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Author’s Notes: Reading Backwards / And Go Like This

READING BACKWARDS “A foreword to the reader is an afterword to the author,” Anthony Burgess says in the foreword of his autobiography, Little Wilson and Big God. “The author knows what has been written, the reader has yet to find out. The author. . .sometimes stands at...

Tigers in Lavender

Some years ago I was watching the Bob Dylan documentary No Direction Home, produced by Martin Scorsese. There was a scene of Dylan on stage in London 1n 1965, possibly 1966 (I haven’t re-watched the film), that had been shot from a balcony, using what...

On Allegory: For Mythcon

I have been thinking about allegory recently, in no particularly rigorous way. Allegory is what I’d have talked about at Mythcon, and though the venue here might be a bit inadequate I will make some remarks that I hope are suggestive, or at least...

Native Advantage Questions

What do you do best? Conceive and create fictions that are real -- emotionally engaging and thought-provoking – and that draw on elements of the unreal for their power. What makes you the best? I somehow from earliest childhood had a facility for language: a...

Some Uses Of Narratives

Whether the current controversy about the lack of black nominees for major awards among this year's Oscar nominations is a tempest in a neti pot — a one-time statistical oddity on the path of real progress — or a genuine outcropping of pervasive and unacknowledged...

My Alices

[This little piece was first posted to LiveJournal long ago, and then appeared in the magazine of the Harry Ransom Center in Austin, Texas, where my papers are lodged.] A critical (best sense) reader of my work once wrote an entire essay about allusions to and...

TIGERS IN LAVENDER 4

TIGERS IN LAVENDER  4 Meanwhile Lance and I together and separately did become filmmakers, and did work in film (almost all in 16mm) that we are proud of:  but it was documentary films we made, not dreamy and impossible fantasy.  Among the things we learned in this career was that the...

The Former End of the World

Because I have been doing research for a novel that takes place at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, I’ve been thinking a lot about what I have come to call the Former End of the World: that time when we lived with the...

History at UCDavis

On April 11 I will be at the University of California at Davis, to deliver the annual Eugene Lunn Memorial Address in History. The title of the adress is Transformations of History in Fiction, a topic close to my heart and mind. My own books will get...