Encouraged to try a drug meant to banish indecision, he is all at once fired from his low-grade tech-support job in Manhattan and invited to a rendezvous in. Dwight B. Wilmerding is only twenty-eight, but he’s having a midlife crisis. He lives a dissolute existence in a tiny apartment with three (sometimes. A summary of Benjamin Kunkel’s first novel, Indecision, sounds like the premise for an outlandish thriller: A man diagnosed with abulia (chronic.

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Aug 30, Minutes. He lives a dissolute existence in a tiny apartment with three sometimes four slacker roommates, holds a mind-numbing job at the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and has a chronic inability to make up his mind. Encouraged by one of his roommates to try an experimental drug meant to banish indecision, Dwight jumps at the chance not without some vacillation about the hazards of jumping and swallows the first fateful pill.

Of course, living a dissolute, dorm like existence in a tiny apartment and working in tech support at the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer are not especially conducive to wisdom. And a few sessions of psychoanalysis conducted by his sister have distinctly failed to help with his biggest problem: Encouraged by one of his roommates to try an experimental pharmaceutical meant to banish indecision, Dwight jumps at the chance not without some meditation on the hazards of jumping and swallows the first fateful pill.

Deep in the jungles of the Amazon, in the foreign country of a changed outlook, his would-be romantic escape becomes a hilarious journey into unbidden responsibility and unwelcome knowledge. How to affirm happiness without living in constant denial of the ways of the world? How to commit, and to what? At once funny and poignant, gentle and outrageous, finely intelligent and proudly silly, Indecision rings with a voice of great energy and originality, while its deeper inquiries reflect the concerns and style of a generation.


The mockery is humane. The tale of Dwight Wilmerding is told with style and care.

Benjamin Kunkel grew up in Colorado. Indecision brims with insight into the modern urban condition. A Conversation with Ben Kunkel 1. Dwight Wilmerdingthe hairy hero of Indecision, runs across a naturally occurring botanical depilatory in the rain forest in South America and thinks about its potential as a commercial product, until Brigid points indecieion the ethical problems with this kind of venture. That was one idea of mine.

Indecision by Benjamin Kunkel

But for other people I think the chapter might just serve as a reminder of what we can never hold in our minds for very long: Dwight sees this for the first time or tells himself he doeswhich may allow other people to see it again. Dwight is capable of a kind of instant regret for even the smallest choices he makes and a sort of chronic parser of his own behavior. Do you think this tendency is an exaggeration of the way we all think about our actions, or did you mean this guy to be qualitatively different?

Is it hedging too much ,unkel say both? You know what the say about psychoanalysis: I guess I meant Dwight to be a true exaggeration.

In a boat you see the sea.


Can you talk a little about the tension between the comic and serious aspects of this novel, and which you wish to be its final effect? But I always admired his way of treating his characters as if they were friends: And I wanted the reader to feel that way about Dwight and the other characters, and also for Dwight to feel like that about himself.


Life happens to fools; life is serious; hence fools are serious, and the serious foolish. Indecision has a pharmaceutical leitmotif—well maybe even a heavimotif. Did you mean readers to think it was essential to his change of heart?

Benjamin Kunkel’s Tale of ‘Indecision’ : NPR

He needs desire, insight, not willing. Indecision appears to be saying that men and women are importantly, undeniably, and irretrievably different from indfcision, in a way that may have something to do with manipulation and moral superiority. I once gave an interview on this subject, more or less, and have regretted it ever since. Will we ever see Dwight again? How would he speak as an older person? There are no plans for his return.

But Butch Cassidy apparently reappeared in the U.

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