In her current blog entry, Swedish writer Inger Edelfeldt writes about the historical novel she once set out to write but abandoned. It was to take place in Milan in the 16th century. With fine self-irony, she describes her research efforts until finally, she gave up …
Jag är inte den sortens författare. Jag är lat eller nåt. Jag orkar inte ta reda på vilket skrå som stod i vilket gathörn år 1519, och vilket slags läder skorna gjordes av.
So unable to research the book, she abandoned it. (Even though, she writes, she really liked the first 100 pages she’d managed to write – which were set in the countryside and where she was more able to use her imagination.)
I’m the other way about
My situation seems in some ways the opposite. As a student of history (and one-time history teacher), I can’t stop myself researching. Whenever I come across a question, I have to go look for a true historical answer. It’s only when I’m satisfied that nobody knows the answer that I can let my imagination off the leash and dream up an answer or explanation.
Of course, writing the novel stop dead while all that is going on.
I am coming around to the belief that successful historical novelists have a genetically inherited ability to balance fact and fantasy.
Inger Edelfeldt’s author blog (på svenska) here: http://edelfeldt.blogspot.com/
Inger Edelfeldt’s English Wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inger_Edelfeldt
The illustration of Inger Edelfeldt speaking at the 2010 Bokmässan in Göteborg comes from Wikipedia Commons. It’s currently used to illustrate her Swedish Wikipedia entry here: http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inger_Edelfeldt
Revisited for SEO, spelling and an improved featured image 6 March 2017.