The Center’s Edge Revisited
The lives of polar-opposite individuals become reincarnated through time.
The novel is a twilight-zone saga about the universe as a spiral, depicting repetitive behavior historically – acts of kindness, abuses of power – the light and dark of humanity evolving toward a meaning of life beyond death.
The novel is a series of four interconnecting short stories:
Book 1 (TRIBES) presents a view of civilization at its beginnings where tribal cooperation and rivalry coincide, producing both goodwill and cruelty, innovations in weaponry, medicine, and the arts.
Book 2 (EMPIRES) illustrates the result of population growth, cities forming governments, class structures, power struggles, and wealth accumulated through warfare and slavery.
Book 3 (NATIONS) is a mythological metaphor, the aberration of an inverted Handmaid’s Tale, told to shockingly depict the political insanity and state of disunion resulting in an autocratic overthrow of democracy.
Book 4 (ALIENS) presents a future in which astronauts, searching for extraterrestrial life, enter the abyss of a black hole and are transformed metaphysically by gaining the dimension of time, the ability to dream travel, and the knowledge of their reincarnations and connectivity.
“History never repeats itself. Man always does.” — Voltaire
By definition (mine) “The Center’s Edge” is the outside limit of a destination farthest away from the center of something and yet inexplicably the same place. In other words, a paradox. Such as a logically self-contradictory proposition that runs contrary to one’s expectations and, despite valid reasoning, leads to a mysterious and ambiguous conclusion. As well, a seemingly absurd condition that, when investigated, may prove to be true.
My first attempt at writing this novel occurred between 1971 and 1975. The idea for the story came to me while I was on a backpacking trip and high atop a mountain top in the Grand Tetons. The manuscript was written and copyrighted but never published. I concluded this monumental concept for a novel needed time for maturation, along with my skill as a writer. After forty-five years, I decided to revisit and revise this novel idea. I started rewriting the story in the spring of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic and finished the first draft a year later. The turbulent and destructive political and cultural climate during this shelter-in-place period influenced the story. Aside from the initial working title, The Center’s Edge, along with the book’s four-part structure and premise of reincarnation, few elements from the original story have remained.
The Center’s Edge Revisited creates an evolving gallery of abstract expressionistic portrayals of human behavior. Much like a series of Picasso paintings – Minotaur, Guernica, Artistree, The Dream – each story depicts an existential quest for love to endure amidst human atrocities.
“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.” — Pablo Picasso.