Charlatan Magazine

The Man Who Would Be King

A BOOK REVIEW

This short story of deceptions led the youngest author in history to a Nobel Peace Prize in literature. Contributor ANGELA GALA explores the author's conclusions about manhood.



2020-01-01

You've Got Mail

https://www.charlatanmagazine.com/Columns/editorsletter/


Dear Reader,

If you can walk with the crowd and keep your virtue, or walk with Kings-nor lose the common touch; If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you; If all men count with you, but none too much; If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run; Yours is the earth and everything that's in it; And what is more… you'll be a man.
Rudyard Kipling

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My Dear Man,

And why should he be? You might agree that perhaps he has always known something that we do not. What does manly mean, anyway? Is it a system of compliance, the standardization of power and strength? And to what definition of manhood do you refer? The one we’ve created: a hierarchical system of authority? Is this the Law of Nature? Or the Law of Man?

How uncomfortable to be worshiped, your characters, to be put on a pedestal that separates what we want from who and what we are. Why is it that we understand this only after our primitive need to dominate is fulfilled, and all that is good in life has been taken? Is it a primitive instinct for survival that forces us toward hierarchy? Toward identity? To want power? To want more? And will this protect us from our mortality or rob us of everything that makes life worth living?

I think I understand you; a dealer in words. For your stories and prose in tongues connect us at some very basic and instinctual level whereby we feel the natural essence and flow of our world through the souls of one another. What a beautiful existence to be human: To be on a journey for its own sake. And you've qualified it so. “For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.”
Angela Gala

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