Forum / Art, after all... and like guys used to say who had been to the 'Nam and came back, "Well, it ain't nothing but a thing, man, nothing... but a thing."

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    James Lloyd Davis
    Jun 11, 04:55am

    They call it fiction, 'cause that's what it is... but it is... and simultaneously... and quite often in fact... more true than true can possibly be. I've been putting together an anthology of short stories I've written over the years, both published and unpublished... and some of them go way back to a time when I was pretty damned naive about how far I could take these things, how far I could bend the rules before these stories broke like brittle sticks beneath my hands, how far I could push the boundaries and the words.
    I'm editing, now, these stories that I've chosen as my best... some that go as far back as 1972 and they have been away from my thoughts for so long that I don't even recognize the young man who wrote them... but that guy just made me cry. And I thought to myself, "Man, these things are so precious to me, I'd have to be an idiot to let anyone see them." But hey... they have seen them. Many of these stories, over the years, have seen the light of day. It's been sweet when people react with recognition... and there's enough scar tissue there that I no longer feel the lash of a critical tongue, so what the hell.
    I've nothing to lose.
    A hundred years from now?
    We'll all be dead, but what if one of these stories survives?
    Winds up all dusty and willing in an attic somewhere in Kansas?
    What if someone picks it up, reads it. Laughs or cries, sighs or weeps over something your dead hand had written decades before they'd even been born?
    Wouldn't that be something...

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    Mathew Paust
    Jun 12, 11:58pm

    One of my dad's favorite sayings whenever he caught us whining about something: "A hundred years from now it won't matter." And I had to believe him.

    But I wish I'd had access back then to your response to that question, JLD, which of course would involve time-traveling, and that's another kind of fiction. Yet, what if one of our stories does survive, and someone picks it up 100 years from now and reads it, and it moves them? Wouldn't that be something, indeed!

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    David Ackley
    Jun 13, 01:52pm

    Don't discount the power of chance, and its creative dynamic. Ali Farka Toure, the immortal Malian blues singer, had his career resurrected by the chance discovery of one of his old records in the discount bin by a blues fan. Melville was in eclipse for the latter half of life, and only gained fame, years after his death, in the critical re-appraisal of an English professor in 1925.

    A friend and I were once laughing about librarians obsessing about overdue books.

    "They're terrified that it might get lost," I said.
    "Yeah. God forbid that somebody might pick it up and read it," she said

    If your books get lost, may they be found.

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    stephen hastings-king
    Jun 13, 03:33pm

    I have an academic book out.

    When it was published it dropped like a pebble into a lake. Disappeared seemingly without a trace.

    That bothered me because the project was a lot of work and the topic remains important to me even as the gambit that to some extent informed it, that the academic "theory industry" would veer left once deconstruction fell into itself, did not happen.

    Because of that I figured: Well. There we are.
    And I thought about other things.

    But every so often I hear about the independent life it's having out there in the world. It's doing well among the people I hear from or about who have stumbled across it. That pleases me greatly.

    So you never know. And that is a very good thing indeed.

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    James Lloyd Davis
    Jun 15, 12:48am

    Amen... amen... and again, amen.

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    James Lloyd Davis
    Jun 21, 03:16am

    I took down all the stories that will appear in the anthology. Thanks to everyone who's given me feedback over the years. Y'all were a big help and this place was always very good to me.

    Iechyd da !!

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