Old Moon

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Uses of Fiction Redux

The older I get (and to quote Wallace Stegner, "I get pretty old") the more I appreciate the resilience and courage of the young. Did we ever have those qualities to the degree we see in youth today? Thinking back on some of our hard times, illnesses, loss, and at least some privation, I realize we probably did. Why then is it so difficult to accept difficulties when they come upon our children? There is a blog with the title of "Canswercolumn.blogspot.com" Thanks to Glenda, I looked at what is an inspiring, albeit melancholy, read.

I've just finished reading Bailey White's Quite a Year for Plums. (I seem to get around to books rather slowly--this was published in 1998.) The string of what amount to vignettes about some unusual people in a very small and specific place makes the reader view their everyday lives as if through the wrong end of binoculars. Everything that happens, and nothing dramatic in the usual sense does, despite the clarity of its detail, seems to be happening so far away that it's hard to associate it with reality. When you reach the end of the book, however, the effects begin to take hold on your memory. They provide an antidote to some of the grand and awful affairs that are threatening to drown us all.

I have to view this as another validation for creative writing.

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