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From the Desk of Lydia Nolan
This is the virtual home of, and blog about Self-Analysis or Psychological Drama, also referred to as the Bildungsroman, albeit, its original referred to children growing into adults, or rather; emotional and progressive growth in children through events that changed them into a little bit older chldren, or into adults.
But in my use of the word as a theme, there is a major difference… The narrator is a real life character who is already Grown UP. In fact, many people are all grown up as far as their body is concerned, but their mind (or their emotional/logical state) has been left behind. It is believed that for some sort of trauma, many people remain emotionally and mentally in the age from which the trauma was experienced. Therefore, the stunted emotional character must journey through events and/or experiences that will jog the mind into realization, and hopefully into progressive POSITIVE growth. Sometimes, though, it could progress one into negative growth, hence, the serial killer, or suicidal self-killer.
The mind is a fascinating place, that which most people do not understand. Thus, novel or fictional stories are a way in which we might be able to reflect on some of the actions of characters, including the narrator, creating psychological drama. It seems fitting then, to introduce the novel “Taos,” written by me, the author, whose narrator is a rather successful grown up woman in the police force, chasing down a serial child killer, and where bildungsroman may occur in more than one character in the book.
She has decided that catching the serial killer is the calling in her life, when instead she discovers that the calling in her life is for her to get past the emotional trauma she experienced as a child, so that she can discover her true calling, which is not in this novel, but the next. So the novel takes us to the next phase of her calling (which is the next book), but it is dramatic how she gets there.
For some odd reason people think we are all grown-up if our bodies depict adulthood. This, of course, is not necessarily the truth. There are people who grow up very late in life, and some just never grow up, hence, unhappiness, cruelty, killings, and all the other mishaps in life.
So, what does grow up look like? Well, we do know that it is common conventional knowledge that to be grown up is to be an adult, by demonstrating a development of emotions, intellect, and communicative skills. But we all know also, that it is not hard to fake being grown up, unless one is a sociopath, who can mimic grown up qualities, but not truly be grown up. In cases such as these, it takes events that reveal the true nature of a person–bring it on!
We usually find out someone is NOT grown up when they are faced with adult challenges that need to be dealt with on an adult level, meaning once again: emotionally, intellectually, and communicatively developed to an adult level of behavioral response.
As I said before, many–and frankly the number is growing–can fake being an adult. But put some trouble into one’s life, and you will quickly find out what they are truly made of; what one’s mettle truly is by manifestations occurring during dramatic events. So, then, to consider the term Grown up, one must realize it is defined variably, depending on who’s defining it.
There are regular people: doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, clergy, parents, kids, and friends and foes alike, who define “growing up” rather precariously to the others in the group above. So let’s talk basic.
If you’ve grown up in one generation and are old in another, you might not understand the politics, the conventions, the changing “habits” of the new generation. Hence, one must come to understand and even perhaps accept some or all of these changes. That kind of shift takes some fortitude. On a deeper level, it means one must “grow up” from where they were into a new development; that of old age, where things are different: they are older, slower, more tired, register more slowly, acquire aches and pains and if not careful much more injuries than when they were young, simply because their bodies are rusting or becoming fragile. So along with the challenge of one’s body changing the same person must adjust to new ideas, politics, religious awareness, language, and conventional behaviors in society. Think of the challenges! Now. If one is not quite grown up enough, one might decide to rebel, shoot their neighbor, strangle their cat, or divorce everyone they once knew and become a bag man or bad lady, because they are angry at the world for changing. That is not the adult behavior with which one needs to function. It can be dark in that kind of defined life, and one can risk the label of sociopath or psychopath even, if one cannot control their rebellion (which is a childish behavior, is it not?) What identifies one as an adult or all grown up, is when one learns to deal with the changes in life, and this is hard even for the most functional, adult-like person: “CHANGE” is hard for everyone–but especially for one who has never quite developed the emotions, the intellect, the communicative skills needed to function in a grown up world. Psychologists equate this dysfunction with trauma. Someone may have had a trauma in their childhood, or teen years, and that person is stuck in that level of mind. In short, the shock or trauma caused their mind to seize or fracture.
