Edge (novella, unpublished)

by Henry Whittlesey


In an urban context of regular kidnappings and violence (not portrayed), a boy learns that his father has returned and would like to meet him secretly after school. The boy’s teacher discovers the father’s plan, prompting her to hide the boy in her room until his mother comes to her conference that evening. As such, it has the narrative momentum you seek, combined with theory and experimentation, especially in indirect discourse.

This book was written in the late aughts (although that does not matter) and contains the kernels of the ideas that have become central to the work I write and publish in the perypatetik aesthetic, namely, the divergence in values and norms between professionals (roughly equating to pragmatists in perypatetik terminology) and non-professionals (roughly equating to romantics). For example, the principal, teacher and son share values and norms consistent with what my colleagues and I have later called pragmatists: self-determination, success, the achievement of ends, obligations, management, etc.; the boy, his father and the guard hold values and exhibit norms that define romantics: belief in fate, spirituality, embracing the process of life, freedom, work (rather than management), living in harmony with nature, close-knit small circle, and more. The entire theory is described at length in the book Peripatetic Alterity and in abbreviated form (100+ pages) in the foreword to Evanescent: Young Adulthood Transadapted.

This novella represents the earliest form of the seminal ideas expanded on in other unpublished novels (Three Question Marks (2016) and the almost finished Shambolic) and in the Peripatetic Alterity. It also complements another unpublished project, called a transadaptation (think adapatation, for our purposes here), which shows an alternative approach to living not “cross-culturally” as here, but by appropriating elements of the past in the present (See From Wahnsinnig to the Looney Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America).

This entire project offers an alternative way of perceiving life (primarily non-materialistic) and thus gives the 90+% of Americans a framework for living a fulfilling, productive and satisfying life within the confines of limited resources. As stated above, this is dramatized in the novels by multiple characters, who will motivate people disenfranchised in the current environment.