Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The devil in the detail

They’re right – the devil is in the detail.

There is just so much detail involved in getting anything done in life. Maybe that’s why we like novels. They give you a simplified version of life where things happen without needing the endless detail that real life requires.

“Jill was happy”, the novel tells us and that’s that. Jill is now officially happy and would stay happy unless the writer decides to throw something nasty her way – perhaps a hundred pages later.

If this was real life, Jill would be happy for all of ten minutes before she burns dinner, or trips over something, or gets the phone bill, or is visited by the friend she was trying to avoid, or simply has to get up and go to the office.

Details. They can really mess up a perfect moment.

Or take Jack. As the hero of a novel he makes things happen effortlessly: “Jack came into a fortune and decided to buy a new estate”. Simple. Happy ending. In real life of course Jack’s decision to spend his hard earned fortune on an estate would be followed by countless engagements with estate agents, visits to properties, endless discussions with family and friends, unless he finally settles on a property – only to discover that he has a very noisy neighbor.

Why cant life be more like a 400 page novel.

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