Monday, 21 December 2015

From my blue notebook; The Sublime Susan Sontag on Structure.

I was having a pre-Christmas writing room sort -out when a book by Susan Sontag fell from my writing bookshelf open at her essay on Dostoyevsky’s writing.

Perhaps you know,  as you read  LifeTwiceTasted, that when I’m not writing my novels, I’m pondering the mysteries of the writing process as it occurs book by book.
My Blue Notebook

I  am in the middle of writing an exciting new novel  which – at present- is told from a single eccentric point of view. But in the back of my mind is the thought that I might eventually wish to incorporate other perspectives to deepen and thicken the narrative.  This is both a creative and a technical challenge for any writer. And then, as if responding to my thoughts, Susan Sontag’s book falls from the shelf open at her essay on Dostoyevsky’s writing. I read the page 
. I read the page eagerly and copy it into my blue notebook where I note words and ideas that inspire me.

Here are the sublime Susan Sontag’s words about the structural energy in rendering points of view.

…. ‘Summer in Baden - Baden’ is unified by the ingenuity and velocity of its language, which moves boldly, seductively between the first and the third person – the doings, musings, memories of the narrator (‘I’) and the Dostoyevsky scenes (‘he’, ‘they’ ‘she’) between past and present. But this is not a unitary present any more than it is a unitary past. (Submitting) to the undertones of remembered themes, passions from earlier moments in his life, the narrator, In the present, summons up memories of his past…

Sontag’s lucid de-construction of this complex element of narration certainly inspires me to plunge back into the process of my novel with ‘ingenuity and velocity.’ 

It could – as I hope it will – make this my best novel yet.

Happy holidays to all my reading, writing and creative friends out there in the world. With this wish comes a profound hope for a peaceful world in 2016 where the self-styled warriors of every culture turn their swords into ploughshares, their bullets into bees, their bombs into poems and their drones into butterflies.

D's Christmas House 

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