Saturday, July 22, 2017

entirely different. The novel

Around 2009-2010 I put down 50,000 words of novel, rewrote here and there, knew I'd scarcely begun and very unsure of how to go on. How to complete a novel that spreads from complexities of China to southeastern rural Australia.

I got stopped by illness, pain but also shoulder operations that physically prevented me writing.

And came to disfavour it while the novel was out of sight.

In restructuring a computer this draft novel, or novel-beginning has fallen open in front of me and I am startled. Enjoyed the reading, much of it forgotten. It will be hard to go on, rebuilding a car seems an easier notion. I have enough pride in it not to get into much here, but I will quote what I found, at the beginning of one version, these quotes which offer whiffs of desire of what I might hope to create...

The book I would like to read now
is a novel in which you sense the story arriving like still-vague thunder, 
the historical story along with the individual’s story, 
 a novel that gives the sense of living
through an upheaval that still has no name, has not yet taken place…

Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller

We saw that Life did not narrate, but made impressions on our brains.
We, in turn, if we wished to produce on you an effect of life,
must not narrate but render impressions.

Ford Madox Ford, writing to Joseph Conrad

The desire on the one hand to go on and on, to lean towards infinity, 
on the other hand, to be caught, completed, with no more yearning.

Sue Woolfe, Leaning Towards Infinity.

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