Response to a Reader

I think your criticisms are correct [of the short story "Grisaille"]. On all counts.

Though you did fail to point out how unsympathetic a character Mooney was in all this. If Mooney-- as in "mooning" someone (yes, another one thinly veiled)-- was intended as a stand-in for me, I am being critical of myself in this characterization. Maybe I am. Or I was. I can't remember. The story was written years ago.

I do not think what I remember of you is very much like Devita and whatever you are today I know nothing about. Although 10 years ago when I lived in Paris and began to write it it was you and I in that first version and that was a very different story then. With editing and time the characters became something other. That Devita has never drunk scotch, sells furniture, is married, and has a pregnant wife (did you catch that?) is how he developed, and you didn't.

It's an early story of mine, and you may be right: it may be no good. I won't get into a discussion of truth and fiction, or what it means to be a true writer, or being a man, or even Chatwin, but I will say that when you try to create something you use the things and people and places you know about and then--and this is the exciting and the difficult part--you change them in different ways for an effect. This is the work of the imagination but it is also based upon some fact. While this story seems to have not worked out, you keep trying and you learn from the failures and you hope that with luck and harder work and better training you can achieve that thing you are after.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2.12.10

    Its all fiction, man.


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