In this genre of Psychological drama, or the Bildungsroman, one may have experienced some kind of trauma, consciously or unconsciously, waiting to be surfaced and redefined or accepted or reacted upon. This is the kind of “drama” that takes place in the mind, and can become active in the environment, but it has to be something that is real to the character, sooner or later. And there is no telling whether or not the character will receive the realization or the manifestation of the trauma, and whether or not the character will react negatively, or respond and develop positively; no one ever knows how a person will decide to grow up distorted or as a functioning well-developed adult. It all happens as one defines the event. Case in point? Kolnikov, in “Crime and Punishment.”
Hence, my novels are similarly about such dynamics in the lives of people who haven’t yet grown up, but could grow either way in life.
When I consider this type of genre to write in, I must admit, I am in good company. Novels like “Good Will Hunting,” “Memento,” “Delores Claiborne,” “The Butterfly Effect,” “Million Dollar Baby,” “Falling Down,” “The Kite Runner,” “Grand Torino,” and TONS MORE, are all psychological dramas in one way or another. Even when we experience a book or movie about real life, it can demonstrate the truth of such an experience. Think of the story of Hellen Keller, in the movie “The Miracle Worker,” or the story of William Randolph Hurst in the adaptation “Citizen Kane,” or Dr. Oliver Sacks’ memoirs based on his work in the hospital with patients who were catatonic for decades, the movie? “Awakenings.” All these are about people who had to become developed, some good, some not so good, but most did not stay the same, they were changed by certain events, thereby creating a Bildungsroman.
It’s all about the meeting of minds, the differences, the similarities, the dread, the hindsight, the handling of love and loss and leather or lace…uh… and all that remains when one has come to a wall within: they either climb it, break it, or remain behind it all, the casualties and the compromises.
So this is my writing genre, and I am in love with the reality of it. Many times it may appear to head toward another genre, like thriller, or comedy, and yes, there could be some elements of a different genre, but overall, it’s psychological, it’s about how one deals with circumstances one is challenged by, and how one either grows functional or dysfunctional, depending on that person’s ability to develop; it takes a certain amount of development already in place or one has to begin at the beginning, and that is utterly difficult, to say the least.
So there it is: my obsession with what really goes on between the eyes and beneath the scalp. So stay tuned for excerpts of my work.
Novels: Taos, Three Sisters, and Sully’s Magma
Short stories: “Just to Say Good-bye,” “The Third Origin,” “Valuable Things,” and more…
Poetry: “Lamenting the Lion: A book about Possession and Loss of Power“
Screenplay: ” ‘Round Midnight,” “The Wedding Party.”
Play: Adaptation of “Round Midnight.”
I would like also to let you know that very shortly I will be actually selling my novels, and other people’s novels (ON ibcafe) and an array of paraphernalia such as used books, cups, shirts, whatever, here.
Welcome to my world, and I extend to you a warm welcome into my mind, my thoughts, my writings, and literature. I have a host of projects, and I am presently authoring (selling, and disseminating ) much more.
A bit about me. I was raised a child of immigrant father and first generation immigrant mother, whose life was as transitory as bats’ lives, only with six children, we went along to work many times while my parents worked on farm lands, and enjoyed the wide open spaces in Fresno, California.
I was born in the 50s, when life was untouched by Postmodernism and the World Wide Net. At the age of 10, I was replanted into the grotesque, but albeit fascinating environment of urban life in the city of the “fallen” angels: Los Angeles.
Most pages on this site hold an excerpt of a novel or short story, and sometimes poems as well, and even sometimes just a blog beneath the “quote.” Except for the International Books Café, our very own editorial site for reviews and co-operative projects.
The main reason for my being here, is to connect with you: I, the author, with you, the readers, or with colleague writers, with publishers and editors, and literary agents, too. People of similar minds, who work to disseminate beauty in logos, the ethos in my writings, the pathos in you.
We envision the future, by contemplating and analyzing the past and present, which determines how we journey into the future.
If you subscribe, and integrate your thoughts on any of the pages, I invite this, your warm contributions, but do not be simply caustic or obnoxious. I look forward to knowing you and sharing with you.
Lydia Nolan, Author