Monday, August 16, 2010
"My Father's Paradox," by Marko Fong
I find this story appealing because it takes me back to my student life in Boston during the late 60’s and early 70’s amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam War. But the challenge of this tantalizing story is large; can the writer deliver a story with compelling character motivation and dramatic movement under the weight of recent and controversial history? The unnamed fictional narrator (a stand-in for Robert Ellsberg, son of Daniel Ellsberg) attempts to understand the series of choices made by his father. A central metaphor is conjured from a decision theory problem of choice and statistical certainty. The real paradox appears that the metaphor doesn’t illuminate exploration of the emotional center surrounding the father-son dilemma. The facts of a life, in this case, tend to outweigh the fictional magic of the story. Read it here in Eclectica and decide for yourself.