of Martin, you mystery girls, he is my only hope, tell him to look in my bookcase, it is behind FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS.  Hemingway is one of my guilty pleasures; hear that he drinks whiskey, smokes Cuban cigars loves adventure. I want to be the swashbuckling type, danger around every corner. My complete paper is behind THE SUN ALSO RISES, do not know why I had to hide it something about mastodon there too. Never did trust that Wolf, but he was at the meeting in the woods by my house, Auntie Joe didn’t like him from the start, should have booted him out.’

“We are going to head back to the University Doctor Steinberg. Maybe the answers we are looking for is right under our noses.”

Will Libby hears clearly and would nod his approval if only he could move his head.

‘The bookcase Martin, Hemingway, Wolf’

From a prisoner of his own mind.


Constance Caraway P.I.

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Willard Libby’s bookcase

Forever Mastadon


page 54

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 54

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 54

…The ramblings of a madman…

The King of Siam

“The telephone does not do you justice Miss Caraway,” Steinberg starts his day by stating the obvious.

“You are so kind… my partner at CCPI Fanny Renwick and Mr. Libby’s colleague Martin David Kamen,” she points to her companions.

Pleasantries are exchanged, as well as a chunk of background information to serve as a backdrop about the case, from someone who doesn’t know Willard Libby from the King of Siam.

‘Push me around the corner nurse Koch, I recognize that voice He is telling a story……my hearing hasn’t left me….he is telling the doctor that I was working on an important project having to do with radiocarbon dating, the Libby Half-life he calls it Some of this I seem to recall, dinosaurs did not die off 65 million years ago Billy Graham says six days and a rest, Pope Pius is afraid of Communists, they don’t believe in God, Ernesto says they might, but don’t want their subjects to believe That is Martin Kamen! He has come to rescue me from this enormous place, takes an hour to go up one hall and down another. That is Martin, what a fine good man he is, never takes enough credit for how good, and doesn’t have that drive to be famous Fermi tells me to use his research to augment my arguments Will anyone believe me? He is with two pretty women; they don’t look like scientists, what kind of lady wears trousers? Hubba, hubba good for Kamen, he is too good looking to be a Bunsen burner and beaker man’

“He has taken a step back since yesterday. He is catatonic, as we refer to it. We think he is fully conscious, but he has no way of communicating.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Forever Mastadon


page 52

Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 53

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Constance Caraway P.I. ~ Episode 53

…Stream of Consciousness from a misplaced scientist…

“Rise and Shine Mr. Doe, were going to see Dr. Steinberg,” the attending nurse urges.

‘My name is Willard Libby, Nurse Koch and why are you wheeling me out of my room at this hour, not that any particular hour is different? Are they going to hook me up to some new machine this time, as if electroconvulsive therapy did me any good? All that accomplished was to separate my brain from the rest of my body; now I can’t move my hands or feet. We are headed to the kitchen, but what good is that, the intravenous food in this place is poor. I must be a real burden to them, sitting lifeless in this chair on wheels all day and night. The last thing I remember is working at my office at Argonne, it was late, but I had to finish my paper for the conference. The conference, what did they do without me? I had something important to share with them. I can’t remember exactly what it was and I don’t know who was going to be there, but I know it was important. Why is it that my eyes are open but they don’t blink or move? That Dr. Steinberg doesn’t know what to make of me, I think he isn’t just one of those mad scientists whose only machines are torturous and the only drugs they give out are hallucinogenic. He acts like he’s in charge; everyone calls him Sir or Superintendent. It sure is cold back here, my loony roommate Mr. Skittles doesn’t like his breakfast cold you know. Steak and eggs; now that is what I could go for. And how did those guys get past the guard at the front gate, let alone get in the most secure building on the grounds. I’ve always wondered why they didn’t electrify that fence, must have cut through it or something. It looks like we are expecting a delivery, it says service entrance.’

“How was your drive out here from the city,” the Doctor inquires of the bright eyed and bushy tailed trio there to meet him.

“We missed a few turns, but at least the roads weren’t icy… Constance Caraway here,” CC takes a hand from out of the warmth of her down coat to greet the boss of this place.

