July 7, 2008

Poor company

Writers must be hard to live with. I know I certainly have been lately.

I've been preoccupied with my novel, which I've been repeatedly told is about 60,000 words too long. I finally got some professional advice about just which bits need cutting and which plot loopholes need plugging.

So I've been plugging away, as it were, which means I've been investing all my thought-time on a fictional world instead of the real one. I have no doubt it's been hard on the people around me, since it's rendered me nearly incapable of having a rational conversation.

This is an occupational hazard, I think.

In 1996, when Viking was preparing to release his translation of The Odyssey, Robert Fagles was interviewed by Paul Gray for Time magazine:

"Fagles recalls a day during his long labors on the Iliad when he was standing in line at a Princeton, New Jersey, bank. 'I suddenly thought, "Don't these people know there's a war going on?"' The Trojan War, of course."

I can relate, even though most of my preoccupation has had little to do with that 3,000-year-old war. Until I started working on this post, I'd only spent 15 or 20 minutes thinking about Menelaus and Agamemnon.

1 comment:

  1. we're all just looking forward to riding your coat tails!