“It’s a mistake to think people are creative. They don’t create anything. What they do is rearrange things.”
Novelist Mark Helprin interviewed 10-5-17 on the podcast, “The Avid Reader“.
Prior to that, he said, “You have to have models [to write about]. We have only what we are given in creation. We don’t create anything. All we can do is interpret it.”
He’s one of those superb writers who’s had an incredibly interesting life, like Louise Erdrich (with her 1/2 German, 1/4 Native, 1/4 French ancestry (talk about a cast of characters!)). Turns out that as a boy, Helprin lived in a Parisian house that had safeguarded a Jewish family in its attic for years. Imagine what those walls had to tell a young child!
It’s important to remind a person like myself that every life is interesting in some measure. And besides, my life, to use his logic, is what I was given.
He also talked about how often writers’ first novels are autobiographical. He didn’t think so at the time but now sees it to be true.
His new novel is the first he’s ever set in contemporary time. I can’t wait to read it.
Meanwhile, my antique-dealing neighbor who sold his house put even more treasures on the curb today. I snagged a triptych — with hinges that work in both directions! I’ve wanted one for years. I mean, years. Our family room has a large opening to the cellar stairs which acts as a conduit for cold air. The temperature issue’s been partly resolved by hanging one fluffy blanket over the cellar door and another over the dog gate. But still, I’m thrilled.
I’m going to make some collage packs for Newton Open Studios and include some of this gorgeous Chinese-scribed paper. If you, dear reader, would like to receive a collage pack, leave a comment below saying so and I’ll draw a name next week.