Thursday, February 09, 2012

Citizen Conn by Michael Chabon for the New Yorker February 13 2012

Citizen Conn by Michael Chabon

This is story about morals and loyalty vs civility and equitable agreements. Two friends bond through their work about fictional planets and characters whose friendship is traded by one for money. The disloyal character, Conn tries to repair his lapse of judgment with what appears a fair financial recompense and public apologies but which only angers Feather due to it’s impersonal unrepentant nature.

Conn is depicted simply as a concerned citizen (note the title, Citizen Conn) attempting to repay a misdeed to another to another citizen with a check. Unfortunately the very idea of repairing this issue with a check only angers Feather who was so hurt by this personal betrayal he had lost his artistic spark leading to his dismissal.

Making matters worse the comic book stories they shared were about two characters based on themselves, who regardless of differences, always managed to remain friends, maintain loyalty and save each other from danger. In the end the narrator, the rabbi, sums it up when she points out that Conn’s greatest crime is not realizing the nature of his crime in the phrase “our everlasting human cluelessness was his unforgivable sin.”

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