Sunday, July 29, 2007

No such thing as nonfiction

Michael Ondaatje on the influence of film on his work:

Everyone in our time is influenced by film, and TV, and iPods. I think that it influences the speed of books a great deal. I’m not sure that I’m influenced by film, even though I’m supposed to be writing scenes. It’s in the editing of my books where a scene is created. I take editing very seriously. It’s a very detailed, careful element. I think some writers don’t appreciate the microscopic craft of the editing process.

And he says this on his narrative style:

My first books, including Running in the Family were about specific people. Then, by the time of In the Skin of a Lion, I was interested in more than one narrator. There’s a quotation by John Berger in the front pages of Skin: “Never again will a single story be told as though it were the only one”. That’s almost a political statement as well. You can’t rely on person “A” to give you the full truth of a story.

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