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 "In a week and a half, it'll be over. What will we do to fill the void in our lives?" 

200827Oct
Submitted by Caterina Rost on Mon, 10/27/2008 - 14:20

In today's Washington Post, Eugene Robinson,  compared the campaign with an "epic novel." Here is an excerpt (for the whole article, click here):

"It feels as if we've been making our way through some great epic novel, by Tolstoy, perhaps, or Thomas Pynchon -- a book peopled by indelible characters who act against the backdrop of sweeping events. Just think back to where we started. On New Year's Day, the conventional wisdom was that the general election would be an Empire State contest between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani.

So much for the conventionally wise. The Iowa caucuses were the equivalent of the famous opening line of "Gravity's Rainbow," Pynchon's masterpiece: "A screaming comes across the sky."

In the course of the long narrative, some characters emerged from nowhere -- Joe the Plumber, for example -- had a dramatic impact, and then disappeared -- Jeremiah Wright, for example. Others went away but returned unexpectedly, such as Giuliani, who came back to lead Republican convention delegates in the unforgettable chant "Drill, baby, drill." Or John Edwards, who dropped out of the race but later resurfaced at a Beverly Hills hotel, hiding from National Enquirer reporters chasing a tip that he was visiting his mistress.

As for plot twists, I can think of few in literature that compare with the sudden emergence of Sarah Palin. If you look closely at the video clip of her appearance on "Saturday Night Live," when she's in the hallway talking to Alec Baldwin and SNL honcho Lorne Michaels, a man dressed like Abraham Lincoln is in the background with what appears to be a llama. That's the kind of year it's been.

We're now at a bittersweet point that's analogous to reaching the middle of the final chapter. We want to race ahead and find out what happens. We want to know if our hero -- Obama or McCain -- is victorious. But we also know that when we finally get the answer, we'll have to exit the alternative reality of narrative, atmosphere and emotion that we've inhabited for months. We'll be bereft."

Thank you, Eugene. You made my day with this piece.

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