• Constructing a novel

    “The great difficulty of constructing a novel is that one has to maintain, at the same time, two radically different perspectives: the first that of the entirety, the book as it will be remembered by a reader who has long since finished it (and what a difficult point of view this is to adjudge, requiring an act of projection not only across space, but time), and the second, that of the thousand minutiae - details of place, expression, smell, nuance - which proliferate in this ocean of story, yet seem always to be swimming off in the wrong direction, leading you toward dead regions, or even worse, regions that prove to be far more lively than those to the exploration of which you have committed yourself. Process, in other words, begets unexpected (and not always pleasant) discoveries, and the ‘theme’ turns out to be not the thing with which you began, but the thing with which you end.”

    David Leavitt, Martin Bauman; a novel about love, literature and lying. Abacus, 2001, p 206.


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