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Writing for the Ages
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Barbara Klaser and Mark Terry made interesting comments on the subject of "Artistic Mortality"

I don't write for immortality. Don't know how you can. I sort of hope my kids will as adults--after I'm gone, I guess--pick up one of my books and read it and say, "It's a little like having dad in the room." Otherwise, well, I do my work, day to day, and figure the future will have to take care of itself."

I don't write for immortality. As a somewhat shy person, though, I think I write partly for self-expression, as an opportunity to think through and take my time saying the things I don't talk about. I actually think people know me best if they read my writing. Combine a need for expression with a vivid fantasy life and an aptitude for language, and it becomes inevitable that I write fiction.

Myself, I've never had the slightest ambition to write for immortality, to write The Great American Novel. Is that a damning confession? Does it indicate a fatal lack of seriousness?

I've always loved making up stories and enjoyed the challenge of manipulating words. My ambition has never extended beyond getting published and having my stories read.

Like everyone I have my own beliefs and opinions but the world isn't desperately in need of my advice. I have no great *Message* to bestow upon humanity. My sensibilities and insights are not superior to those of everyone else.

What a lot of us need, though, is an engrossing tale to take our minds off the world for a few hours. Which is what I hope Mary and I can provide occassionally.

As for posterity, as for immortality...I do hope that our books might linger in libraries for a few decades (until the writing of this era becomes too dated to entertain much of anyone) so that after I'm gone, from time to time curious readers might find our work in the stacks, enjoy the stories and wonder why they never heard of us.

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