Wednesday, 18 April 2007
I've been enjoying this superb biography of Mark Twain, a writer who I've loved ever since reading Huckleberry Finn at school. It's incredibly detailed (I've only just reached the Civil War), but I like that in a biog. It got me thinking that, in the past (well, in the 19th century at least), there was far less of a line drawn between different types of writer, with all literature seen as being pretty much part of the same thing. OK, so Twain took it to an extreme (he didn't even make much distinction between fact and fiction, after all), but you get the impression that he wasn't exceptional. Was that a good thing? I think so. I like the idea of flitting from poetry to journalism to fiction and so on according to mood, even letting them run into each other.