Saturday, June 21, 2008

"A kind of inevitable rotary way"

At the Guardian, Colm Toibin has an altogether lovely piece about what is certainly my favorite James novel, The Golden Bowl. (Hmmm, I've been thinking I want to reread that, this is another prompt...)

It is almost a pity to excerpt a piece that is so good as a whole, but here's an especially stimulating bit:
This is all a novelist needs, nothing exact or precise, but a configuration, something distant that can be mulled over, guessed at, dreamed about, imagined, a set of shadowy relations the writer can begin to put substance on, changing details, adding shape, but using always something, often from years back, that had captured the imagination, or mattered somehow to the hidden self, however fleetingly or mysteriously.

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