Authorial performances

Andrew O'Hagan, author of Be Near Me, asks himself which other artistic act writing most resembles:

Writing a novel is an act of self-annihilation as much as self-discovery. You can kill whole appetites and flood whole depths while plumbing them, but if you are serious about it you also get to put something into the world that wasn't quite there before. I've been asked which of the other arts novel-writing is most like, and I have come to believe it is acting. Of course, in terms of pattern it can be like music, in terms of structure it can be like painting, but the job to me is most like acting. You give life to these characters and you inhabit them at some cost to yourself, while also realising yourself in the process.

[Thanks to Maud Newton for drawing my attention to this delightful piece of theatricalism from The Guardian.]

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