Serious Modern Fiction…

Serious modern fiction has only one subject: the difficulty of writing serious modern fiction.

First, it has fully accepted that it is only fiction, can only be fiction, will never be anything but fiction, and therefore has no business at all tampering with real life or reality.


Second. The natural consequence of this is that writing about fiction has become a far more important matter than writing fiction itself. It’s one of the best ways you can tell the true novelist nowdays. He’s not going to waste his time over the messy garage-mechanic drudge of assembling stories and characters on paper…

Third, and most important. At the creative level there is in any case no connection whatever between author and text. They are two entirely separate things. Nothing, but nothing, is to be inferred or deduced from one to the other, and in either direction. The deconstructivists have proved that beyond a shadow of doubt. The author’s role is purely fortuitous and agential. he has no more significant a status than the bookshop assistant or the librarian who hands the text qua object to the reader.

‘Why do writers still put their names on the title-page?’

‘Because most of them are like you. Quite incredibly behind their times. And hair raisingly vain. Most of them are still under the positively medieval illusion that they write their own books

John Fowles, ‘Mantissa’

~ από basileios στο 22 Αυγούστου, 2007.


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