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There’s an immense dramatic possibility in describing that universe. The books, for me, were an enormous relief in that sense of how they were written to allow primary emotion, elemental emotion, to matter enormously but to give the thing an extraordinary flow so you don’t notice at what point that you’re actually overwhelmed by this. There’s no showiness, at all. It’s the opposite of showiness. I think, if it was a painting, it could be very grey abstract, almost, with some lines and very, very beautiful. But you wouldn’t have a notion of where the beauty was.(Talking about the short stories of Alistair MacLeod, who he discovered while working on The Modern Library.)

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