Sunday, April 22, 2012

"The Punishment of X4" and "The Man With the Miniature Orchestra"

Well, it only took four episodes for Mad Men to stroke our curiosity of a few weeks ago. Closet fictioneers, all is well; account man Ken Cosgrove is writing again.

Last week we learned that he has begun training his fiction-writing fetish on the science-fiction & fantasy genre, under the pen name of Ben Hargrove. We got the description of one story titled “The Punishment of X4” wherein a robot who maintains a commuter bridge between two planets removes a bolt that brings the whole thing crashing down. Genius.

He’s publishing in magazines, pitching an anthology to Farrar Strauss, and things generally seem to be looking up for him until Roger makes it clear that he is to stop moon-lighting and focus on his day-job. Ken dutifully kills off the Hargrove alias, and with it, his foray into genre fiction.

But he’s far from giving up his one true passion. Ken takes up a new pseudonym, Dave Algonquin, and the episode ends as he scribbles the opening lines of his newest short story, “The Man With the Miniature Orchestra.”
“There were phrases of Beethoven’s 9th Symphony that still made Coe cry. He always thought it had to do with the circumstances of the composition itself. He imagined Beethoven, deaf and soul-sick, his heart broken, scribbling furiously while Death stood in the doorway clipping his nails. Still, Coe thought, it might have been living in the country that was making him cry. It was killing him with its silence and loneliness, making everything ordinary too beautiful to bear.”
Anyone want to take a crack at finishing that one off? I’d get a kick out of reading it.

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