The author invisible

From recent conversations with readers of Going with Gabriel, it seems that people generally assume writers are expressing their own views through the mind, the eyes, the words and the actions of their principal characters. This may be the case with many writers but I hope not in my own.

Yesterday my blog focussed on world population, which is the main theme of Going with Gabriel besides being the factor behind the (previous) central activity of the book's Dr Gabriel Nicolson. I have to point out that my own feelings as author on the subject of population control are completely irrelevant. In fact I often wish that novels be published without any author's name or biography whatsoever. It is surely only the work that really counts in terms of the personal enjoyment by and benefit to the reader. Why else would he / she spend their hard earned money on it? Who has not been disappointed by the latest effort of a one novel a year author previously so successful a deliverer of said enjoyment and benefit?

Accordingly I always try to make myself, as writer, invisible within the book. I try to write entirely through the eyes of my subject, be he a pop singer or a catholic priest or an arab sheikh or whether she be a 19 years old snooker player or an aging hooker.

This is a part of what Samuel Taylor Coleridge said on this subject in a letter in July 1802 ... 'It is easy to cloathe Imaginary Beings with our own Thoughts & Feelings, but to send ourselves out of ourselves, to think ourselves in the Thoughts and Feelings of Beings in circumstances wholly and strangely different from our own .... who has achieved it? Perhaps only Shakespeare .... (A great poet*) must have the the Ear of a wild Arab listening in the silent desert; the Eye of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an Enemy upon the leaves that strew the forest; the Touch of a Blind Man feeling the fce of a darling child.'

* For poet read writer

... Even if one's reach will always fall short of one's grasp, that's no excuse for not reaching, I think

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