It is arguable that it is possible to reveal, in literature
as in science, that symmetry exists between human brains. Though no two human
brains are alike, where there is symmetry between interests, common
circumstances or experiences, and genetic data, there is also brain symmetry.
The effect between characters in a drama of this phenomenon— brain symmetry— is
an interesting one, because, like William Wordsworth finding interest in
“similitude in dissimilitude” generally, why two brains that have symmetrical
properties might make for greater intimacy but also greater antagonism is an
interesting question. For Inter-Dialogism— the jumping of consciousness into
other consciousness and out again— the individual who makes the Inter-Dialogic
leap, if it is into a brain which shares some symmetrical proportions, may then
experience extreme euphoria or extreme discomfort, but the reaction is likely
to be much more drastic, intense, and compelling then if the leap was into a
brain entirely Other. Brain symmetry syndrome manifests in Elegy 414:
And out of this nexus, O sacred
scribe, came absolutely no one.
I don’t know what you expected
to find here. This warm, safe,
comforting suburb has a smother
button by which souls are unraveled.
Who would know better than you?
Even if you’re only in the back of
your mind asphyxiating. He looked
out the window— cars dashed by
on Limekiln Pike. What is it, he said,
are you dead or do you think you’re Shakespeare?
The Inter-Dialogic energy here is all over the map— this
Antagonist is so close to the Elegiac Protagonist, on so many levels, and yet
so distant on others, that we can feel both his despair and irritation.
Troubled brotherhood again. The 414 Antagonist is also, we can intuit, someone
who might have developed into a writer or artist, but has been held back by
circumstances which did not plague the Elegiac Protagonist. Yet, neither he nor
the Elegiac Protagonist may know or realize why this may be the case. We find
ourselves, as readers, awash in ambiguities— why is intimacy so frustrating,
both in its ability to enlighten and its ability to tantalize, between two
characters? When a character finds him or herself jumping in and out of
another’s consciousness, and then repelled out again, and yet so close
(possibly) to revealing the entire truth about the character in question, the
dramatic tension, scintillating to watch if “scribed” in the right way, also
demonstrates why closeness and intimacy can be so frustrating among the human
races. The partial— partial revelations, partial knowledge— is a tease. In 414,
the Antagonist is so entirely teased by the Elegiac Protagonist that he
attempts every semantic trick in the book to get the visceral reaction he
wants— he flatters, insults, cajoles, levels with, laments, compliments
sideways and backwards, all with the sense that he is talking with another,
more successful, version of himself, which is its own torture chamber for him.
Because, as the scene is lit, we never see the Elegiac Protagonist’s reaction,
all we know is that he does not feel it is important to interject. He wants the
camera to remain closely focused on his Antagonist, knowing (as we know) that
this is someone not that different from him, who has been forced to say “I” and
not mean it. The Antagonist is articulate and has some depth and some honesty
consonance to him. He may or may not also have literary talent. But the
lighting effects want his voice to be heard alone in 414. Not just that— by
lighting him alone and his rap, we can see how the Inter-Dialogic energy is
working from him into the Elegiac Protagonist and back out again, including
what in the Protagonist might be repelling him away, without the reciprocating
energy from the Protagonist into and out of him being visible as well. That is
how the levels of ambiguity frame the drama of 414. It is for the reader to
reject closure and figure out some of those dynamics if there is any symmetry
between their brain and the poet’s.