Wednesday, December 29, 2010


No amount of rereading can make this sentence better. Or even make it make sense.

"One day, the writer would recognize the near simultaneity of connected but dissimilar momentous events - these are what move a story forward - but at the moment Danny lost consciousness in Carmella's sweet-smelling arms, the exhausted boy had merely been thinking: How coincidental is this? (He was too young to know that, in any novel with a reasonable amount of forethought, there were no coincidences.)" - from Last Night in Twisted River

John Irving wrote that, a writer who once wrote my favorite book (A Prayer for Owen Meany). A writer who has said something to the effect of, I don't write well, but I rewrite well. Makes me wonder what the first draft looked like.

Other flinch-worthy moments include writing Italian accents like they were written for 60's pizza commercials: "Say-a no more, Dominic - we don't-a need to know why, or who you're running from!"  and awkward race distinctions like this (contrasting an Italian with a Native American): "Her olive-brown skin was not unlike Jane's reddish-brown coloring; her slightly flattened nose and broad cheekbones were the same, as were her dark-brown eyes - like Jane's, Carmella's eyes were almost as black as her hair."  Reddish-brown coloring? Really? 'Cause she's an injun?

Really? Really, John Irving? I'm still going to finish it. It's still John Irving.