(from my old tumblr account, june 17, 2012)
it may be worth noting that right now i am in mantel-land, reading-wise. i really couldn’t wait months (let’s just say months, the thought of another year, or gulp even longer, makes me wince) for the novel to be done before getting my fix. i’ve been waiting too long already. i seized BUTB the week it came out, but made myself re-read WH before diving in. halfway through now and it’s good. it’s very good. though the closer we get to cromwell’s end the sadder i feel.
i’m always nervous reading fiction when i’m working on a project. i read andrea barrett’s voyage of the narwhal a month ago, and i felt enriched but generally unaffected by her prose, perhaps because stylistically it’s not strikingly different from that of my novel. for these books, however, hilary mantel has a very particular style and voice she’s using; i’m starting to feel it in my head when i try to write, i have to push cromwell aside now when i sit down to my own work. mantel’s stylistic choices are intriguing, but i’m not sure they’re 100% successful, and they’re not what i’m trying to do with my own novel.
however, her depiction of henry’s court, and european politics, have made me squint more closely at what is admittedly a slipshod political economy in my own narrative. something to revisit. A has suggested looking at russian politics for ideas: yet more research, but at least it has a focus now.
also, i’m kind of wishing we had named our cat cromwell.