The Bookshelf: More on Tim O’Brien Re-inventing His Past

9 05 2008,,316753,00.html

QUOTE: What amazed [O’Brien], however, was that the man remembered hardly any of the incidents that had engraved themselves indelibly on the novelist’s mind. Nor did O’Brien have any recollection of any number of things he himself had apparently said and done. So you see, he concluded, you have to invent things if you want readers to believe what actually did happen. To make them feel anything like what you felt, you have to make yourself feel again.

And just by imagining stories that never happened, and embroidering upon some that did, O’Brien can bring it all back. He can feel the terror and the sorrow and the crazy, jagged laughter. He can bring the dead back to life. And bring back the dreaming too.



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