Former CEO of the City of Fremantle, Ray Glickman, is returning to his old stamping ground to launch his debut novel Reality on 4 February at Fremantle Arts Centre. Here Ray tells us a little more about the novel.
What was your motivation for writing Reality and where did the idea come from?
This particular story springs from my interest in how people tick and how society changes with interventions such as new technology. Reality explores the pervasive influence of fate, concepts of ‘human significance’ and dimensions of personal responsibility.
Reality TV brings these themes nicely into focus. In their quest for ‘fifteen minutes of fame’, participants entrust themselves to the fate offered by faceless TV networks. This is a great backdrop against which to explore concepts of personal responsibility.
Are the narrator and the other characters real people you have worked with or encountered in other parts of your life?
The narrator is strongly based on someone I was connected to via my work/board directorships. I was both shocked by, and in awe of, this person’s capacity to manipulate.
All of the other characters are either tightly or loosely based on people I know. In a way, they are archetypes representative of people like them. Most of the quirky events that happen to them and the phrases they come up with are real.
Do you agree (to paraphrase the narrator) that this story is a product of its time? Could it have been written in an earlier era?
Although reality TV is a modern phenomenon, the central themes of the ‘chaos’ of fate, the quest for significance, and the abrogation of personal responsibility are timeless.
It is true, however, that the internet is a most useful tool for those in the manipulation business. It is said that information is power. This power can be used for good or evil, and this is a point explored in the book. In the modern world, it is much easier to find things out about people and engage with them.
Reality will be launched by Brad Pettitt, Mayor of Fremantle, at 6pm for a 6.30pm start, Fremantle Arts Centre, 1 Finnerty Street, Fremantle. RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org