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Mon Nov 23 06:00:05 PST 2009

theory than practice.  That is, I like the idea of Grant Morrison--
or, rather, the ideas of Grant Morrison, the ceaseless invention-- but
I'm not sure if I enjoy his work as a whole the way I do a story by,
say, Kurt Busiek.  But, boy, is he bristling with ideas, and I try to
bring that joy and some small imitation of that inventiveness into my
own work.

Right now, my obsession with all things Trollope is at full blast.  Of
all the Victorian novelists, he is my favourite.  I like how his
characters have a bit of fluidity about them, an ability to surprise
both the reader and the author, while still exhibiting characteristics
that are definitely "them".  Phineas Finn is always Phineas Finn, but
he's not completely predictable; witness the way he cracks under the
stress of his murder trial in "Phineas Redux", his optimism reduced to
bitterness.  Or Septimus Harding, whose decency and goodness inspired
my own recent decision to become a minister, but who is never anything
less than compelling and complex.  (Anyone who thinks "skeletons in
the closet" or "secretly, he's a fascist and/or pervert" makes for
compelling, complex, "adult", and "mature" characterization has never
met Mr. Harding.)

You also can't beat Trollope for the large casts of his novels or the
remarkable character names-- two areas where I'm subtly but
shamelessly trying to ape the master, though I know I'll never write
anything to match the Palliser books or come up with any character
names to match the likes of Sir Abraham Haphazard.


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