General

(International) Friends

My post yesterday on the U.S.A. and how it has evolved – and of course it will continue to evolve – also got me considering once more all of my many non-American followers and readers. There are lots of you. Literature, we like to think, should be without borders.

I admitted also on Instagram the other day that I kinda broke my resolution. I was not going to write anything for another novel for at least six months. But when an idea hits, you have to write it down… because otherwise it may vanish from your mind never to be heard from again.

It was not a huge thing, but it was something

The next is “germinating” in my thoughts.

[My five novels. The first three are grouped into the bottom single volume. Photo by me, October 2019.]

So another volume in that 1700s-1800s historical romantic adventure series will happen… eventually.

You may have also noticed those (top two) novels are written deliberately in a “passive” style and with period-appropriate English spoken as it was in the late 1700s and early 1800s:

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris, Copyright, 2017. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

They had to be written in that way or they would read as ahistorical and frankly ridiculous. But I do think about international readers’ command of English. I know that an “antique” English might now and then present some peculiar reading difficulties for a native English speaker… let alone for a non-native.

I do wonder too about international readers in terms of my basic subject matter. Will they grasp the various “Americanisms” that do riddle it? Yesterday, I joked also about the U.S. television show Friends, which I know is “big” among many who were not even alive when it debuted in the U.S. in the autumn of 1994. That may even include some of you.

Hinting again here, uh, at my age, I recall watching at least a few episodes – first run – alongside non-Americans. Separately on one occasion I had observed several international university students watching it in a dorm common room. Naturally, 19 years later I combined and fictionalized the experiences:

[Excerpt from Passports: Atlantic Lives, 1994-1995, Copyright, 2013. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

Notice too it being “modern times,” that is written in modern English.

Thus fiction is also art. It is not just words and a story. It is also how it is presented on the pages.

Oh, and speaking of REAL art, yesterday I had more of a read of a “great novel” I have been going through for about a year:

[Sunday reading for pleasure. War And Peace (1869). Photo by me, November 17, 2019.]

Interestingly the first time I had read War And Peace was back in graduate school in the 1990s. It was around the time that “Ross” (in Friends) was also in grad school.

This may be controversial, but I feel I must plant my flag fearlessly. He actually chose “Rachel” over “Emily”? I have always thought “Ross” was an idiot. LOL!

Have a good Monday, wherever you are. πŸ™‚

7 thoughts on “(International) Friends”

  1. Dear Robert, you raise serious questions. Indeed, I’m afraid that Americanisms are not so well-spread among us, IES (International English Speakers). You might add a special appendix in the end of your book…however it demands some linguistic spirit.

    Good luck with your new best-seller! It seems to me that all your novels are a part of a great literature set alike “War and Peace” are.

    Have a nice week! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh! Merci beaucoup, cher Messire E’crivian! πŸ™‚ Do my best. I’m not aware if you have read my update bio in WordPress. I have begun learning the Scottish Gaelic this year. πŸ™‚ As all the books are in old pretty English, I enjoy both languages. And how many foreign languages do you know?

            Liked by 1 person

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