A Life: a novel about writing a novel

Steven Price

He still wished his life might resemble a novel. He was still young enough for that. He had wanted, he thought now, not only for a purpose, but most especially for a shape that might manifest itself; he had wanted for a sense of movement, of direction; he had outlived his beginning and desired whatever came next. He wished for what he had known in his childhood, but made richer, developed, brought to risk. No one is the narrator of their own life, he had observed once to Licy. A life is not a book, she had replied. Perhaps; but it seems to him now that there were shapes, patterns, echoes in some lives that could nevertheless be drawn out, made sense of, and in this way a kind of insight might be obtained. That was what he wanted, It could not be managed in the moment, only later, in just the way a narrative is shaped in a novel, by sifting through and selecting certain threads.

A life is not a book … perhaps. But what is reading a book? Living?

And so for day 2818

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