Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Grace Napolitano: 1936—: Politician to Richard (Wayne) Peck (1934-) Biography - Career » Julia O'faolain Biography - Julia O'Faolain comments:

Julia O'faolain Biography - Julia O'faolain Comments:

aim narrative genre myths

I like fiction to be a Trojan horse. It can seem to be engineering an escape from alien realities but its true aim is to slip inside them and get their measure. Sly and demystificatory, it dismantles myths. This can arouse mixed feelings, for myths, though more interesting when taken apart, are grander while intact. But then ambivalence, it seems, is the nerve of narrative. Regret plus pleasure moves more than either can alone. Moreover, having grown up in a place where myth ran rampant, my native impulse is to cut through and past it.

(1995) Recently I have gone back to writing short stories, a notoriously tricky genre which should be able to condense enough light to burn through to the essence of things. I aim for realism and particularity, then try—nervously—to achieve a lift-off to some angle of vision from which my narrative will look different. The genre is prodigal in that it compresses what a novel would spin out, and risky, since it can misfire. When it works, there's nothing like it for catching the vibrancy of the evanescent. Just now the writers who seem to me to bring this off best are nearly all American and Canadian. A response to a need? Surely. The day they seize is so protean. Living, as I do, in London's slower tempo, I may be working against the odds.

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