You return to that earlier time armed with the present, and no matter how dark that world was, you do not leave it unlit. You take your adult self with you. It is not to be a reliving, but a rewitnessing.
The silence of Jaelin Brewitt understood them all. His minimal stepping out the door saying he would be back the next day. And he would be back not before the next day. All three of them talking for hours about things like the machinery of the piano, fishing, stars. This year, he told Bolden, there is a new star, the Wolf Ryat star. It should be the Wolf Star Bolden said it sounds better. It sounds better yes but that’s not its real name. There were two people who found it. Someone called Wolf and someone called Ryat, Jaelin Brewitt said. There was that story between them. Later both of them realised they had been talking about Robin.
We were language’s magpies by nature, stealing whatever sounded bright and shiny.
…from Salman Rushdie‘s imperfectly perfect novel, The Ground Beneath Her Feet, which I hesitantly allow to be considered the greatest “music novel” ever, instead of Coming Through Slaughter, if only because Vina Apsara is the sexiest female character in literary history, which makes perfect logical sense thank you very much shut up.
While I have used real names and characters and historical situations I have also used more personal pieces of friends and fathers. There have been some date changes, some characters brought together, and some facts have been expanded or polished to suit the truth of fiction.
…Michael Ondaatje, at the close of his first novel, Coming Through Slaughter. How come when he says that phrase, “the truth of fiction,” it sounds magnificent, but when I do, I sound like a middle-aged hippie dad painting watercolors on an easel in the backyard shirtless in socks and short shorts?
I wish for all this to be marked on my body when I am dead. I believe in such cartography – to be marked by nature, not just to label ourselves on a map like the names of rich men and women on buildings. We are communal histories, communal books. We are not owned or monogamous in our taste or experience. All I desired was to walk upon such an earth that had no maps.
I carried Katharine Clifton into the desert, where there is the communal book of moonlight. We were among the rumour of wells. In the palace of winds.
Y can’t make up its mind if it’s a vowel or a consonant, can it?
…David Mitchell, my third favorite author, who may one day vie against my second, though who will need to write something seriously sexy before upjumping my first, but who has already hurdled my fourth, yet is perhaps the only person in the world who loves a word, not any word, mind you, but “a” word, as much as said fourth, in this LA Times interview, which isn’t nearly as “good” as, though is probably more honest than, this interview in that magazine for people who, you know, love to love words more than they actually love words themselves, but who likely don’t, unlike my third and fourth favorite authors, know the sound of your tongue rounding a corner.