This diary is the product of a series of conversations I had with Max Carter, one of the most fascinating men I have ever met. The events in the diary correspond to events in Max's life from the spring of 1995, when he moved from Santa Rosa, California to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania in order to pursue a career teaching high school at a private school in the area.

Granted, none of this is strictly true, in a nonfiction sense of "true." Max is, after all, just a character I invented-you'll never meet him on the street or talk to him, because he doesn't exist in our world. He only exists in a fictional world I have created, but believe me, in that world, he certainly exists.

In any case, this is a recollection of a sort of existential crisis he went through shortly after moving here. He'd been reading a lot of postmodern philosophy and social criticism; you know, all the big names. And he'd rejected it as sort of a crock until one day something snapped and he started noticing that all around him, the world he lived in was proving these theorists right. Things had changed. The world was and is complicated. And he had to go through a sort of rebirth, a sort of death of all his assumptions and then a sort of birth of a new understanding of the world that wasn't afraid to not know everything yet...

That resonated with me; I remember going through that very process a year or so ago when I started encountering the same philosophy and theory all around me. So I wrote it down as it might have appeared in his diary, if he kept a diary. He's sort of like me--he's more neurotic, though, and I suspect he wouldn't overwrite the way I do sometimes. But anyway, I hope you enjoy it. If you click on the links on each page you'll see a paragraph or two of commentary by Max himself, which should prove rather interesting, I suspect.

all text and graphics by JHL 12/20/1999