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This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.
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Friday, 24 January 2014
Last night I finished my sensational novel, "The Curse of Love", 50,000 words in exactly three months, with all my other work. The writing of it has enormously increased my facility, and I believe that now I could do a similar novel in a month. It is, of the kind, good stuff, well written and well contrived, and some of the later chapters are really imagined and, in a way, lyrical. I found the business, after I had got fairly into it, easy enough, and I rather enjoyed it. I could comfortably write 2,500 words in half a day. It has only been written once, and on revision I have scarcely touched the original draft. Now I want to do two short sensational stories - and then to my big novel.
I have been reading Balzac's "Old Goriot" in translation (Ellen Marriage). I find the amoral Vautrin to be the most interesting character, much more interesting than Rastignac. I think that I could create a similar sort of 'villain' in one of my novels at some time in the future. The Paris that Balzac writes about is less than 100 years in the past, and is convincingly portrayed, yet it seems impossibly archaic. This reflects the rate of social progress experienced in this century now drawing to a close. It is similar in that sense to Hardy's depictions of a rural world that was already a memory when he wrote about it.
Additionally for January 24th., see 'Layers' -
In becoming acquainted with people you uncover layer after layer. Using the word in my sense, one person may be the most distinguished of a crowd on the first layer, another on the second, and so on. Until after uncovering several layers, you may ultimately come to a person who, down below, is the most distinguished of all - on that layer. The final result may be quite unexpected. I suppose that the inmost layer is the most important, but each has its importance.
I think that I am a very layered person, and am likely to become more so as I get older. I don't think anyone has penetrated far below my surface and, if I am honest, I have no wish that they should.