“A novel is no different than graffiti in a bathroom stall, it’s just more pretentious.”

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All day long, while staying home to recover from my bout with SARS I have been watching TV, drinking Gatorade and ginger ale cocktails and posting obscure quotes by Daphne Gottlieb* on Facebook in an attempt to look as if I am far more refined than I really am and then having my wall say shit like this,

 “Supremest wisdom, and primeval love.
Before me things create were none, save things
Eternal, and eternal I shall endure.
All hope abandon, ye who enter here.”

Yes, like Dante. Am I doing that because I’m sitting there reading Dante while listening to classical music?

Sort of.

Well, no.

I am listening to classical music, and by classical music I mean Debussy’s Clair De Lune; Which I only know because of Twilight. Which is what Claude Debussy would have wanted because we all know what a schmuck for vampire romances he was.

When really I’m not reading Dante, I’m reading City of Ashes. Which, while it is a fantastic YA novel about demon slayers, faeries, vampires and werewolves, is not Dante. No matter how you slice it.

But I have noticed that several YA fantasy book use quotes from authors that are far superior in quality. What is that quote? Imitation  is the sincerest form of flattery. No, that’s not it.

Ah, yes. “Good writers borrow, Great writers steal.”†

Okay, so they credit the writers, so I guess it’s not stealing. But in a way it seems pretentious. As if having Robert Frost in your prologue will somehow enhance your story or the weigh down the  magnitude of its subject. I can’t say if these stories will be classics some day. I’m sure in its day, Pride and Prejudice was just another romance novel by a silly woman.

And who am I to be saying those things? Alas, it is but a writers torment to fight with this empty page and I cannot always control the words that pour out of me.

Or maybe I’m just being melodramatic, pretentious and an all over snot.

It’s possible.

*Please read the first poem on the page. It is my new soundtrack in my head, haunting and corse.

Title quote is Christy Leigh Stewart

 †Credit to T.S. Eliot

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