Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Appeal of Fiction

Today I:
  • had a bowl of cereal for breakfast with a cup of genmaicha tea and soy milk
  • am drinking Earl Grey

When I am bored at work, I cruise knitting/craft blogs, literary blogs, on-line yarn stores and read the news. I read about as much news as knitting blogs, from various sources. I like to compare and contrast. For instance, lately I've been reading Yahoo! News, BBC News (International Version), and Indymedia (Lebanon, Israel).

If you don't want to be upset, don't click on those links. I was so upset yesterday by what I read and saw* that I almost didn't go to S'nB. I really don't want to talk very much about politics here, so I'm going to talk about fiction.

What does fiction have to do with politics, aside from the obvious cynical answer? Well, the realities of the world drive me to fiction, for one thing. If you take a look at my SRP book list, I'm not reading heavy fiction, no siree. No The Grapes of Wrath, no The Heart is a Lonely Hunter for me. (Not just because I had to read them in high school.) Real world events are heavy enough, thank you very much. (I also like "light" movies.)

But I can't always escape into satire, chic lit or British cottage mysteries. Which brings up my vivid imagination. Often, I image other worlds where things go the way I want them to go. What would have happened if Native Americans weren't conquered by European colonists? What if it was possible to sense if someone is lying? What if wishes came true? Next thing you know, I'm figuring out a plot for the idea, fabricating domino effects and doodling outlines on Post-It notes.

Yes, human brutality will make a person write fiction.

Yesterday, I:

  • had a bowl of cereal with soy milk and jasmine green tea for breakfast
  • ate two bean burritos for lunch
  • drank a lot of tea
  • had miso soup with udon noodles for dinner
  • drank a soy White Russian
  • talked to my boyfriend/ partner/ whatnot about Japanese
  • had a bag of chips and soy decaf latte at S'nB
  • read more from Collapse (which doesn't exactly help the mood)

*images of dead Lebanese children taken by an AP photographer


Jeanette said...

If you could see when people were lying, would that include "lying" by ommission? I like the idea of escaping into fiction. Sometimes it is the only way to make it through.
Well, that an hand knit socks that is...

wenders said...

I'd love to hear your thoughts on Collapse. And have you read anything by Harry Turtledove?

Jonathan said...

Hey heyyy, I like your new layout!

Lissy said...

Thanks for attempting to make this post "Lissy-safe." Except for the asterisk.

thanks for the drawings. i think art is a world well worth escaping into.

arianna said...

i definitely think the JET program is the way to go, if you do choose to teach English there. i don't know of any people (personally) who have had bad experiences with it.

and haha yeah, i don't quite see Japanese = Polish-Italian, but hey, who CAN account for who they're attracted to?! :)

teabird17 said...

The idea you have - what if countries had not been colonized - is one of the themes of a really good SF novel: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. A group of explorers, following a mysterious song that comes from another planet, goes there. The plot centers on total, utter misunderstanding between alien cultures - not Columbus- like, where one culture wants to conquer another - more like two cultures applying their concepts and givens to each other. It's well worth reading -
(and it's well worth dreaming that we weren't a conquering race) -