Singing Mr. Cedric
The creation of persona in character is hardly new to Modern American Literature. . Writers such as T.S. Eliot ran with Prufrock, John Berryman had his Henry, Weldon Kees occasionally invoked Robinson, while in the Secret Sharer Conrad invoked a protagonist that almost literally went overboard with his literately "other". Enter Vincent Quatroche who introduces us to his latest experiment with an alternative contemporary identity in a new CD release of work entitled Singing Mr. Cedric who has much in common with Melville's Bartleby the enigmatic Scribner who retreats from the reality and responsibilities of the everyday word with the decoration "I prefer not to". In a similar vein Quatroche's recent persona is faced with a future he is ill prepared to deal with and having much the same disposition of refusal and denial. While the personal realities of decay, demise and death are disturbing enough, it is a very real awareness of the overall state of the world and society unraveling just as quickly where the worst that cannot simply happen or will not arrive soon enough. As Cedric sifts through memory and the years of his life he discovers that what once seemed as the most enduring has eroded and as much as he no longer recognizes his place in the world that mirrors mortality and is reflecting back a disturbing reflection that no longer recognizes him. Obscurity will be only a pale foreshadowing to the total obliteration that is only a matter of time away. And how long is that? No one knows. So Cedric decides that while he would "prefer not to" deal with any of these terrifying eventualities he has no choice. At last the truth about his own individuality has come into a sharp focus. He will lose it. Total devastation of the flesh. So then Cedric resigns himself to the moment. To live completely in the Terrible Now. And most of all? Sing. At the top of a fading voice in words that barely resonate.