Monday, October 25, 2010

What's the Meaning of That Book, Anyhow?

The Maori of New Zealand have a name for a hill that translates as "The Place Where Tomatia, the Man with Big Knees, Who Slid, Climbed, and Swallowed Mountains,
Known As Land-Eater, Played on the Flute to His Love One." And that's rather like a novel. What's the name of that mountain? Well, it's this. To ask,
What does that name mean? is meaningless ... the name is irreducible. So too are the novel and the short story, irreducible names. 

I've often thought that if someone asked me what's the meaning of my novel Fair Warning, the only answer is: read it again.

-Pulitzer prize winner, Robert Olen Butler, in his book on writing "From Where You Dream," which is currently blowing my mind.
  

*Also, Part II of Dance Dance Dance is coming. Wednesday, hopefully. My editor's been on my ass about it all weekend. Ironically, he's not himself so timely when it comes to divvying up the old paycheques round here.

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