Will our Reader have literary luck in beginning number seven?
Nope. He begins a book by Flannery but it’s a different title and different book. Once again, the Reader thinks he knows what to expect but is fooled. “In a network of lines that intersect” is about a successful kaleidoscope-collecting businessman who creates a cunning and complicated plan to avoid being kidnapped. Meetings with false mistresses cover the meetings with his real mistress, Lorna, from his wife, Elfrida. The decoy kidnappings do not protect the business man from being abducted. By whom?
Chapter  from the diary of Silas Flannery
“How many years has it been since I could allow myself some disinterested reading? How many years has it been since I could abandon myself to a book written by another, with no relation to what I must write myself?
Preach it Flannery. I mean, Calvino.
“Style, taste, individual philosophy, subjectivity, cultural background, real experience, psychology, talent, tricks or the trade: all the elements that make what I write recognizable as mine seem to me a cage that restricts my possibilities.”
Could it be that Flannery, I mean, Calvino would disapprove of the WEM wrap-up questions?
Flannery has a lot going on in this diary of his:
- two authors that write the same novel
- a cameo by Snoopy
- lines from the opening of Crime and Punishment
- fake Flannerys in Japanese
- the Koran
- electronically transcribed novels
- a visit from the Reader
- The book idea for “If on a winter’s night a traveler…”
Flannery’s words or Calvino’s?
“I have pondered my last conversation with that Reader. Perhaps his reading is so intense that it consumes all the substance of the novel at the start, so nothing remains for the rest. This happens to me in writing: for some time now, every novel I begin writing is exhausted shortly after the beginning, as if I had already said everything I have to say.”