Tuesday, April 24, 2012

When poets turn to fiction : Sina Queyras : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

Latest post over at Harriet. I find myself constantly wanting to apologize for not writing a big important boy novel about ideas, or a funny novel about a whimsical girl. Why is that? Everyone seems to have an idea about what a novel should and more emphatically, should not be.
Novels, to my mind, are a way to enter into the minds of people. They are a way of condensing worlds. Not necessarily replications of reality, but versions, slices, illuminations. And they are an opportunity to see the surface and also to tunnel under it. I want to see people in action, yes, but I also very much want to know what they are thinking. I want to see what gets in their way and how they handle it. And as Gertrude Stein points out in Wars I Have Seen, I want to hear about what they are eating, where they are walking, how they are sustaining themselves, what random thoughts appear in a flash, to aid or make more difficult, their journey.

When poets turn to fiction : Sina Queyras : Harriet the Blog : The Poetry Foundation

1 comment:

Peter Greene said...

Back to Harriet for another one! You know, you are giving them free traffic here.

Every time I start a short story these days, it turns into a poem. Poetry is just...quicker. Some people like to be teased along, with cups of coffee and suspense - some of us just like to get straight to the scenery and/or the end.

Maybe short-form poets are bad lovers.

And may Autobiography enjoy good sales, and yourself the rewards. I found for some reason that your discussion of purpose method and possibility re: 'the novel' made me think of Doris Lessing's Mara and Dann stuff. Weather anomalies, the death of children - these are possible links.