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All the Light We Cannot See

I’m about halfway through this book and decided to read a bit more about the author, Anthony Doerr. Have any of you read this yet? I’m quite enjoying it so far. And look what I came across in this interview:

My goal might be only to shine a feeble light on some neglected corner of the world, or history, but ultimately my goal is to help us all appreciate the grandeur of this incredibly old and marvelous situation we’ve lucked into it, and that’s a political motivation. It’s the hope that through art we can be awakened; we can be shown the world with new eyes. I’m more interested in what Percy Walker called “the search” in The Moviegoer, that quest for authenticity that his protagonist Binx goes on.“The search,” Binx says, “is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life… To become aware of the possibility of the search is to be onto something. Not to be onto something is despair.” That’s what fiction writing does for me; it helps me feel like I’m onto something, even if I’m fumbling after it, even if I know I can never really grab hold of it.
I’m fumbling with ideas here that I can’t fully articulate, but that, I think, is the real responsibility for a literary writer; to strive toward complexity, toward questions, and away from certainty, away from stereotype.

I’m going to assume “Percy Walker” was a transcription error…


  1. Stanley Kunchen says

    Beautiful to see you back among the blogging! I’ve heard good things about this book and saw the author in Spokane a while back.

  2. Big Jon Bully says

    Expat, that looks splendid, thanks. I put a hold on it just now.

    You’re truly the best!

  3. Louise Orrock says

    I was thinking last night that when I was commenting on here quite a lot someone might I have thought I knew who the writer(s) were and was stalking. In fact, it felt slightly like the opposite in that in 2008 I was sent an email at work by someone whose name I didn’t recognise and a couple of links took me to your website. It may be that a third party sent the email. I did print off a lot of your poems at one stage and may or may not have them somewhere (I don’t have much in the way of space to store things). I am not claiming them as my own.

  4. Great to see your post, SE. This means that already this year you’re now ahead of those slackabeds McCain and the Bully, and proving to be a dangerous threat to M. JOB and me in number of posts. To say nothing of quality!

    Thanks for the tip, I’m putting into the queue.

  5. I am not reading it but my husband just did–he said it was outstanding. And he is frugal with literary praise.

  6. Big Jon Bully says

    Just received it from the library.

  7. Yes, a feeble light.

  8. I have many of Walker Percy’s titles on my shelf, but have read only The Last Gentleman (and for some reason, always pictured Will Barrett as Jeremy Piven.) Now, it seems, that Percy will not get any more attention from me until I turn some of it towards Anthony Doerr. Thanks for the recommendation, Dor—, ah, I mean, Southern Expat.

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