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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Five Questions: The Narrator

1. Why do you blog?
I think that I blog to test things out in a real environment. I can re-read new ideas myself, or I can share them with those familiar with my work and myself, but it is fascinating and valuable to see how writing is publicly perceived by “strangers” in a small sample population. At its best, blogging fiction has shown me what people didn’t understand, has revealed gaps that need bridging in the trans-Atlantic English-divide, has even offered plot-line suggestions – an amazing kind of support.
That plus I really enjoy discovering new writers, and blogging has been wonderful for that.

2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
OK, it sounds like a cliche, but yes, James Joyce, especially Ulysses, but really everything. He taught me to trust invention, to trust experimentation, to trust authentic voices. But also, early John Dos Passos (Three Soldiers, the USA Trilogy), Peter Hoeg (Borderliners, A History of Danish Dreams), Seamus Deane (Reading in the Dark). I hate genre fiction – I read slowly and with great difficulty (a dyslexic from way back) – and if I know what’s going to happen, why would I bother? So I read authors who surprise me.

3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
Rubies in Crystal
Lionne at:
Richard Lawrence Cohen at:

4. Why do you read fiction?
To shift myself in time, place, and/or world-view. For me fiction has always worked better than anything other than conversations with people different from myself. Better than non-fiction, better than film, better than television. Great fiction allows me to clothe myself in other realities and other personalities.

5. What makes you laugh?
The world. It could make me cry, but I’d rather laugh at the absurdity, drink a pint, and tell stories.

Ira Socol blogs at The Narrator, which can be found here:

One Response to “Five Questions: The Narrator”

  1. Brenda says:

    Ira Socol is one of the best writers posting on the NET. Stylistically, his work is nearly perfect and continually astounds me. He manages, through action, memory, description to convey complex situations and characters. One never gets a sense of judgment of the characters in these often complex situations by the narrator of the piece, only compassion. He writes prose but his writing, without a word of excess, always overflows into poetry. Despite posting rought drafts for a book, his posts are encapsulated and complete in themselves – while knowing the broader sweep helps, it’s not necessary.

    While it is wonderful to see that he has included my blog in his blog readings, his site is one of the best in the blogosphere and I would highly recommend him to anyone.