Linda Le

On over-writing, distance, fiction, theater, and film: A series of disorganized thoughts

Last night, I saw Black Swan.

Last night, I read Linda Lê’s The Three Fates.

Last night, I didn’t fall asleep until after 4am.

The first two things contributed to the last thing. I’m usually a very good sleeper. It’s one of the few ways I cope with anxiety: sleep. It is something I’ve trained myself to do since I was a kid. That sounds stupid, but I’m sure a lot of people here have problems sleeping. We’re an anxious lot, what else can I say?

Last night, while I was trying to get to sleep, I kept thinking about Linda Lê’s book. The Three Fates is a book about a two sisters and a cousin (the three fates) who want to bring their old father (called King Lear) from Vietnam to France to show off their successes. The three fates were whisked away from Vietnam before the fall of Saigon. Their father remained. The book is written in this hyper-stylized way, seemingly over-written, over-the-top, a fairy tale with characters unabashedly stolen from other literary works (notably: plays). What sticks to me with this book though is how over-written it is. Every sentence is excessive. If this were a fiction workshop, I’d write next to every single line: “Over-written.”


Craft Notes & Film / 16 Comments
January 7th, 2011 / 12:30 pm