He’s the Mann

Was listening to the CBC today driving in between meetings and caught a snippet of what must have been Writers and Company. On it, Eleanor Wachtel was interviewing Carlos Fuentes who related a story about seeing Thomas Mann in a café in Zurich. When Eleanor asked Carlos what he had learned from Mann, he said that there isn’t such thing a “reality” in fiction — it’s all made up.

“The reality of literature is language and imagination,” he said.

What a nice sentiment! It’s very freeing. Literally anything can happen, if you let it. Makes me want to push my own “reality” a bit further out.

(I think I’m doing that somewhat, but I have that nagging feeling that I’m playing it too safe. Is that normal, do you think, for writers to fear that they are writing too normal, too boring? And if I don’t push it far enough now, with there be room to do it once I start getting some feedback? Will I even get feedback if it’s too boring to slog through, even as a favour to me?)


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