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Childhood, Youth, Dependency

The story I wanted to write this week is not ready.
Childhood, Youth, Dependency

The story I wanted to write this week is not ready.

Originally, it was part of last week's story Thomas Thomas. But that story grew too complex, so I stripped it back to its narrative essentials and pushed the difficult parts into this week.

This week, those difficult parts have expanded and grown even more complex. So much so that finishing it in time for today's newsletter was an impossibility. Parkinson's law - the adage that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion" - was very much in play this week.

So, I'm giving the piece more time in the hope that, as it expands, some light will begin to shine through the gaps.

I've been reading Tove Ditlevsen's Copenhagen trilogy this week. She's a remarkable writer of memoir. Though the term autofiction did not exist when she wrote the books in the late sixties, it's a masterwork of the genre.

Autofiction is a blur of autobiography and fiction that matches a dedication to the truth with the stylings of a novel. Tove Ditlevsen somehow settles into this ambiguity whilst wielding the economy and concision of a poet.

She channels the experiences of a six-year-old, an eight-year-old, or a twelve-year-old with absolute believability. She describes the world and the relationships around her in different terms at each stage. As the book progresses, her voice evolves, invisibly. Her character evolves, invisibly.

That's one of the things I've been struggling with this week - that consistency of voice. Who knows what, when? And, more importantly: how?

I'll spend more time with Tove over the weekend and see what I can learn. This week I have been a better reader than writer. That's how it is sometimes.

Thanks for being here.