Where’s Anterus Smith?
This is not the title of a new game to replace "Where's Waldo?" but a chance to interrogate Chad Rayson, the August Derleth of the Iron Range.
TFF: So, Chad, what happened to Anterus Smith or by whatever name he wishes to be called?
CR: So what is this? You're Aeschylus writing an ode to Zeus? You want to know what the trouble with you classicists is?
TFF; Not especially, in fact, definitely no.
CR: I'll tell you anyway. You're so tied up in some other word, going in quest of Ulysses or sailing with Jason and the Argonauts that you have no time for the real life going on around you, life that is every bit as exciting as anything in Homer.
TFF: You're saying Anterus Smith is the new Odysseus?
CR: I'd rather say Odysseus is the old Anterus, but even that would not be correct. Anterus is Anterus.
TFF: At least a classicist would not engage in meaningless tautologies. Then where is he or should I say when is he?
CR: He's trying to get off an island in a very large lake.
TFF: That being the case...
CR: Don't you mean "Quae cum ita sint"?
TFF: I mean, obviously, why is not not on this website? Have you or he fallen sick or did you just get tired of chronicling his absurd adventures?
CR: Neither. Smith and I conferred and agreed that I had not done justice to his story. He made me go back, revising the text line by line, tying up loose ends, hinting at future developments, grappling with the metaphysical problems raised by his condition, and, above all, getting characters and relationships straight. Can Smith really trust Dyson? What game are the monsignor and the doctor playing? Where does the DA fit in? And, most of all, is Anterus ever going to join the 21st century and sweep Caterina off her feet? Also, the ending of part one stank, because I did not manage to convey the weight of what Smith told me about his failure and despair, much less explain why after a accomplishing nothing, he did not simply get out of Dodge--or rather Nadir. This is not Smith's fault, but mine.
TFF Then how far along are you on the rewrite?
CR: I don't like to think of it as a rewrite. I mean, the story exists. It is real and true. It's just that I needed to tell his story more effectively. Three fourths of Part I is done, and Part II is hurtling rapidly toward what PR people would call the startling conclusion.
TFF: Are you going to repost the new version?
CR: Maybe a few bits but not too much. We hope to have an ebook out before the end of the year, though who knows, with a classical egghead running the operation, we could all be dead first.
TFF: Thanks, Chad, for that vote of confidence