Michael Stutz – Circuits of the WindFebruary 21, 2012
As is with the breed of fine American writers, the capacity to dream and hope is as much apart of the writer’s genetic makeup as it is of the literary tradition itself. The desire to reach the unfathomable has always been at the epicentre of the American dream, firmly passing away with the emergence of Modernism.
Michael Stutz introduces us to the Virtual American Dream, a world that exists solely through currents, circuits and waves, but is more alive and teeming with activity than you can ever imagine. Stutz depicts the burgeoning cyber world that developed around him as a youngster, using the protagonist, Raymond Valentine, to explore the fascination with technology at a time when it propelled our human outreach to limits way beyond our local surroundings to a new globally connected level. The celestial wonders of the Net age opens a new path of opportunity for a generation emanating out of the hapless and hopeless generation X.
“This great connecting force that wrapped around the whole entire planet and brought everything imaginable to the striped wall of their kitchen”
Ray is enchanted by the appeal of an invisible, yet physically real, connection that now rests at the click of a mouse, and a new realm of communication, recognition and companionship becomes his reality. Here stands the opportunity to shape his own fortune, even if this means breaking the rules. The one true interconnection that Ray shares with his online buddies is the sense of solitude and isolation, but together, they can celebrate this in a new forum of online linguistics.
Stutz writes with a grandness that exceeds the deadpan expectations that are associated with his generation of writers, and the popular culture references throughout the novel – Ferris Bueller, The Grateful Dead, The Sex Pistols – are steeped in nostalgia. The achronoligcal narration explores the past as much as Ray explores the “reasonings behind these massive shifts in time”, and Ray’s subversion into the NET world is constantly measured against these past cultural shifts, highlighting the fallacy behind the protagonist’s own online utopia.
Stutz’s approach to the influence of time over the past to a modern day perspective yet does so with all the grandeur of the influential Fitzgerald himself. The current his boat is against is now the electrical pulse that continues to evolve beyond our human control, showing how we are forever “borne back ceaselessly into the past” (The Great Gatsby).
Circuits of the Wind is a trilogy following the experiences of Raymond Valentine, written by the author Michael Stutz. Read some of Stutz’s short stories and poems here.
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