Exploring Clyde fans too slowly: is there an end in sight?
The section labeled 1975 is the showdown between the brothers, the only time we see them interact face to face and more than briefly.
In his way, Simon bitterly stands up for himself decades too late. Abe admits the depth of his failures only to bury that truth in order to live.
Here is the crux of the book—do we admit our true selves and wallow in our defeat like Simon succumbing bitterly to delusion and alcoholism, or do we acknowledge our shortcomings fleetingly and move on, immediately pushing the past down, denying it?
Of course these aren’t the only paths one can take but it’s where we find the Matchcard Brothers.
We also see, in this section, the true Abe or at least we see a bit past the surface. We see his nostalgia for a past love and the truth behind that nostalgic lie. We see him face the failure of his manufacturing business, a failure no doubt hastened by his own pride.
Next time, we’ll look at the final revelatory section of Clyde Fans. As I write this I’m on a train to Toronto for Seth’s launch at the AGO on Wednesday. As a special one-time treat, an actor will be performing the opening Abe monologue of the book. More on this tomorrow. And tonight, if you're in New York, you can catch Seth at the Strand!