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family romance in aggregate

with 3 comments

Odd to think that one gets back to the time of Jesus, the climax of the Roman empire, via only 100 generations of ancestors or so. Am tonight imagining a book that would imagine into, at 5 pages a throw,  each one of them, likely the male ones for simplicity’s sake (ugh) in turn. Would require huge amounts of both research and guesswork, probably more of the latter than the former. I also imagine that much of the first 450 pp would be filled with something like the “gardening” sequence in The Life and Times of Michael K, except in the northern hemisphere rather than the southern. And then (from what I guess – I don’t really know who they were) a rapid shuffle from France to Soho to Quebec to Ontario, resting there for a bit until the last 15 pages, when we visit London (captaining a Lancaster bomber for the RAF) only to return to rustbelt Ontario, a veer (via a football scholarship) to Halifax, then New Jersey, and finally after circling around the northeast for a bit a jump back over the seas to London to… do what? Solve the problematique familiale once and for all? Drink in those Soho bars where the forefathers briefly worked or didn’t? Write this book in the Starbucks on Tavistock Square, a few blocks from the British Library?

Perhaps after this, that, and the other thing, on to something like this. Would take probably a decade, no? But would have nicely epical scope. Strange to think that no one’s ever done it, really. Or has someone?

Anyway, feel free to write me at the email address at the upper right-hand side of the page with offers of massive advances so I can quit my job and do this in less than a decade.

Written by adswithoutproducts

October 3, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Posted in aggregate, novel

3 Responses

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  1. The order of the generations could be randomised to create some non-linear variation, or perhaps sorted into thematic groups. Your idea reminds me of a poem cycle I read about several years ago, Fishermen with Ploughs by George Mackay Brown:

    Fishermen narrates the story of one village in Orkney, from its settlement in the 9th century by a tribe emigrating from Norway bringing seed corn, through witch trials in the Middle Ages, to nuclear disaster in the modern age, and resettlement by refugees who try to master low-technology agriculture”.


    October 4, 2009 at 3:52 am

  2. Will look into Fishermen! Sounds right!

    And the first bit is excellent advice, David. Just might be right. I’ll keep thinking about it.


    October 4, 2009 at 8:35 pm

  3. Thanks for the imformative blog.


    October 8, 2009 at 12:44 am

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