East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Irony & Pathos

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Perceptions are weird.
Various clues seem to point to the fact that, in the local business, I am considered a humorless, almost Vulcan-style, reptilian-like emotionless sort of writer. Or something like that.
Which is, as I said, weird.

Last night I was discussing a forthcoming project and I was told repeatedly

Yes, but it will need some pathos. You need to put some in.

Considering we were discussing a noirish, hard-boiled story, it is obvious that a certain amount of emotional involvement for the reader will have to be in but, as I tried to explain, it’s not like, I sit at the PC and go

Now I’ll do two heavily pathos-laden pages!

Pathos, the appeal to the reader’s emotions, is something that must emerge from the story, given the genre, the style, the themes.
And what the heck, I’m a writer, so that’s what I do.

But again, one year ago, an editor commissioned me a story and then repeatedly reminded me to

Be ironic! The story’s got to have irony!

Which was a given, considering the theme of the project. But there you have it – apparently I am perceived as some sort of word-churning machine, with no emotion, with only word-counts.

But then, just yesterday, an Italian Youtuber did a review of that anthology, and she singled out my story to say “it’s very atmospheric”.
And she did not complain for any lack of irony.
So there.

After all, it’s writing – the story will feature the required emotions and ideas, or simply I will not be able to write it.
As the man said, that’s what I do.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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