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The Loss Library and Other Unfinished Stories Hardcover – Feb 15 2012


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Writing about what cannot be written Sept. 25 2013
By ANNE - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful insight into the writer's mind. It really is an "extraordinary book about both the nature of novels and the process of writing" to quote the dust-jacket. The honesty and clarity of Ivan's writing never fails to inspire me. Reading of his wrestlings with ideas and with characters or plots that will not settle down into novels is very informative and something not many writers ever share; a writer can learn from a master how to hone their craft.

Besides being beautifully and carefully written account of decisions made and expeditions into story abandoned, The Loss Library is a work of art in its own right. Each of the "stories" is different: some are dreamlike and surreal – like the Loss Library itself, others pragmatic and ironic. Some cast light on earlier fiction by Vladislavic who is surely one of the best writers living in South Africa at the moment.

The final paragraph says it all: "Not writing is always a relief and sometimes a pleasure. Writing about what cannot be written, by contrast, is the devil's own job. Yet words on a page make all things possible. Any line, even this one, may be a place to begin." Thank you again, Ivan for a unique book.


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