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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mrs. Festini's Hat Box, parts 1262 - 1265

1262. But before asking about the snowflakes he asked me this blunt question. "What do you think Richard, was Festini making up this story to illustrate some ideas about art, or was she describing an actual experience: something that may have happened to her years ago when she herself was a student?" I had to admit that I did not know, but he pointed to some aspects of the story that made him think it was actually her biography.

1263. When a person makes up a story it is possible to detect other things that are probably going on in the storyteller's mind by noticing the choice of the superficial details that they employ. Since the overall purpose is usually already established in the teller's mind, it is in the  less important details where we can see the personal history of the narrator begin to  exert itself inadvertently. That my sound like gibberish, but let me illustrate what I mean.

1264. Festini chooses to call the female student 'Emma'. I suspect her first impulse was to call her 'Ima', because she is telling you a story about herself. Ima would be too obvious so she has altered it to Emma.  Secondly she gives us Emma's last name, which is 'Holdemback.' This is obviously three words, being 'Hold them back.' She uses this name because Emma has been taught art in a repressive and restrictive way, her development has been 'held back.'

1265. This is very likely how Mrs. Festini felt as a student years ago, and although she is trying to illustrate an idea about art, deep down she is expressing her anger at her treatment as a student.  The other names are instructive also, take for example 'P. Dubious Furious.' He paints in a furious way, but Festini feels it is a fake expression of emotion, hence the first name Dubious.

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