Writers Who Read
#44

5 November 2022

When We Cease to Understand the World

Agenda



  • Why We're Here

  • Literary Forensics
  •     - What do I bring?
  •     - What do I feel?
  •     - What do I notice?
  •     - What do I want to learn?

  • Next Month's Reading & Study


Why We're Here

We Writers want to improve our craft

by Reading like a Writer

through Literary Forensics training

we learn from each other

Roundtable Rules

Always refer back to the book

We practice active listening & serendipity

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but not every conclusion

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Introductions

What do I bring
to this book?

Meet today's author: Benjamín Labatut



  • Born in Rotterdam in 1980, Labutut grew up in
    - The Hague, Buenos Aires and Lima
  • Trained as a journalist
  • Writes in Spanish and English

  • Suffered an emotional breakdown he described in his previous novel,
       After The Light
  • Since then he has stopped reading novels

  • Lives with his family in Santiago, Chile, but spends as much time as he can in a cabin in the mountains, 3 hours from Santiago
  • Gardens at night
  •  

“Literature and science are just two of the ways in which we build our sense of the world.”
- Benjamín Labatut

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I feel?

What in the book elicited that feeling?

Every feeling and observation is valid...
but every conclusion should be questioned

We practice serendipity
- nothing is too crazy

Always refer back to the book

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

What do I notice?


  •    • Language and Grammar

  •    • Context

  •    • Point of view

  •    • Character & character development

  •    • Horizontal structure

  •    • Pacing

  •    • Layering of themes

  •    • Overall effect

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Stats & Background

  • Marketing: Historical Biographical Fiction, Biographical Fiction, Alternate History Science Fiction
  • Genre: Mediumform Worldview Factualism Miniplot
  • Print Pages: 193; Word count: 48,213
  • Reading Grade: 14th; Avg. wds/sent.: 25.93
  • Lexical Density: 47; Flesch Reading Ease: 50.02

  • POV: multiple; Person: 3rd; Tense: past
  • EXCEPT The Night Gardiner, which is 1st Person, present tense

  • Publish date: September 28, 2021
  • Publisher: New York Review of Books
  • Paperback: July 1, 2021
  • Audio book narr.: Adam Barr (5 hours 40 minutes)
  • Recognition: Winner an English PEN Award; Finalist 2021 International Booker; Obama's 2021 reading list
  • Writing When We Cease

  • Labatut says that this book is NOT a novel
  • He calls it an essay, followed by two short stories, followed by a novella

  • Prussian Blue is a factual essay except for its final paragraph
  • The following sections incorporate more and more fictional elements

  • He wrote the bulk of the work in Spanish, but The Night Gardiner he wrote in English

Literary Forensics

 

What do I bring?

What do I feel?

What do I notice?

What do I want to learn?

Writers Who Read: Coming Up
IN BOULDER

December 4: The Netanyahus - Joshua Cohen (USA, 2022)

Required reading: The Spell is Broken


Writers Who Read: Coming Up
IN 2023

All meetings at the Boulder Main Library
January 8: TBD - Note the date
February 5: TBD
March 5: TBD
April 2: TBD
May 7: TBD
June 4: TBD

Thanks to: Boulder Writers Alliance

Contact Gary: hello@garyalanmcbride.com
Literary Forensics Resources

Happy
Sleuthing!