Each man kills the thing he loves. And so the vandalism continued, over many an evening, with me editing and rewriting this once perfect story, slashing and burning, twisting, demolishing, with all the respectful deference of a wrecking ball in a cathedral, until gradually, over the span of my teenage years, every trace of McGahern was bludgeoned out of the text. Sierra Leone had become Glenageary. The story had been desecrated, but at least the resulting ruin was mine.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Imitating to Learn
Joseph o' Connor on how he learned to write by rewriting a famous short story by John McGahern: