Why do you only hint at your characters' histories?

Question: Why do you only hint at your characters’ histories?

Khakpour:    You know I wanted a sort of light touch because there were so many stories I could tell in this book.  And part of it was just a focus on the father and the son.  But memory is never . . . .  Memory as a function never offered as the full story, right?  The way we remember things is never obviously as they actually happened.  It’s always a tidbit – a handkerchief, a color, a smell, a wisp of hair, a street sign.  It’s always something, and I was interested in the sort of inherently fragmented nature of memory.  So that comes across . . .  You know there’s a scene in the novel where he describes a sort of . . . Xerxes the protagonist describes the sort of fear of Ed McMahon.  He’s horrified by him as a . . . as a celebrity.  He never knows why he has such an adverse reaction to seeing him on Star Search or, you know, Publishers’ Sweepstakes or whatever he did.  And he traces it back to the first time he ever saw Ed McMahon on TV.  His parents were having a fairly politically charged fight.  And then later in life he also explores what that sort of symbol of Ed McMahon meant to him, and the sort of . . .  He imagines drilling a hole from underneath Ed McMahon’s shiny designer shoes, through the center of the earth, and coming on the other end.  And then if you did that, on the other end would be the hands and knees of people who looked more like him.  So there’s a lot . . .  There’s _________ in this novel.  There’s the conjuring of old memories.  And then there’s reflection on the conjuring of memories.  There’s a lot of . . .  There’s a lot of . . .  There’s a multi-layered treatment of memory.  How do we actually remember it?  And how do we actually reflect on it?  It becomes a thing in itself, you know.  The ghost in the room actually takes on some flesh at some point.

Khakpour wanted to play with the fragmented nature of memory.

Big Think Edge
  • In some fundamental ways, humans haven't changed all that much since the days when we were sitting around communal fires, telling tales.
  • Although we don't always recognize them as such, stories, symbols, and rituals still have tremendous, primal power to move us and shape our lives.
  • This is no less true in the workplace than it is in our personal lives.

Has a black hole made of sound confirmed Hawking radiation?

One of Stephen Hawking's predictions seems to have been borne out in a man-made "black hole".

Image source: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Surprising Science
  • Stephen Hawking predicted virtual particles splitting in two from the gravitational pull of black holes.
  • Black holes, he also said, would eventually evaporate due to the absorption of negatively charged virtual particles.
  • A scientist has built a black hole analogue based on sound instead of light.
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Big Think Edge
  • The word "creative" is sometimes waved around like a badge of honor. We speak of creativity in hushed tones, as the special province of the "talented". In reality, the creative process is messy, open, and vulnerable.
  • For this reason, creativity is often at its best in a group setting like brainstorming. But in order to work, the group creative process needs to be led by someone who understands it.
  • This sense of deep trust—that no idea is too silly, that every creative impulse is worth voicing and considering—is essential to producing great work.