WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

When we write fiction, we’re talking to people in the future

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This hit me in a moment of warm clarity while I was soaking in our claw-foot tub last night. (It’s a good tub. Nice and deep. You sink in up to your nostrils and all kinds of thoughts waft through.)

The question, “Why do we write?” arises all the time in the minds of those of us who do, and this seems the best answer I’ve landed on yet. Whether we admit it consciously or not, we’re writing to communicate something to the yet-to-be. We’re depicting how it is now, what we’re enduring or enjoying, how we’re viewing the lay of the present land, what we’re afraid of, what we need. We might not quite know what it is we’re communicating, and readers in the future — even if only a year or two from now — might take something from our communiques that we didn’t intend. Like the graffiti at Pompeii, our novels and stories are the indelible writings on the wall that reveal who we are, or were.

(Photo by Mirko Tobias Schaefer)

UPDATE: Seriously. Read some of the Pompeii graffiti. It’s high-sterical.

 

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This entry was posted on May 28, 2013 by in Writing and tagged , , , , .
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