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I've always wondered why there isn't a great French novel about the German occupation. The nouveau roman authors weren't interested in telling that sort of thing.
Considering my specialization in architecture, I'm not surprised that the first graphic novel to thoroughly engage, not to say captivate, me is Chip Kidd and Dave Taylor's 'Batman: Death by Design.'
Memory is not particularly linear - it is associative, repetitive, subjective and porous. But the writer needs to convey disorder and dysfunction without making the novel itself disorderly or dysfunctional.
The novel has always been the form that incorporates other forms. For me, it has always been the ultimate medium.
But The Same Sea is set precisely in this Israel, which never makes it to the news headlines anywhere. It is a novel about everyday people far removed from fundamentalism, fanaticism nationalism, or militancy of any sort.
I am careful about fiction. A novel is not a tract or an essay. If I want to write about land reforms, or Hindu-Muslim relations, or position of women, I can do it as it affects my characters as in 'A Suitable Boy.' I could only write about issues specifically through essays. But I'll do that only if I have something worthwhile to say.
I've never put Northern Ireland into a novel because it's not my territory. I come from the South, so my imaginative territory is very much the Republic of Ireland rather than the North. Even though, if I wrote a novel about the North, it might sell more.
The theory of founder effects does not explain how novel features like plumage traits arise.
Peter R. Grant
Ever since the '70s, Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo were the godfathers of Scandinavian crime. They broke the crime novel in Scandinavia from the kiosks and into the serious bookstores.
In a novel, I could submerge my ego in a character's and let his perceptions take over.
When I start getting close to the end of a novel, something registers in the back of my mind for the next novel, so that I usually don't write, or take notes. And I certainly don't begin. I just allow things to percolate for a while.
That is what I define as a novel: something that has a beginning, a middle and an end, with characters and a plot that sustain interest from the first sentence to the last. But that is not what I do at all.
Guillermo Cabrera Infante
The short story is an imploding universe. It has all the boil of energy inside it. A novel has shrapnel going all over the place. You can have a mistake in a novel. A short story has to be perfect.
A novel is a great act of passion and intellect, carpentry and largess. From the very beginning, I wrote to explain my own life to myself, and I invited readers who chose to make the journey with me to join me on the high wire.
I love rare books. Not that I own a lot of them, mind you. You couldn't quite call me a rare-book collector. But I did once work in a rare-books library, and I wrote a novel about a rare book.
The process of writing a novel is getting to know more about the novel until you know everything about it. And it's been described as a kind of dreamlike state where you're letting the novel make its own shape, and you're putting into it the pleasure of creation, which is intoxicating.
As for writing about temptation, there's no drama without temptation, and no novel without drama.
I have survived by representing these sufferings of mine in the form of the novel.
What I want is to respond to the challenge posed by the mass media - to permit the novel to say what can only be said by narrative - to allow it to be itself.
The impulse of the journalist is to be novel, yet to relate his curiosities to the urgencies of the moment; the philosopher seeks what he conceives to be true, regardless of the moment.
It took me the bulk of my twenties to write one book about a family of alligator wrestlers. Whereas somebody like Steve Martin is releasing his latest banjo symphony, having just completed another movie and acclaimed, best-selling novel.
Strangely enough, the first character in Fried Green Tomatoes was the cafe, and the town. I think a place can be as much a character in a novel as the people.
All novels must be autobiographical because I am the only material that I know. All of the characters are me. But at the same time, a novel is never autobiographical even if it describes the life of the author. Literary writing is a completely different medium.
The best project is one that asks a novel question.
It's no accident that my first novel was called Americana. This was a private declaration of independence, a statement of my intention to use the whole picture, the whole culture.
John F. Kennedy
Martin Luther King, Jr.
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