mercredi 14 juillet 2010

John Irving, THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, Ballantine Books, New York, 1998 [1978]

It was, in Garp's opinion, the cheapest reason to read of all. Garp always said that the question he most hated to be asked, about his work, was how much of it was "true" - how much of it was based on "personal experience." True [...] as in "real life." Usually, with great patience and restraint, Garp would say that the autobiographical basis - if there even was one - was the least interesting level on which to read a novel. He would always say that the art of fiction was the act of imagining truly - was, like any art, a process of selection. Memories and personal histories - "all the recollected traumas of our unmemorable lives" - were suspicious models for fiction, Garp would say. "Fiction has to be better made than life," Garp wrote. And he consistently detested what he called "the phony lineage of personal hardship" - writers whose books were "important" because something important had happened in their lives. He wrote that the worst reason for anything being part of a novel was that it really happened. Everything has really happened, sometime!" he fumed. "The only reason for something to happen in a novel is that it's the perfect thing to have happen at that time."
(p. 457)

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