Epimetheus Bound: a Comic Salute to the Epic Tradition

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More About This Title Epimetheus Bound: a Comic Salute to the Epic Tradition

English

On Christmas night 1970, Epi snapped the radio off and rose from his live-in Falcon to go for a walk: a little air until 6 p.m., when the carols finally stop. His dreams of a giant-leap to his own Moon had crashed months earlier, and he still gloomed on the disgrace. Soon he found himself on Hollywood Way, on a bridge looking west toward Pass Avenue. He surveyed the rush of headlights below; imagined leaping to his death. No, I might cause a chain reaction; can’t sink to that. Somehow the flow of traffic triggered a flashback:  Crack! Crack! Crack! Look on my works ye mighty and despair! I am Lee Harvey Oswald, shatterer of worlds! The moment of empathy stirred mild surprise; the wounds of Dallas were still fresh, yet this insight banished his rage at Oswald’s intolerable smirk. A year earlier he had read a book on the assassination, one that disdained the resentful loner for his Earth-shattering murder. Now Epi felt his own resentment: at his failure, at the shallow book. He knew he could never top Oswald’s publicity stunt; he had to seek a rational outlet for his furies. Yet how tell the world of his reversed antipathy? It would be three years before Epi read Dante’s "Hell," there gaining hints of the dangers of empathy: that to pity the violently estranged is to risk losing one’s Self in wrong-headed sympathy. For now Epi sensed one thing about his Quest for the Apolline Life: He must endure; he must not let the crushing pains and furies defeat him. He must continue this descent through Hades until he finds a way to his higher Self.  An ever-present Now: Christmas 1970, brooding on Apollo and the call to transcendence: Wishy Epi looking west toward Pass Avenue, singing a lyric from “My Sweet Lord,” a hit single on George Harrison’s first solo album, "All Things Must Pass" …

English

Keith Fahey is a rarely published writer whose essays often discuss violent themes. His own life is often plagued by violent impulses, partly nature, partly habit, first learning the need to discipline his anger when bowling as a teen: It hurt his game to kick the rack.  Such furies can intoxicate: his father killed himself when he was sixteen, JFK was assassinated when he was nineteen, his gentle mother drank herself to death when he was twentyone, and he let himself be drafted into the Winless War when he was twentytwo.  On return from Winless in 1968, he resolved never to buy a gun. His main motive was self-protection, not wanting to follow in his father's suicidal steps, but he also feared his temper might tempt him to harm others.  In August 1970, during an especially defeated time, he re-read Herman Melville's "Moby-Dick" to see how his obsessions compared. He now saw Ahab's tragedy as offset by Ishmael's comedy, the first paragraph lightening the way, rousing a thrilling laugh as Ishmael described his homicidal furies: how he took to the sea as his "substitute for pistol and ball." Soon Epi also read Rollo May's "Love and Will," wherein he realized his life's goal must be to transform his Furies into the Eumenides, or Workers of Grace.  Newspaper editors mostly ignore Epi's essays, but after the Blacksburg massacre in 2007, one op-head went postal, siccing cops and MHPs on him (mental health pretenders). It may be such op-heads will prevail in their ill-read interpretations, so let it be said again: Epi forever seeks to transform his furies by finding a "substitute for pistol and ball."  Epi Bound is a lifetime commitment, this Comic Edition revised from the Eumenides and Sibling Editions (698 pages with 38 pages of notes): a self-published attempt to bring a higher level of ignorance into the open air, and demonstrate that living well really is the best revenge.
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