Thursday, December 28, 2006
The Great AmCan Novel
That is a reliquary in the form of of the head of Emperor Charlemagne.
Cathedral Treasury, Aachen.
People don't always realize that our whole knowledge of ancient literature is largely due to the collecting and copying that went on, by order, under Charlemagne.
Part of being a writer is, I think, an observation of the millieu and those that occupy it.
Leaving aside the natural confidence necessary for a writer, how many secretly think they have written the Great Novel of This Era?
The claim is made, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes not, that every writer privately and profoundly believes that he or she has.
Since I began blogging, I think I've run across only a handful of proclamations of this sort - serious assertions of conceit, announcements of arrogance, assumptions of genius.
Are there many more, humbly cloaked but self-crowned, waiting for the appropriate time to fling off their social camouflage - muh-ha-ha - and reveal themselves above the rabble as magnus and majesty?
Have always assumed that most of the canaille are like me -we think, we believe, we've written a good novel, a publishable novel, a profitable novel - but are under no ambitious illusions that our work will shake the walls of western civilization like the trumpets at Jericho, that our name will reverberate down the long years as one of the Greats, or that the Smithsonian will want our brain and finger bones.
Your thoughts on this secret citadel?