the stuff that won’t go away

from Conversation: The Stuff That Won’t Go Away, NYT, October 1, 2011

JEFFREY EUGENIDES Because we think there is something about reality, and especially about human consciousness, that can be accurately described and that the novel is the best way to do it.

COLM TOIBIN“Reality.” “Truth.” “Human consciousness.” Lovely words. At the end of his career, Henry James wrote a story, “The Jolly Corner,” in which he offered an interesting metaphor for what fiction writers do with these terms. In the story, there is a room in New York — a city James left when he was 12 — which his protagonist (who has also left) keeps in his possession all the years. It is dusted and waiting. It is haunted, it is his.

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2 Responses to the stuff that won’t go away

  1. Shannon says:

    Quelminda read Middlesex when she was about 11, an amazing thing for a child that age, I think. I read it too; we had a kind of pact. It took me a while, because I have so little time to read, and because my eyes are bad, but it was good. It reminded me of how much I like to read, something I’ve done more of since I got the Kindle and can blow up the print — at least during the summer, when there is time. An interesting interview. Thanks.

  2. Jill Widner says:

    I haven’t read Middlesex. But I remember reading about Eugenides being in Prague for a writers’ festival when he found out he had received the pulitzer. Later that summer, the summer of 2003, I sent someone I knew and his two sons to the same hotel, the Hotel Josef, because I liked the sound of it and the thought of what had gone on in the rooms there.

    http://www.praguepost.com/archivescontent/37115-the-write-stuff.html

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