Sunday, July 29, 2007

4:00 a.m.

I think the genre of historical fiction is often under-appreciated. I stumbled upon the Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George several years ago, and after the first few chapters was awed by the sheer scope of the work. Authors who write historical fictions must be patient enough to do all the research necessary for a biography, and yet clever enough to not just present the reader with a list of facts -- rather, they must tell a story with them.

I'm not necessarily saying that historical fiction is superior to a biography. One should not be used in place of the other, after all. Writers of historical fiction must supply motives, which are often based purely on guesswork and unsupportable by fact. I am saying, however, that I think using historical fiction as a testing ground for an era or topic before diving on into the history books is perfectly acceptable.

For example, I recently realized that I know almost nothing on the French Revolution. I read A Tale of Two Cities in high school, but that was about it. So I bought a historical fiction centering around Marie Antionette to see if my interest went beyond the basic.

We shall see. =)

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