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Saturday, February 19, 2005

A novel idea

Normal Mailer wrote an interesting short piece on how creating a well-formulated novel has much in common with doing good reporting. He points to the importance of a good hypothesis as the critical element of any fiction that purports to represent some alternate reality. Any bad hypothesis will quickly get decimated by logical fallacies and inconsistencies, much like what happens to any journalist that starts to spin a story incorrectly.

After discarding all the other hypotheses, Mailer lands on this:
"I expect Cheney, for one, is in Iraq for one reason: oil. Without a full wrestler's grip on control of the Middle East oil, America's economic problems will continue to expand. That is why we will remain in Iraq for years to come. For nothing will be gained if we depart after the new semi-oppressive state is cobbled together. We will have gone back to America with nothing but the problems which led us to Iraq in the first place plus the onus that a couple of hundred billion dollars were spent in the quagmire."

Foreshadowing of Mailer's next manuscript perhaps?


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