9 Novels

Friday, May 7, 2004

Ugh. Why do I bother and waste so much time on these mindless pursuits. Imagine the scene and write it: As I’m getting older, ages begin to confuse me. I watch as teenagers walk by and I can’t figure their age. It’s an unusual experience. Here I look and study and I don’t understand or know their age.

It’s his ninth novel. Remind me again how many you have written? You sit and write about nothing. Imagine if that tie was used to write your stories. What do you recommend? I’ve tried so much and I’ve come up with nothing except writing as I do, in this stupid book or in musing form. Perhaps, if it is about getting feedback, you should release your stories in segments—installments. You set yourself a goal, and you write for that goal. Let’s try it for your current story. The important thing to remember is it’s only a segmented drafted so you can go back and rewrite parts after you post. We’ll call this 9 Novels.

The problem with Owen Meany is that the narrator is unlikeable. When Irving jumps to his asides, you find yourself liking him less and less. And it’s not just because he’s a draft-dodging liberal. It’s something deeper in his character that is unlikeable.

“Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once.”

The narrator almost appears joyful in holding back his stories, dropping hints throughout the pages but never disclosing what happens for long tracks of time.

Symbolism and theme. I don’t get it.