In his collection of twenty-two short stories about the Vietnam war, The Things They Carried (1990), Tim O'Brien devotes episode seven, "How to tell a true war story," to meditation on the complex relationship between war experience and storytelling, and concludes that, just as war distorts the soldiers' perception, its representation is equally puzzling for both authors and readers, confronted with a devastating reality that generates incongruous interpretations: "And then afterward, when you go to tell about it, there is always that surreal seemingness
, which makes the story seem untrue, but which in fact represents the hard and exact truth as it seemed" (67-68).
In Hamlet and in theater, the seemingness
is all: "Any point at which dualistic, oppositional thought is invoked but then breaks down might be said to be theatrical" (Rayner xii).
The dismissal of infinity from the cosmos is achieved by the simple reasoning that 'is' cannot be set side by side with its negation, 'not is', and so the apeiron as negativity of being must be excluded from the truth of the universe and attached to the realm of seemingness
. As a result, Parmenides acutely restates monism, but not by the argument of some prime matter or divine soul, but by way of eluding the difference, as it has usually been stated, between existential (absolute) and predicative (relational) use of the verb to be, grounding thus his belief in the immovable and same essence ('is') of the cosmos: "But, motionless within the limits of mighty bonds, it is without beginning or end, since coming into being and perishing have been driven far away, cast out by true belief.