A Singular Shade of Grey
A somewhat satirical novel
Where Candide and David Copperfield, Buddha and countless others in the history of literature, set out on their adult lives pink-faced and rosy-cheeked, pure and innocent greenhorns whom life would then bruise and wound and batter into cynical maturity and passive acceptance that this is simply how life is, Nemo leaves school already cynical, already convinced of the pointlessness and meaningless of life in a grey world in which mediocrity and hypocrisy are the norms, condemned to fifty years of slavery in order to earn enough money to buy what isn’t worth the purchasing, with no apparent alternative but to collaborate in whatever form of victimhood life and other people impose. But is it possible to transform the negative zero into a zero positive? Is it possible to be a hero in such a world, and rise above the mediocrity and the meaninglessness, to seek, even if it cannot be achieved, the ultimate human goal of Immaculate Failure?
“No,” Nemo pondered, “I don’t believe that I can actually control [my own destiny], but I can at least decide for myself how I will respond to whatever others try to impose on me, in their efforts to control their own lives by controlling mine. There are so many forces, human as well as natural, to which a person can fall victim. I think the challenge is simply not to collaborate in one’s own victimhood.”