« Hiya to Yannick and Smitty! | Main | Replies »

May 24, 2006


Dan Wickett

Wow! Thanks for that Yannick - sort of like a Director's Cut of the book. I can see both plusses and minuses for including such a scene, but think that you and your editor probably made the right call. I appreciate the additional info though.


This is a lovely scene and I'm happy to see it here. I don't know how I feel about leaving it out, but I certainly understand the reasoning (and think it's right) although it does, as intended, cast more light on how these women relate to the men in their lives.

I also just f-ing love that image of the dogs jumping up behind the glass behind him, like demons.


Hi Yannick! Thanks for being here.

Forgive me if Ed already asked you about this (I believe he may have; and Ed, sorry to show such poor impulse control as to not be able to wait 2 days for the Segundo podcast to listen for any Q & A on this topic), but I'd like to hear about the spoonbending. Smitty's talent for it is such a funny, elliptical, mysterious part of the book.

I also always like hearing what books authors like, find inspiring, or would recommend, especially if there are titles you think are overlooked or deserving of more attention.


Editor says: For a long time I actually didn't realize the time-jumping was even occuring; I just assumed I was misreading or the NYC academic calendar included three summer vacations each year or the dog had been reincarnated somehow. There are/were pretty good formal reasons for keeping that structure; I think we just decided the book was inherently quite dreamy, in terms of plot and tone, and I was worried a tricky structure would muddy the waters. Temporal twistiness often works better for the writer than for the reader, who doesn't have the advantage of knowing the plot in advance.

I can't remember why we cut that Me Mere part. I like it. I'm sure we must have had a good reason, right...?

Dan Wickett

Thanks for chiming in Eli:

"Temporal twistiness often works better for the writer than for the reader, who doesn't have the advantage of knowing the plot in advance."

I've never heard that expressed that way but it makes absolute sense to me.

And I love the fact that you'll freely admit to not remembering every decision of every book you've edited with your last comment. I'd have to assume since you both are fond of the section that you MUST have had some good reasoning to agree to axe it from the book.


Trying to respond to Yannick's post above but something seems to be snafu-y with the comment feature. So:

I am so out-of-proportion pleased by the spoonbending. I think from now on all the authors we entertain here at the LBC should have some super power: Jeff Ford, invisible! Gina Frangello, werewolf. Etc. So satisfying. And is it just me or does it seem incredibly easy to imagine Cormac McCarthy crumpling steel like paper in his fist?

Of course, if "Here They Come" becomes a movie, the spoonbending-superpower thing would have to come to the fore. Also, things would have to blow up, so there would be a scene where all the hotdog carts on a long avenue in New York exploded at once into balls of flame.

Meanwhile, Dan, like you I'm intrigued by Eli's line about what's more in service to a writer versus what's more in service to the reader. Such a difficult line to judge -- and so hard for a writer to know where it is. Where taking chances ("look at this beautiful elaborate chandelier of a structure I have created") becomes just "???"


Yes, Eli makes an excellent point about twisty structures and readers. It seems somehow related to me to the writing phenomenon of feeling as if you've just made something too explicit when you're writing (especially in a first draft). And then an editor or a reader says, You have to make this more explicit, because it's nearly invisible.


Yes, G., sez the author:

"What do you mean, the bell falling on the hunchback came out of nowhere for you? It was complete foreshadowed. Remember that scene on page 74, where they are in the garden, and the shadows of the flowers, some bell-shaped, faaall on the hunchback. How could you not get that?"

On the other hand, I've read some books where the author had something lovely and light and yearning going -- and then ruined it by explicity stating what's going on emotionally or whatever ("I was jealous and acted out."), which I got about 10 pages before. It makes me feel not trusted as a reader.

Again, a really freaking fine line.

Laird Hunt

If I'm not mistaken, Michael O. was paraphrasing Stendahl (about the mirror). Brian Evenson recently observed that anyone (author/carrier included) looking in a mirror being carried down the road is likely to get pretty dizzy. Maybe this is where defamiliarization takes root. At any rate, congrats on writing a marvelous novel (and to Eli! for editing it.)

Health News

I really appreciate the blog since the first time do I saw it. Now they have reached another milestone which lead us to report about it, and I think it's a great new... as the content of the text.

reverse phone lookup

This is one of the best essays I've ever read about the historical setting and the energy research brings to the writer.

The comments to this entry are closed.