Monday, November 11, 2013
If you like non-fiction, Ms. Malcolm is tops. Her newest book, 41 False Starts is a fantastic collection...
'...it really isn't for me to say who is good and who is bad, who is noble and who is faintly ridiculous. Life is infinitely less orderly and more bafflingly ambiguous than any novel, and if we pause to remember that Madge and Bunny, and even George and Gerald Duckworth, were actual, multidimensional individuals, whose parents loved them and whose lives were of inestimable preciousness to themselves, we have to face the problem that every biographer faces and none can solve; namely that he is standing in quicksand as he writes. There is no floor under his enterprise, no basis for moral certainty. Every character in a biography contains within himself or herself the potential for a reverse image. The finding of a new cache of letters, the stepping forward of a new witness, the coming into fashion of a new ideology - all of these events, and particularly the last one, can destabilize any biographical configuration, overturn any biographical consensus, transform any good character into a bad one, and vice versa.' - Janet Malcolm on the Bloomsbury group.
True of life as well as biography I'd say.
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