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.
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: http://americannarrator.blogspot.com/