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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Friday, May 02, 2008

(not very) sick days as opportunities for freedom

A quick post, just to keep my hand in.

I have some kind of mild gastrointestinal infection that had me fasting for five days (I stopped fasting yesterday). It's also had me living a less structured life, as I typically do when having "sick days". In fact I'm not sick in any meaningful sense--I feel good--but the break in routine of eating and so on makes the day different.

So I continue to follow my research instincts. I'm making discoveries, which creates a feeling of excitement and confirmation. I try to stay open to my intuition, letting instinct guide me from one book to another, one idea to another.

Is this any way to write a work of fiction? I don't know. I don't know if it's properly known what fiction even means. (I think of my old classmate Don's mnemonic device for remembering how to distinguish fiction from nonfiction: "bull" vs. "non-bull".) Northrop Frye also had trouble with this strangely vague but persistent way of categorizing literature.

So I'll press forward, and let it be what it is.


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