An excerpt from Lionel Shriver’s recent address to the Brisbane Writer’s Festival:
What stories are “implicitly ours to tell,” and what boundaries around our own lives are we mandated to remain within? I would argue that any story you can make yours is yours to tell, and trying to push the boundaries of the author’s personal experience is part of a fiction writer’s job.
I’m hoping that crime writers, for example, don’t all have personal experience of committing murder. Me, I’ve depicted a high school killing spree, and I hate to break it to you: I’ve never shot fatal arrows through seven kids, a teacher, and a cafeteria worker, either. We make things up, we chance our arms, sometimes we do a little research, but in the end it’s still about what we can get away with – what we can put over on our readers.
Because the ultimate endpoint of keeping out mitts off experience that doesn’t belong to us is that there is no fiction. Someone like me only permits herself to write from the perspective of a straight white female born in North Carolina, closing on sixty, able-bodied but with bad knees, skint for years but finally able to buy the odd new shirt. All that’s left is memoir.
And here’s the bugbear, here’s where we really can’t win. At the same time that we’re to write about only the few toys that landed in our playpen, we’re also upbraided for failing to portray in our fiction a population that is sufficiently various.
By the way, I am listening to an Arvo Pärtapalooza on WQXR right now (it’s his birthday), appropriately sober given that other event fifteen years ago, Hattin 2.0.
Might be good while you’re grilling up some brisket, or even with the sound of the game turned down.
From this story at the Dark Horizons website, it looks like we’re finally going to get that run of Tetris movies everybody’s been clamoring for.
But a trilogy?
For TETRIS?!? Am I the only one who see how big an aesthetic blunder this is?!?!?!
And of course such a whopping aesthetic blunder means many, many missed marketing opportunities.
We obviously need FOUR of these movies.
Tetralogy, people. Tetralogy.
I ask again: why am I not running a major studio?
I think you can do a thing like that best
from a detached position. – Nelson Algren
I catch a glimpse of you: your nightshades are galaxies that burn
The core brown light of an urban dawn. Receding with the sea,
The city streets replay their chord progressions with tenacity:
The story of a sea, of a city by the sea. Within my skin, beneath
My flesh, a hundred horses gallop fast as steam trains out of breath,
A thousand offspring drifting around in me. The darkest enemy
Of light, the city traffic moving past with gentle tendrils — anemone
With venom blue as the bluest sea, and flowing all over me. The sky
Has veins of marbled blue. My veins do too. I am a seahorse and I try
To cling to coral, caught in tiny monster currents. The fathoms bloom
With pain and flower nightmare petals. The breaching symbols loom
And yet the waves outlaw the moon reflected in a spoon, and you
Were there too, upside down as the moon was and needle-blue,
A marlin hooked and running deep. I lost my view of you, your little blacks
And blues absorbed by a hundred suns, the manic bloody tracks
My eyeballs knew. I was ready for a drink and ready to drink
The sea, the moon, the glimpse I caught of you. I could not think.
And you slip away but first you cast a glance my way, a mermaid
Parade of glances, virulent with smiles, and your smallest smile said
I was there and you were there for me but time was there to drink
The blood away. The Milky Way rides it out on the back of a skunk;
A violet in the alleyway is singing poison, opening its petals to burn
The scaly mane of a sea that washes over me like we were never born.
Two pounds of grapes eaten daily causes organ failure in dogs, study shows.
(Posted by Jack)