Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Vivir para contarla

I just finished Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Living To Tell The Tale, and once again I am in awe of this man, my spiritual writer-father. Apart from his usual dazzling turn of phrase, the manner in which he deals with time in this novel is nothing short of spectacular. Time is at his mercy, bending forward and backwards as he needs it to. This memoir (the first of three) begins and ends with the tangible texture of melancholy, without being maudlin. When I grow up, I want to be like him. Sigh.

Also beautiful, but tragically ruined by a staggeringly weak final fourth, is Jeffrey Ford's The Portrait of Mrs. Charbuque. His control of language and nuance is superb but his great flaw with his novels is how it all resolves (his Physionomy suffered from the same malady). His short stories on the other hand are generally superb, well-crafted masterpieces that challenge and move (best examples are "Creation", "The Green Word" and my all-time favorite of his "At Reparata") - as did the majority of the contents of his collection, The Fantasy Writer's Assistant And Other Stories(both books courtesy of Charles, the source of hard-to-find books. Both "Creation" and the collection won the recent World Fantasy Awards, and deservedly so.

With all the good writing going on, I feel recharged myself. And quite challenged to create. I'm all very proud of Nikki, who matched me work for work over my writer's holiday, generating an essay, a play and a short story, all well-written.

I hope my little girl writes too.

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