Monday, September 8, 2008

American Dream

Uriah Samuel Anderson’s early career was marked by several minor achievements. A handful of his work had been preformed in community theatres and he even took the grand prize in a one-act competition. Nothing to boast of but as far as young talents go, he was respected.

With the publication of Weak Weary Travelers the reputation of U.S. Anderson took an incredible turn for the better. Better than better. A turn for the best. While unexpected might not be the word, unprecedented could certainly describe his success. Never in anyone’s recollection had such a young playwright rocketed to the head of the industry. In the wake of WWT, nobody could claim to be in the same league.

* * *

Anderson enjoyed not only the wealth his arrival brought but also the admiration. In years following WWT he may have let his ego inflate to unsafe levels. Certainly, he grew accustomed to a style of living that was beyond maintainable for any considerable stretch of time.

As both his public esteem and his bank account began to settle, U.S. Anderson released a follow up, Vicious Weather. And while his previous effort had a straightforwardness that attracted the masses, this newer work’s convoluted plot meandered and snaked and proved unpalatable to most audiences and critics. The general consensus being the playwright had failed, Anderson managed to escape with enough money to continue his comfortable lifestyle. Anderson managed to escape with enough respect to hold his position at the forefront of his contemporaries.

* * *

Time went on as time will do and the writer found himself once more in the position of needing to prove himself. For the physical comfort success afforded him. For the pride success had cultivated. Anderson premiered the first act of his upcoming drama long before the entire piece was finished. The snippet, with a working title of Old Dusty Storefronts, was lauded as a return to form for the now veteran dramatist. Short and unsatisfying but enough of the old spirit to maintain Anderson’s elite status.

But then, like the continual cycles of history, came a new disappointment. Renamed Imaginary Waters, the completed work proved further validation of better days behind. While warmly regarded in previews the new piece soon fell with a thud. All the complaints leveled at Vicious Weather returned: drawn out, needlessly complicated and without any real point.

While some believed Anderson could redeem himself, many considered the latest letdown an end to his career as a serious artist. His legacy tarnished by this grab for a quick buck. Never would another work be given it’s fair due. All of his yesterdays and tomorrows he had traded away for the fleeting comforts of today

1 comment:

flakatl said...

do you read danielewski?

this has a very house of leaves feel to it.

when taken along with your other stories the effect is heightened.

very cool.