Monday, June 26, 2017

this exciting era when science and superstition were battling for supremacy

So it looks like I was only about four years too early with my novel. I have always been out of step with the times, I admit.

5 comments:

  1. The chance of being pushed by a publisher and then hitting exactly the right moment is vanishingly small. It doesn't matter how good the book, it's still vanishingly small. Either that fact destroys a part of you when the truth comes upon you (I do know people of that sort--luckily not you or me) or else you keep desiring the joy of making things out of words.

    Whatever it takes, courage or stupidity or something else entirely, the ongoing impulse is a mad fine thing.

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  2. The ironies of life tend to be increasingly comic, I must say, and I don't begrudge Mr Banville the press. And as you say, the real joy is in the making, so I keep making. I'm revising a mad fine thing now, and a month or so ago I took some tentative steps toward what might become a new long piece. It may be brave and/or stupid to pursue writing, but happily what I mostly feel is good old curiosity.

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  3. Making is transformative of the self and full of aesthetic joy. So be whatever it takes! And yes, curiosity. It's wonderful that a thing you make yourself can surprise you so much. I love that. It's like the way we sometimes marvel at our dreams and wonder where they can come from. And yet they appear inside our very own heads.

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  4. I am also amazed at how we can pin these dreams to the real world. On Monday afternoon I was walking home from the metro station and I looked up at the sky and saw a particular formation of clouds that I had to write into the novel I'm revising, and now that fictional scene is sewn back onto the fabric of common experience, if you know what I mean. I guess I'm thinking about the way your novels are both "realistic" and "fantastic", without clear boundaries between the realms, which is something I really admire.

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  5. I'm not sure where that comes from except perhaps that I believe that people have transcendent experiences, and that thoughts and dreams are often more important and seem more real than realities. (Also my first book obsession was with the Alice books. Tolkien would say they're not in the realm he calls fairy-stories because events turn out to be a dream. And yet the dream is far more lively and charged than the frame story.)

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