My photo
Greetings! I’m a writer, editor, and teacher, and I enjoy connecting with readers and other writers. From 2017 to 2021, I served as Alabama's Poet Laureate. My latest book is a poetry chapbook, "Borrowed Light," and my current writing projects are a literary history in the form of narrative nonfiction based on the lives of the writer Sara Mayfield and her friends, a collection of poems about my late father, and a co-edited collection of essays about southern women, aging, and creativity. I call this blog and website "A Map of the World" because I think that, as writers, we each map the world through our own lives and imaginations. Welcome to my particular map! To get in touch, you can email me at forjenhorne@gmail.com or find me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/for.jen.horne where I post a Mid-Week Poetry Break every Wednesday.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Writings on Writing: November 2022

From the delightful Less Is Lost (a sequel to the equally delightful Less), by Andrew Sean Greer:

Our narrator, Freddy Pelu, is describing how Arthur Less has been wrong about many things on his cross-country trip. He notes that "If this trip had a mantra, it would be 'Wrong again.'" Then he details the many ways Less has been wrong and concludes:

"But above all else, wrong about people. No surprise, in fact: novelists, with their love of structure and language and symmetry in novels, are frequently mistaken about the people who inhabit the actual world, much as architects are about churches. What is acceptable as true in a novel--that the waitress, existing merely to drop soup on the protagonist, need only have a hairdo and a hand--is, in the real world, an unforgivable moral error. For while our middle-aged author would probably consider himself a Rosencrantz or Guildenstern, certainly never a protagonist, the truth of existence has not quite pierced his soul: That, in real life, there are no protagonists. Or, rather, the reverse: It's nothing but protagonists. It's protagonists all the way down."

Less Is Lost, p. 246

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blog Archive