Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Do you need a theory to write your next novel?

"Do I need a theory to write my next novel? I only know that literary theories do not upset me. At the end of the day, my journey through theory left a mark that time has not altered. The experimental novels of my generation in the Seventies, for example, are now widely reviled. Nevertheless I think they have left us with a residual theoretical knowledge that can do us no harm, and which it might have been important not to forget and which, in any case, luckily for us, has survived into the present and which, owing to the reflective varnish they add to our writing, prevents us from straying too far from the problems of the contemporary novel. ‘Everything,’ Marguerite Duras wrote, ‘belongs to literature.’ Let us take charge of some old theories, which might end up being very useful to us in the present. Let us make them ours, make them belong to us; let us not renounce them. Modern creators who flee from theory will find in this stance their first Achilles’ heel."

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