Happy Birthday, Jim Crace, born 1 March 1946
Three Quotes from Novels
- There is no remedy for death—or birth—except to hug the spaces in between. Live loud. Live wide. Live tall.
- There’s solace in the thought that I will never finish missing her.
- These are the stories that we tell ourselves and only ourselves, and they are better left unshared.
Jim Crace: On Writing
- I think I’m a traditional writer rather than a conventional writer. That’s what traditional writers would do. They’d be moralistic rather than ironic. There are ironic touches to the books, but my books aren’t half as ironic as most of the English canon—the English tradition of irony is the English writer’s way of being serious about serious things without seeming to be. So, by joking they can make solemn points. But I’m not at all embarrassed about being serious about serious things—because that’s what my books amount to—unembarrassed seriousness.
- But when I am working I am enraptured by the ancient and tested wisdom, playfulness and generosity of storytelling.
- I don’t want to check or ratify anything. I want to invent and I don’t want the non-fictional truth to get in my way. My novels are paintings not photographs. And I’m not interested in writing any novel that isn’t drenched in 21st sensibilities, whenever or wherever it’s set.
- I’m instinctively a schematic writer. I want to make moralistic points. I have a purpose. So if you encounter a stone on page one of the novel then you can be damn sure it’s not there by chance. It’s going to show up weighing down a metaphor, on page thirty, and it’s going to crop up again on page two hundred fifty with a moral attached.
- But I am aware that the world doesn’t exactly need my books. If I never wrote another word, there’d still be plenty of other stuff to read, and I would disappear with the merest sigh of regret from a handful of fans. I do quite like the idea of hearing that merest sigh of regret, so retiring while I am fit and well and still looking for adventures is an appealing prospect.
Crace is a contemporary English writer who has won a number of awards. His latest novel, Harvest, was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.
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