Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #12


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Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #12

Unread postby Liz » Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:09 am

ONBC: What were your inspirations for the story?

GD: I don't think I really had any. That is, there are any number of books I've read that contributed enormously - G.M. Fraser's Flashman novels, Conan Doyle, Wilkie Collins, Proust, Robbe-Grillet, Burroughs, Coover, Austen, Patrick O'Brien – and things I've seen – Kubrick, Godard, Resnais, Lynch, Bacon, Velázquez, Alma-Tadema – the list goes on. But these are all very general, things I've loved, but not explicitly thought about when writing. I started the book after a strange dream, and then kept going (and going) to places I hadn't imagined.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #12

Unread postby ladylinn » Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:51 pm

How great to have such an imagination and then to be able put it into words on paper. I guess that is why some are talented novelist and others just story tellers (not that isn't a talent too). I am neither - but can take advantage of others' talents by reading their works. I wonder if at the beginning Mr. D. thought his strange dream was really a dream or a nightmare?

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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #12

Unread postby Theresa » Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:49 pm

That's great...that the main storyline of the novel was just pure imagination. (And a dream.) I've always been in awe of anyone who can write -- and to write characters from your own imagination is just amazing to me.

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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #12

Unread postby gemini » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:18 pm

Since I have no imagination at all, I am always happy to find that others find ways to create because I love to read. I am glad that dream was one of those that you could remember or we would have all lost out.
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Re: Gordon Dahlquist Q&A #12

Unread postby fansmom » Tue Feb 17, 2009 7:55 pm

From an interview with Mr. Dahlquist--

Since the courts in Manhattan are near Chinatown, I like jury duty, as it means a few days of excellent lunches, stalking the perfect dumpling. In January 2004, I was "lucky" enough to be selected for a three-week trial (at the very same time Martha Stewart went to trial in the next building over – we all had to walk past the 15 media vans to get to our courthouse), but New York was hit with a ferocious, sub-zero ice storm that went on for days, which made it impossible to wander in the way I had hoped. So we jurors were marooned for close to four hours each day in the jury room – it all promised to be grim. But the second night of the trial I had a strange dream, where a friend of mine appeared in the exact garb of one of The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters' three main characters, Doctor Svenson, and together we faced a mystery in a strange, dark, Victorian building – kidnappings, incantations, and a creepy upstairs room without a door. While I very rarely remember my dreams, the next morning I found this one percolating in my head quite vividly. But then, for no reason I can recall, I took out a notebook, and two strange things happened. First, I began to write a story in prose, instead of a play. And second, I began writing about – instead of the doctor, who I would get to almost off-handedly in another 100 pages or so – a willful young woman from the West Indies whose fiancé has abandoned her without explanation, making it up as I went along. By the end of the trial I had the first chapter, and I was hooked.

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