Sunday, May 26, 2013

‘Forty-One False Starts,’ by Janet Malcolm -

… ‘Forty-One False Starts,’ by Janet Malcolm - (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

What she found instead is that Sischy was, to put it simply, a good person: “a pleasant, intelligent, unassuming, responsible, ethical young woman.” Naturally, Malcolm concludes, “I . . . turned away in disappointment.”
The paradox is so familiar that it barely needs remarking: goodness, which we praise so highly in life, is infertile terrain for a writer, whether a novelist or a journalist.
Perhaps it also tells us something about Janet Malcolm, and maybe something about writers — and the rest of us. Just because it is hard to depict goodness is no reason not to try. In fact, you would think it would be the ultimate challenge.

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