educating myself in the art of mystery.

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over the last few years, i have grown to discover that mystery is something that deeply intrigues me. it has probably always been present, but only recently have i become totally self-aware of now mystery affects my soul. if i were to make a short list of the things that have sparked this discovery, the list would look like this:

1. LOST
2. exploring the old, rundown attics and bell towers on kstate’s campus.
3. traveling to spain and seeing the alhambra.

suddenly i am asking questions like, “i wonder if someone hid their baseball cards between the walls of my house,” or “i wonder if we drained this lake if we’d find all sorts of treasures from 100s of years ago at the bottom,” or “if i hide a note in a random book the library, i wonder how long it would take for someone else to find it.” those are the questions i find myself thinking on a daily basis. i wonder, i wonder, i wonder.

but here’s the catch: i’m not certain that i really want to know the answer to any of these questions. the mysteriousness of the question greatly outweighs the knowledge of any of the answers. j.j. abrams (creator of LOST) says that “mystery is a catalyst for imagination…and there are times when mystery is more important than knowledge.”

i want to discover what it is that makes mystery so potent. i want to edcucate myself on the art of mystery – books, movies, history, stories – i want to find the best examples of mystery and pack my brain with tales of curiousity and questions and wonder. i don’t want answers. i just want to learn of new ways to cultivate questions.

it’s a large task, i know, but i already have a trio of ideas on where to start:

1. the classics according to the world
– sherlock holmes – sir arthur conan doyle
– the maltese falcon – dashiell hammett
– anything by agatha christie

2. every book seen in/referenced/that influenced LOST – amazon has a handful of LOST reading plans, and LOSTpedia has an extensive list of references and influences. i will begin this list with:
– “the mysterious island” – jules verne
– “the third policeman” – flann o’brian/brian o’nolan
– “everything that rises must converge” – flannery o’conner
– “20,000 leagues under the sea” – jules verne

3. The Bible* – the greatest mystery ever recorded.

so that’s where i’m beginning my quest. i want to feed this new self-discovery. hopefully this is a launching pad into all sorts of adventure.

-apc.

* – side note here: how cool would it be to create a YouVersion reading plan reading the Bible from a “mystery” perspective? who knows what that would look like, but it’s a fun idea.

2 comments

  1. >Book/author recommendation: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey. I had to read it for a class = best assignment ever.Added bonus mystery. Tey is one of two pseudonyms under which the author wrote mystery novels. I love pseudonyms.

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