Sunday, August 03, 2008

if i start getting difficult ( in 20 or 30 years time ) just re-read this article by oliver james about dementia ...

from a short piece by hilary mantel in the guardian review

Sentimental people will try to convince you that stories, like the act of reading, are as natural as breathing.

They say that we are narrative animals, but the broken stories of people who enter psychoanalysis suggest that if stories are natural to us they are not easy to construct in a way that serves both our sense of personal continuity and our need for freedom.

A story is always on the move, and from the author's point of view there is nothing natural about it.

Constant readers become writers at the point in life when they acquire a fascination with a process of falsification: with imposing shape while simulating the evolution of character and event, making determinations while fostering an illusion that in the next chapter anything might happen.

A novelist spends a lifetime in the business of presenting what's life-like, but not like life.

It's a sobering thought - life won't actually do.

Verisimilitude and the truth are conjoined twins, one often flourishing at the expense of the other.