Mi-a apărut în Galileo recenzia romanului American Elsewhere de Robert Jackson Bennett, care devine rapid scriitorul meu preferat de fantastic american. Şi nu îmi place numai ficţiunea scrisă de Bennett, ci şi articolele lui non-fiction, ca şi acest eseu în care vorbeşte despre natura excesivă a romanului, despre Little Big, Cryptonomicon şi Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, şi despre geneza ultimei sale cărţi.
After all, when you think about it, most books – if not most art – are functionally unnecessary. And when I consider the usefulness and function of any single book, or even any scene in a book, I’m often reminded of a story:
It’s said that in Paris in 1783, when Benjamin Franklin watched two balloonists sail away into the air, a bystander scoffed, and asked what the use of such frippery could be; Franklin’s simple response was, “What’s the use of a newborn baby?”
Excessive novels, perhaps, explore big, unknown territories, and one must release quite a lot of balloons to see the whole of them – and though an author might not be able to argue that all their balloons are necessary, nor can they imagine doing away with a single one.