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The Originalists

Abstract
Edie Meidav convinced me to start a new project. Work on something longer, she suggested. Full of faith, she challenged me to write about what felt most urgent. I thought of Will—a main character who asks questions. My intention became to interrogate the mid-senior-year mindset of a high school student. Barely adults, on the cusp of making the most significant choices of their lives, feeling both that they have all the information they need and that the world is a farce to be retooled as desired, individuals at this age possess all the budding versions of the same neuroses people carry into their nineties. For my own trajectory as a young adult, this stage coincided with the adaptation of the internet. The world’s variety then became more accessible, much faster to find, and without limits. Taking authority and norms at face value seemed like one of the most ignorant things anyone could do. In the early days of the writing, I saw a major conflict developing in Will: not wanting to jump through the hoops laid out for him, but wanting the prizes—love, recognition, and friendship—found on the other side. Ultimately, I want to remind the reader of their ability to hold two conflicting ideas simultaneously, like the feeling that accompanies the death of someone close: in an instant, despite us all being equally human, all the prior needs of the deceased suddenly hold so much more significance, and all our personal prior needs seem suddenly selfish, worth nothing at all. To be transparent: you are reading work realized from elements of my own experiences to create composite characters and events I hope still ring true. Despite the loose strings to reality, I want to be clear: this is entirely a work of fiction.
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oathesis
article
Date
2023-01-01
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