Thursday, August 06, 2009

Three true things

It's rare that I actually get to see the genesis of a meme. Kirsty's blog post of three true things she'd recently read in fiction really inspired me, and triggered a strong response from Genevieve of reeling and writhing and others too, and so this meme has emerged.

The idea is to post three true things you've read recently that are from fiction:

"They were a family of Anglophiles. Pointed in the wrong direction, trapped outside their own history, and unable to retrace their steps because their footprints had been swept away."
– Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things, p. 52.

"Our dreams have been doctored. We belong nowhere. We sail unanchored on troubled seas. We may never be allowed ashore. Our sorrows will never be sad enough. Our joys never happy enough. Our dreams never big enough. Our lives never important enough. To matter."
– Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things, p. 53.

Outside the playground, in the open park, with the hill rising up in front of him and the sky beyond it, he felt like walking forwards for a long time with his eyes closed, leaving everyone behind, in order, for a bit, to have no thoughts. For years, before his children were born, he seemed to have forfeited Sundays altogether. Now the poses, the attitude, the addictions and, worst of all, the sense of unlimited time, had been replaced by a kind of exhausting chaos and a struggle, in his mind, to work out what he should be doing, and who he had to be to satisfy others.
– Hanif Kureishi, from his short story 'Hullabaloo in the Tree'.

As you can tell, I've recently re-read The God of Small Things some 10 years after I first read it. And I have enjoyed more about it now.
I downloaded Kureishi's story off his website some time back and found it as I sorted through my desk this morning, and remembered how struck I was by it. So it pipped the Rushdie excerpt I originally thought to include. I've raved about Kureishi's story before. I actually found it hard to limit this meme to three true things, so I'll probably revisit this theme sometime.

I'm tagging Matthew Smith from Smithology (because I'm curious what truths he may find in the sci-fi he blogs about) and Mike Lynch from Nannygoat Hill.

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At August 06, 2009 1:12 pm, Blogger Kirsty said...

Excellent, Mark. Thanks for taking it up. I don't think I've ever seen the birth of a meme before myself.

Anyway, I'm not a parent, but the confusion and exhaustion in that Kureishi quote is palpable.

At August 06, 2009 3:30 pm, Blogger djfoobarmatt said...

This is not fair, you read real literature where as I limit myself only to technology and time-travel. Having said that, William Gibson once said that his science fiction is always about the here and now, he just transposes it onto the future and augments it with advanced technology so we can see ourselves in a new way.

At August 06, 2009 3:41 pm, Blogger Mark Lawrence said...

Matt, I hate to think there's a real fiction and a non-real fiction - all fiction is fiction, right? And I get pretty annoyed at people who value 'literary' fiction over genre fiction, or fantasy or scifi.

Don't you worry, I read plenty of fantasy and scifi (actually, I've been listening to my scifi lately, as with Cory Doctorow's podcasts) but those books are in boxes at the moment…

Besides, I reckon there more scifi that's harder to get into than anything else.

At August 10, 2009 10:01 am, Blogger genevieve said...

All of which poses the question, what on earth is Gravity's Rainbow? (Hey, another day.)

Lovely selections, Mark. I will tag the story to read, not sure if I've read it before or not. And I must reread the Roy sometime.


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