See also "The Complete Angler" by Donavan Hall (@theangler)

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Literary Expansion

It’s the nature of the blog as a literary form to document some kind of work in progress or to chronicle a chain of events which form part of a project or planned activity.  A blog should have some focus or theme in order to appeal to a reader who shares a common interest with the blog writer (blogger).  And the narrator of the blog should be someone in whom the reader can take an active interest.  The reader of blog pays attention because they care in some way about the narrator and the project.  More often than not, the reader’s interest is a personal one.  Because of the commenting mechanism, readers of a blog feel as if they are in communication with the narrator and their text becomes part of the textual tapestry of the blog.  The reader, in this sense, can be a coauthor of the blog.

The project I’ve taken on here (for the purposes of this blog) is to read the Target novelizations of Doctor Who in order.  But I’m not reading these books in isolation or exclusively.  I’m also watching episodes of Doctor Who and I’m reading other books, some are related, like the Black Archive series and the classic Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text by Tulloch and Alvarado, and some are not obviously related, like the two novels by Rafael Reig I read recently.

Many times I’ve thought about writing a books blog.  Fashioning myself as one of those independent literary bloggers who goes out into the wild in search of lost books to then bring back and present to the world.  I’ve never followed through on this idea because I didn’t think there would be much of an audience for that sort of project.  But it’s too easy to think of reasons not to do something.

I found these novels by Rafael Reig quite by accident.  I just happened to see a post on Twitter and then followed a few links.  When I saw that Reig had once written for a blog called Hotel Kafka (my other reading project for 2016 is to reread all of Kafka’s novels and stories) and that one of his novels was called Blood on the Saddle which combined SF elements with cowboy Westerns, I was hooked.  I had to find out more.  So I ordered Blood on the Saddle and A Pretty Face, the only two of Reig’s novels which have been translated into English.  How I wish I’d studied Spanish!

Blood on the Saddle is the first of a series of novels which revolve around a private detective named Carlos Clot.  Clot narrates Blood on the Saddle, but is relegated to a cameo role in A Pretty Face which is narrated by the murder victim.

Now, I don’t want to write book reviews.  My principle project for this blog is a study of story (plot) structure.  The Doctor Who novelizations (of the classic series) are examples of nearly raw story.  The characters in Doctor Who are devices who act in service of the plot.  Modern Who shifts from this action-adventure mode into action-drama which focuses more on characters and their development (change) across a story arc.  These two novels by Rafael Reig are more relevant to this study of story than I thought they would be.