Saturday, March 1, 2008

Novelistic

A small press is showing interest in one of my novels. An editor has asked me for some revisions, which I've been working on all day--and last night since I couldn't fall asleep (for reasons to be discussed in another entry, once I can share them).
On the reading front, I've been luxuriating in Joyce Carol Oates' journal. Here's an excerpt written in March 1975:
"The novelist is an empiricist, an observer of facts . . . objective and subjective 'reality' . . . he must guard against the demonic idea of imagining that he possesses or even can possess ultimate truth. . . . The person who completes a novel is not the person who began it. Hence the joy of creation, the unpredictable changes, transformations, some minute and some major. As soon as the novelist stops observing, however, he becomes something else--an evangelist, a politician. . . . When one believes he has the Truth, he is no longer an artist."
She often mentions in the journal her husband, Raymond Smith, founder of the Ontario Review. I just googled him and was stunned to find out he died two weeks ago. They had been married more than 45 years.

4 comments:

sam of the ten thousand things said...

The closing sentence by Oates is powerful. I need to get this journal, Kate.

Hope the revision goes well for you.

Jo said...

How wonderful Kate, I hope you get your novel published. Have some stuff out too, keeping my fingers crossed! Like what Ellen said about Lawrence on her show. I think hate crimes need national attention. My daughter has been subject to three bullies since reaching middle school last year, one we had to deal with this week. I try to settle out of school, but parents refuse to believe, so the school is now handling it. We need to put a stop to it before someone lays a hand on her. THere is so much hate over stupid stuff, I can't fathom it. I'm ranting again! Good luck on your book! :)

Collin said...

Fingers crossed for the novel. :)

I hadn't heard about JCO's husband passing. Very sad.

Lisa Allender said...

I didn't know JCO's husband died.They were quite the couple!
The journal entry you posted is quite interesting--I get what she says here...I think as artists, we're all in SEARCH OF TRUTH, but yeah, as soon as you think you've "found" it, uh, that's religion. I think.