If you asked me what my novel is going to be about, I’d probably give you a synopsis of the plot. But if you responded, quite rightly, “No, that’s what seems to happen. What’s it really about?” I’d say it’s about memory.
For years, I’ve been mulling over the idea of what memory is and how we hold it, and what there is in our lives and families that is common to the experience of memory. It’s a little like trying to get a grip on a very annoyed trout in a bucket of baby oil.
Now comes the novelist Tim O’Brien, author of The Things They Carried, trying to get his own fists on the fish. In this brief and thoughtful video, he does it quite eloquently.
I was going to say something about memory . . . but I forgot what it was. Oh, yeah: Memory is a fleeting archive built of blood and breath and lasts as long as both materials are present.On second thought—as Eric previously surmised—this might just be patter. 😉
Well, perhaps. It was just a chunk of an extemporaneous interview. It didn't leave me clutching my laptop in a psychic maelstrom of hope for my craft. :-)It was patter, but patter on point.
I must be missing something. I found O'Brien's soliloquy neither particularly insightful nor eloquent. It was, to me, just patter.