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E. L. Doctorow

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There is no longer any such thing as fiction or nonfiction; there’s only narrative.
New York Times Book Review (1988-01-27)

E. L. Doctorow

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To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative — the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.

Umberto Eco

For something like forty years I've been getting various sorts of narratives off my chest without being able to hit upon a classification for them. There's something dreary to me about the publisher's arbitrary division of every word written for publication into fiction and nonfiction. My writing has a most irritating way of being difficult to classify in either category. At times I would find it hard to tell you whether the stuff is prose or verse. Gradually I've come up with the tag: contemporary chronicle.

John Dos Passos

When you review an exhibition of paintings you don't compose a painting about it, when you review a film you don't make a film about it and when you review a new CD you don't make a little CD about it. But when you review a prose-narrative then you write a prose-narrative about that prose-narrative and those who write the secondary prose-narrative, let's face it, must have once had dreams of writing the primary prose-narrative. And so there is a kind of hierarchy of envy and all those other things.

Martin Amis

Science fiction rarely is about scientists doing real science, in its slowness, its vagueness, the sort of tedious quality of getting out there and digging amongst rocks and then trying to convince people that what you're seeing justifies the conclusions you're making. The whole process of science is wildly under-represented in science fiction because it's not easy to write about. There are many facets of science that are almost exactly opposite of dramatic narrative. It's slow, tedious, inconclusive, it's hard to tell good guys from bad guys — it's everything that a normal hour of Star Trek is not.

Kim Stanley Robinson

[W]e hear a very different narrative from Barack Obama and the Democrats than we do from Mitt Romney, with Mitt Romney's narrative being usually harsh, scary, selfishness on steroids, and the Democratic narrative being warm and fuzzy and we're all in this together, let's just wait for things to get better.

Mitt Romney
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