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Thursday, January 14, 2010

01/14/10

I've begun reworking a short story I've been toying with for about three years. I have yet to hash out a pattern for my work (my fiction). The plan now is to devote the first hour of my mornings to this task. This is generally the time when my mind is at its very best. After that, tasks like tying one's shoes begin to take on the significance of joining the Human Genome Project for me. If I exhale successfully, it's sure evidence that I should be rewarded the Noble Prize (that wasn't another tired Obama joke).

No truncated passage or version of the story will be on display here. I share Nabokov's disdain for displaying a work in progress. Apart from that, I have nothing more in common with my favorite writer, excepting my grumpy and irascible nature... I do plan on providing occasional updates on the work as a means of accountability. What I will say in all seriousness is that I truly am beginning to see this as what will emerge as both my purpose and my vocation, as something that is vital to me.

The story is, I think, a good exploration of some of the conflicted themes that have most troubled me over the course of my short life. I tend to see conflict as one of the central motions of all great fiction. I should specify: by conflict I mean a deep dialectical schism in the soul of the writer himself. The writer is usually torn between many themes tugging at his heart. The greatest battles and wars within fiction are waged within the heart of the author himself. Blame Bloom for this conflict-centered approach, but it's proven to shape much of my thinking. I also think a writer ought to nurture a fierce and fearful sympathy. The kind of sympathy that drove Cormac McCarthy to write a story with a necrophiliac for a hero. Read Child of God and you will feel the radical and merciless sympathy of one of America's most gifted living writers. The only character I care about in any book is the writer himself. Nabokov again: "A writer's readers are his greatest creation." Some say Shakespeare created us all. I know Who created me, and I intend to know that author more deeply every day.

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