Disclaimer: You are reading one of my early blog posts for a class and will have no context for what I’m about to say. For that, I apologize
When we were talking in class on Thursday, I realized that the short analysis of Tom’s story was a commentary on Zampano, and maybe the whole book. In the story, Zampano writes, “If Sorrow is deep regret over someone loves, there is nothing but regret her, as if Navidson with his great eye had for the first time seen what over the years he never should have missed. Or should have missed all along.” If we keep in mind that it is Zampano speaking and he has kept a fairly academic voice thus far, the italics and the very personal-sounding last statement seems a little out of place. I started thinking about the minotaur parts being crossed out and about how crazy Zampano got about the bible story, and I think that Zampano is giving us some insight into his life own life. The story of minotaur and the maze winds up being a story of father and son, and Jacob and Esau is obviously about brothers and their fathers. It’s the stories about families that seem to get Zampano worked up. It seems as if what Johnny was saying about Zampano’s possible family woes may be true. This makes me wonder if Zampano sees the Navidson project as a surrogate relationship, or some kind of penance for a source of guilt over family. What else could make him so upset?
If this is so, I don’t think it’s too far off to assume that the Navidson project Zampano is working on is also a labor of love, his weird and off-the-beaten-path apology to a wronged family member. But who? Who in the story is Zampano trying to dedicate the Navidson record to, the way that Tom’s story is a dedication to Tom?
Does Zampano somehow forsee Johnny reading? Is Johnny the family member, or pseudo-family member, that Zampano wants to apologize to? Clearly, Zampano’s work has pretty much wrecked Johnny’s life. And Johnny and Zampano seem to have an eerie kind of connection.
It’s also interesting that Zampano notes how heavily edited he thinks Tom’s story is. This seems almost like an admission of how edited Zampano’s story is. Maybe Zampano, if he forsees Johnny’s work with the text, is conscious of the annotations he will be doing and the way he will be altering the piece.
I’m not sure this makes total sense. I’ll have to think about it more. But it’s interesting. And I remain convinced there are layers of meaning to “A Short Analysis of Tom’s Story”