Archive for April 6th, 2014

The Incompetent Writer

Woolf One of the best things about writing / reading literature is getting the chance to return, after a gap of some years, to a work you once found really amazing, and, on re-reading it, find it even more amazing than before. It wasn’t that you were naive and easily moved; on the contrary, you couldn’t perceive, at least not fully, all that novel’s remarkable qualities. The passage of time, and the slow acquisition of greater skill, allows you to read more deeply, and be even more impressed.

I was lucky enough to have that experience a week ago. In our fiction class with the novelist Michael Knight, we were reading and discussing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway.

I first read Mrs. Dalloway in Taiwan, and at that time, I had not read a lot of classic literature. During my teenage years, I read almost entirely science fiction, fantasy, and horror, and in my early…

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