Monday, May 22, 2006

On Finishing War & Peace

Tolstoy's a great writer, of course.
If you want to imagine what it's like to have a horse
Shot out from under you, he's your man.
Still, I'm not a fan.

He's anti-plan.
In other words, say a character has a notion
To get something done, and tries to put in motion
A plan to make it so...
Well, once you've read War & Peace, you know
That plans never work.
Historical conditions
Jerk them into a state
Beyond all recognition.
Better just to wait
And flexibly adapt.
That way you don't get slapped
Around by fate.

But none of this is true.
After all, plans do
Often succeed.
And when I sit down to read
A story,
I glory
In characters who can get things done.
Which nobody does in this whole damn book. So for me it wasn't fun.

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