Monday, April 30, 2018

S is for Sam: Zelazny A to Z

His followers called him Mahasamatman and said he was a god. He preferred to drop the Maha- and the -atman, and called himself Sam. He never claimed to be a god. But then, he never claimed not to be a god. Circumstances being what they were, neither admission could be of any benefit. Silence, though, could.
I’m certainly getting a lot of mileage out of Lord of Light for this series of posts, but I’m not going to apologize for that. It’s a brilliant work and that opening line is one of the best in genre literature.

For this post, I’m going to offer up another quote to take a closer look at Sam the holy con man.

I barely paid any attention to Cliff’s play. I spent most of it thinking about Tommy’s eerie behavior. Why was he always so secretive about everything? why did he get so angry that Cliff rang my doorbell? Maybe, I thought, we weren’t friends. Maybe Tommy had somehow conned me the whole time. That’s the thing with con artists. They never tell you their story. They give you pieces of it and let you fill in the rest. They let you work out the contradictions and discrepancies. they let you believe that the things that don’t add up are what makes them interesting or special. they let you believe that in those gaps are the things that hurt and wounded them. But maybe there’s nothing in those gaps. Nothing but your stupid willingness to assume the best of someone.

---from The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, The Greatest Bad Movie Ever Made by Greg Sestero & Tom Bissell.

Sam understands the value of allowing his followers to fill his silence.

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