So what do I use as the backdrop for Signs of Life? Famously, I used The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in Melt. As you may know, I didn’t choose it. A voice told me to use it. (The details are in my daily meltdown posts from Melt’s pre-release.)
I feature William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying in Signs of Life. I did it consciously, though I feel the die was cast when I read As I Lay Dying in my MFA program years ago.
As I Lay Dying was the book which inspired me to write in dual voices. Faulkner showed me the power in perspectives, that a story was as different as its tellers. What a revelation!
I’ll be discussing the parallel, timeless themes between As I Lay Dying with Signs of Life in my upcoming posts.
Here is one thought I’ll leave you with:
“Themes that critics have highlighted [in As I Lay Dying] include…the nature of heroism, the nature of time or being, isolation, dehumanized humanity, and language.”
— An interpretation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying
(Source: As I Lay Dying: Stories out of Stories
by Warwick Wadlington, p. 21)
Maybe you can see why I’m so drawn to it!