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  • Lance Mannion
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Great questions. Four and Five, I can answer of the top of my head.
Your answer to 'why you read fiction' is that sometimes you want the truth. I always want the truth. Only in the last few years have I accepted the idea that you can tell the truth, whether embellished, whipped up to go down light and airy as a frozen dessert souffle, or as straight-up as an elaborate talker like me can tell it, too much. A class of maniacs exist in that fat book of mental illnesses who require treatment due to compulsive truth-telling. It's an acknowledged sickness, which says a lot about our culture.
I have realized, finally, that some people, admirable for their other traits, really can not deal with the truth. It infuriates and embarrasses them, or even undermines their reason for being. Having accepted this, I've discovered that when I read what these people write, on blogs, in emails or even birthday cards to me, I can see the truth, plain as fiction, awkwardly bleeding through the plainest salutations.
I love fiction and regard it as one of the most beautiful and true (substitute real, if you want) art forms.
As to what makes me laugh, almost any time anyone catches me lying to myself, when I was really buying my own bullshit, I laugh unable to stop myself. using all this "truthiness" as my guiding belief makes me a giddy fool when my children or husband or even a co-worker implies I've ventured beyond the pale. Catching my husband doing the same thing makes me laugh the same way. We live by the same guidlines. Fiction and sometimes non-fiction showing the same labyrinths intended to soothe one's amour propre (I should never try throwing French idioms around; most likely the spelling is wrong and even as I write them--since I never attempt pronouncing them unless stupid-drunk--I feel myself putting on airs.)
Evelyn Waugh makes me laugh, too, but most sharp comics getting their timing into written words, send me who-know-where, for however long.

Sunny Jim

As someone who has spent 2 1/2 decades gazing awe-struck at the confoundingly bad writing of high school students, a visit to your blog is a daily pleasure and great fun. I appreciate its literary slant, film and cultural criticism, storytelling, Hudson Valley and New England history, and progressive politics. I'm sure that in saying this I echo many of your readers' feelings as well, and hope that your blog will remain on my Top Dozen Favorites list for a very long time.
Best wishes.

Doug K

"Like asking a fly fisherman why he wades out into an icy cold stream in the grim pre-dawn light on a bitter morning in early spring"
I don't blog, so I'll answer this one instead.. as the t-shirt says, 'I'd rather be.. right here, right now'. It's a good way to be here now. To quote a younger self from a long-winded whimsy,
"Why so simple a thing as catching a fish and experiencing its terror should place me so solidly, centrally, in being alive, I don't know. I am saddened that I need so much violence to live."

Q4: exactly. I'm reading Laurens van der Post 'Story like the Wind', he's a hopeless old romantic but so am I, the fiction tells a tale I want and believe to be true.

Kevin Wolf

Being a blogger, I could not resist writing my own post on this.


Blogging is the expression of our emotions and our thoughts. It's sharing experience and receiving some pieces of advice. It's just personal enrichment.

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