Ben has a new 80's nostalgia blog, Pop Rocks, Coca-Cola, & You.
The history of floods in fiction. This is from Laila Lalami, who is also interviewed for the piece. You might remember I linked to her last week when she talked about the unnerving coincidence of having written of a diastrous flood prior to Katrina. i bring it up again because of this new article's examination of the Flood in fiction and myth, its role not only as a destructive force, but a cleansing one as well.
I mentioned also the flood that takes place in the second book of my big, epic trilogy type thing. The flood - it's not really a flood but more like a dam break - is the result of an attack on a city that recalls 9/11, a kick-them-while-they're-down cherry on top of the diaster that eventually, and this is saying too much, allows for the opportunity for things to change. For the better. What bothers me, and maybe it won't down the road some, is the odd, bizaare conjunction in the story between these two baffling tragedies that I never intended, but readers will almost certainly suspect I intended, since it will be years from now when/if the novel is ever published. I meant this story to confront the issues I had with 9/11, not Katrina, but maybe the opportunity, for me, is in the waiting; maybe I have the chance now to examine what connections there are between the two, what they reflect about this country and our attitudes toward the different cultures within it.
Jay McInerney was writing a book before 9/11 that also mirroed, perceptively, what happened, and abandoned it. He talks about that, and Naipaul's recent statements about the death of the novel. Yeah. Turns out the reality TV craze has been going since the 60's - in literature. Novels can't cope with the real world as good as non-fiction? A hundred years from now, historians will look back on this kind of thing and wonder what the hell these people were smoking.