“My pleasure, Miss Caraway; the telephone does not do you justice.”


Constance Caraway P.I.

Cartoon by John Atkinson.

Forever Mastadon


page 51

Stream of Consciousness – WIF Rambling

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Stream of Consciousness

Stream of consciousness is a narrative device that attempts to give the written equivalent of the character’s thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue (see below), or in connection to his or her actions. Stream-of-consciousness writing is usually regarded as a special form of interior monologue and is characterized by associative leaps in thought and lack of some or all punctuation. Stream of consciousness and interior monologue are distinguished from dramatic monologue and soliloquy, where the speaker is addressing an audience or a third person, which are chiefly used in poetry or drama. In stream of consciousness the speaker’s thought processes are more often depicted as overheard in the mind (or addressed to oneself); it is primarily afictional device.

The term “Stream of Consciousness” was coined by philosopher and psychologist William James in The Principles of Psychology(1890):

consciousness, then, does not appear to itself as chopped up in bits … it is nothing joined; it flows. A ‘river’ or a ‘stream’ are the metaphors by which it is most naturally described. In talking of it hereafter, let’s call it the stream of thought, consciousness, or subjective life.

Cover of James Joyce‘s Ulysses(first edition, 1922), considered a prime example of stream of consciousness writing styles.

In the following example of stream of consciousness from James Joyce’s Ulysses, Molly seeks sleep:

a quarter after what an unearthly hour I suppose theyre just getting up in China now combing out their pigtails for the day well soon have the nuns ringing the angelus theyve nobody coming in to spoil their sleep except an odd priest or two for his night office the alarmlock next door at cockshout clattering the brains out of itself let me see if I can doze off 1 2 3 4 5 what kind of flowers are those they invented like the stars the wallpaper in Lombard street was much nicer the apron he gave me was like that something only I only wore it twice better lower this lamp and try again so that I can get up early

While the use of the narrative technique of stream of consciousness is usually associated with modernist novelists in the first part of the twentieth-century, a number of precursors have been suggested, includingLaurence Sterne‘s psychological novel Tristram Shandy (1757). In the nineteenth-century it has been suggested that Edgar Allan Poe‘s short story “The Tell-Tale Heart” (1843) foreshadows this literary technique. Because of his renunciation of chronology in favor of free association, Édouard Dujardin‘s Les Lauriers sont coupés (1887) is also an important precursor. Indeed, the possibility of a direct influence is evoqued by James Joyce and Virginia Woolf and having “picked up a copy of Dujardin’s novel [ … ] in Paris in 1903″There are also those who point to Anton Chekhov‘s short stories and plays (1881-1904) andKnut Hamsun‘s Hunger (1890), and Mysteries (1892) as offering glimpses of the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative technique at the end of the nineteenth-century. Henry James has also been suggested as a significant precursor, in a work as early as Portrait of a Lady (1881).

Stream of Consciousness

Henry James “Portrait of a Lady”

– WIF Rambling

“What I’m Talkin’ ‘Bout!”

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Jarod Kintz

“Remember Stalingrad. Remember the crash of 1929. Remember the Industrial Revolution. Now remember that I am the proletariat cog in the machine that causes the meltdown of the aristocratic assembly line. Ben Franklin was a man of vision. Ben wore bifocals. Agatha was a beautiful woman. But if she were standing on her head, she’d look like Walt Disney. She’d often make me feel as small as Mickey Mouse. I am the elevator of love. So why’d she have to take the stairs? I am a rational being. She rationed her love like loaves of bread in times of famine. She was my feminine famine. I ate her love like it was cabbage soup, minus the cabbage; I drank it up like water. She p___d me off like a mouth-shaped urinal that liked to spread, like peanut butter, nasty rumors about the size of my ____. Three inches. That was the width of my love for Agatha. Three and a half years. That was the length of my love for her. 2009. That was the height of my love for her.”

― Jarod KintzA Story That Talks about Talking Is Like Chatter to Chattering Teeth, and Every Set of Dentures Can Attest to the Fact That No.

Stream of Consciousness