“Thank you,” I said. “I came back to this place to find something, to connect with something lost, to reunite if not with my whole self, then with a piece of it. What I’ve discovered is that this thing is not here. In fact, it is nowhere. I have learned that my name is not my name. It seems you all know me and nothing could be further from the truth and yet you know me better than I know myself, perhaps better than I can know myself. My mother is buried not far from this auditorium, and there are no words on her headstone. As I glance out now, as I feel the weight of this trophy in my hands, as I stand like a specimen before these strangely unstrange faces, I know finally what should be written on that stone. It should say what mine will say:
I AM NOT MYSELF TODAY.”
— Percival Everett
The epigraph allows me to perceive Percival Everett as being lost and empty; he doesn’t know who is even though he has gone home to try to find out. This main idea immediately got me thinking of Dionysus, who in a sense is depicted, as empty and lost, in the novel “Frenzy”. During my reading of Percival Everett’s “Frenzy”, I saw Dionysus as a God who knew what he had to do but felt like it was not him. For example, on page 19 of “Frenzy” Vlepo was sharing the women’s point of view of having sex with the God; Vlepo said that “She wanted more. Some part of you” to this Dionysus responds with “You make it sound so empty. It’s that what I, too, am feeling, Vlepo?”. In this conversation, we see that Dionysus is trying to understand his feelings. By comparing the empty feeling, the woman had felt after they had sex to the empty feeling he feels on a daily basis. Everett talks about returning to his home place in an attempt to get to know himself and Dionysus in a similar way returns to Thebes where his mother was executed by Zeus’s lightning bolt to get in touch with himself. Returning to his homeland was Dionysus’s way to reunite with his mother and better understand the emptiness and lost feeling he was experiencing. My analysis and comparison of the emotions displayed by Dionysus in “Frenzy” and by Everett in his epigraph made me wonder if some of Everett’s feelings, emptiness, was displayed onto Dionysus. This being a question that intrigues me I will continue to read the novel “Frenzy” with a sharp eye in hopes to figure this out.