Over the last few evenings I reread Tim Powers’s Declare — it’s a great adventure novel! — and was motivated by reread my original review of it, from 2011. (Maybe I’ll post it, and a new take, sometime soon.) While poking the corpse of then-me I was struck by a few of its
- My review — 3,500 words or so, written in a sitting! Jesus! — started stiffly, warmed, boiled over, got nutty, and coughed to a halt. My writing used to go this way all the fucking time. Nowadays I skip everything past the ‘warmed’ part, indeed often skip that one too.
- I had a way bigger beef with Catholicism a decade ago than I do now. Too big, too personal, too resentful. And not a big enough beef with Communism, I think.
- I’d forgotten almost everything about the novel’s second half; that’s what happens when you’re reading while your infant child naps. Indeed I’d been wondering, this week, if I had ever actually finished the book a decade ago! Turns out I did, and just retained nothing at all from its second half. Interesting how that works. Did I say ‘interesting’? ‘Sad,’ I mean.
- I was too confident at 32.