Since my first novel collection "Ordinary Flavor” was published this spring, I have thankfully looked at readers’ reviews, most of which empathize with the bitter taste of failures that characters in novel come across. That is because we encounter characters who seem successful on the surface but turn out to have lost something in their life.
I think of myself as a writer who describes stories of ordinary people living in the hustle and bustle of their daily lives. Even after they build a nice house, gain an investment bonanza or earn a degree, they still look at themselves juggling failures – failed relationships, betrayals and self-sinking. Life has more failures than successes.
Here is a story of failure. Mephistopheles, a demon, offers a bet to God with the goal of bewitching Faust's soul. In response, God replies that humans go astray so long as they make an effort, adding that Faust is a human being who behaves badly but ends up in the right direction. However, Faust accepts the demon's offer and meets his doom after repeated failures are made.
Although the story ends up with Faust's death, we journey across all sorts of human emotions all the way to the last page. In this sense, reading a novel is likened to witnessing a character's failures and successes. It may be only natural that the same goes with us nearing the end of life every day. We repeat failures as long as we travel a life and endeavor to make it.
However, I regard all kinds of washouts that characters in stories are met with as beautiful experiences. They are just as ordinary as we are. They falter, fall down but get back on their feet to figure out how to walk steadily. They may have repeated falling down and at least learned not to tumble in a posture with which they have failed. I do choose to believe so.