Thursday, April 20, 2006

Boone’s Lick by Larry McMurtry

The latest audiobook and an enjoyable one. I don’t think I’ll get the hard copy, but I’ll certainly get more McMurtry. Interesting thought at the end, when the narrator is looking back on the events of the story after many years, trying to make sense out of the events and the motivations of the people who created them.

Did Ma always prefer Uncle Seth to Pa? Did Pa wander the West for years hoping his brother would relieve him of his outspoken wife? Did Uncle Seth mean from the first to steal his brother’s wife? Did they all three know what they were doing, or half know, or just blunder on? I’ve pondered the matter for many years, but I confess I still can’t phrase it out tidily like you need to do with cases in the courts of law.

This seems to me a nice summary of both life and fiction. In life, do we all know what we’re doing, do we half know, or are we just blundering on? And the same in writing fiction. I don’t know about others, but in both categories I know what it mostly feels like I’m doing.

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