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The (Diblos) notebook

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Best known as a poet, James Merrill is also an accomplished novelist, and in The (Diblos) Notebook artfully lays bare the process of writing a novel. A young American writer keeps a notebook that records at one and the same time a series of events on the Greek island of Diblos in which he is deeply involved, and his attempts to transform these events into a novel. Everything that might be found in such a notebook is used here with great cunning: the false starts that end in the middle of a thought; the endless revisions, canceled out in the search for the right word or phrase; the many approaches and backtrackings as the writer seeks an entrance to the materials through several possible doors; the musings on how the material is to be treated; and the wrestlings with the problem of appearance and assumed reality. The author has written an afterword for this new edition of his 1965 novel. Hide synopsis

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