More Philippe Petit
Wednesday, November 3, 2010 at 10:58AM
Mark Scarbrough in Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin

As you may know by now, the man on the wire in LET THE GREAT WORLD SPIN is never named. We'll want to talk about this in our discussion: the ways that "real time"--that is, history--are offered up in the book as a frisson or perhaps merely background noise for something else, robbed of their "actuality" and turned into something new for the novel.

The book is in no way a "historical novel"--yet it uses history (in the sense of specific, recordable events) for its own ends.

And by doing so, it warps time in the way that fiction often does.

After all, isn't that one of the reasons we read? It is one of the few ways we can remove ourselves from our own timeline, our own narrative, our own story. It's not that we become timeless while reading. It's that we experience time in a different way.

Heady stuff, for sure. But here's another clip of Petit, this time on the indomitable Colbert Report:

The Colbert Report Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Philippe Petit
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes 2010 Election March to Keep Fear Alive
Article originally appeared on The Norfolk Library Book Group (http://norfolklibrarybookgroup.squarespace.com/).
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