Last night, Glen Retief read from his excellent debut memoir, The Jack Bank. The title derives from the author's experience of physical abuse at a white South African boarding school. G.R.'s performance for the university crowd struck a chord. This beautiful man, somehow real while standing high on a stage--impossible, yet!--he was simultaneously thoughtful, earnest, and artistically deliberate. The audience roared as he read a coming-of-age story set in a metaphoric castle not unlike college castles all across America. He described how he found community as a white man living in a primarily black dormitory hall; how his friend Aubrey accepted him and found him "...interesting, man"; how the author continued to hide his homosexuality in this new context and friendship; and how the two friends set out on a drunken knights' mission that ended in failure.
My colleague's performance leads to this It's Dark in There Tenet #1: Failure is the only path toward creating something worthwhile.