July 07, 2004

New Novel/Blog Game

From a long, interesting John Holbo post ostensibly on Kendall Walton's Mimesis as Make-Believe (but actually about why his daughter is not an author of fiction--she flunks on point 3):

Tove Jansson has a Moomintroll novel (anyone remember which one? [it sounds like Finn Family Moomintroll--MW]) in which one character tells a ‘story’ that runs, in its entirety: “There was a water-rat named Poot.” That's not a story.

How about this: a work of fiction must contain at least one non-stative verb. And of course, given such a rule, what we need is a novel that breaks it, and is perhaps more natural than the novel without verbs that everyone was on about a little while ago.

(Blog posts without non-stative verbs, at least outside direct quotations, are arguably pretty easy. Arguably because I'm not even sure I know what a stative verb is.)

Posted by Matt Weiner at July 7, 2004 01:11 PM

Thanks, Matt. The connection with my Zoë story posts didn't even cross my mind while I was writing, but obviously it's all been rolling around up there together. Funny.

Posted by: jholbo at July 7, 2004 09:18 PM


This reminds me: Marah and I just moved, and we found a copy of a Moomins book that M. had borrowed from you. (And, shamefully, never read.) What's the best mailing address to send it to?

Have been enjoying the blog - but spending too much time on these things, so I may go an a diet some time soon!

Posted by: Kieran at July 8, 2004 10:40 AM

Hey Kieran--I'm in town at this very moment but it will probably be too difficult to manage to retrieve the book. Probably you shouldn't send it to Salt Lake City right now, since I'll be moving at the end of July--so you should probably send it to the UWM philosophy department:

Department of Philosophy
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
P. O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413

That way you don't have to wait till I move--you can send it right away if you like.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at July 8, 2004 11:25 AM

And yes, blogs can be fattening--though I hope this blog will cause people to say "Oh that Matt Weiner guy, I've heard of him somewhere," and then maybe read my application.

Posted by: Matt Weiner at July 8, 2004 11:26 AM