Monday, November 05, 2012

extracts from my notebook 6

"Did you move to Scotland for a woman?"
"No, for money"
"Oh, I understand. It's hard in Turkey. Everyone's wearing burqas!"
- American tourists to owner of Turkish restaurant in Inverness

Rowley died in 1806, leaving the estate in trust for his 5 natural children 'begotten on the body of Elizabeth Selwyn' and one sixth for his wife 'so long as she does not live in a state of co-habitation or marriage with any man and continues to take care of my said children'.
-From an article on early Stanmore history- a little cold

"He's at a funeral"
"Who died now?"
"Oh no, he's been dead two years"

In many cases, fiction over the last 35 years has eschewed the novel's traditional attempt to render depth, preferring to tell a story, which, instead of seeking to offer truth, deep meaning or philosophical belief, depicts particular aspects of the modern world refracted through the life experience of individuals.
-Peter Childs, Contemporary Novelists: British fiction, 1970-2003

"It's her brother? Hot.
So you're not really related?"
- Phone conversation overheard in Berkelouw Books cafe


  1. Anonymous5/11/12 23:02

    I liked the Inverness conversation - very often what should be conversations are just people talking at, or past each other. Talking past is probably more benign - nobody gets hurt. Talking at is more like a form of combat: - hence the unspoken thought: we're going to tell this Turk what we think of what we think is his religion. Not that I'm an apologist for it, but that's another story.

    1. I don't know what her intentions were really, but you are probably right about people's conversations.

  2. Do you think fiction's eschewing of depth is driven by the authors or by the readers? Or both/neither? Is it still an offer of a sort of philosophical belief perhaps?

    1. First: I should really put some kind of disclaimer that I don't necessarily agree with all the quotes I include here. But then again I did really like that one, so I guess my thoughts are that in a sense it does represent a philosophical belief, one that values everyday life as reflecting true meaning. I think the eschewing of depth as a broader literary movement is probably tied up with post-modernism, and I guess that would be author driven?

      For some reason I like the idea of 'shallow' fiction, that doesn't look beneath things for meaning but instead makes meaning out of things as they are. I'm not sure if that's what that quote was about, but I like the thought of it.