diary / by Edward Mullany


If it were possible to write a novel in which there were no characters, but only a setting, with weather and the elapsing of time, so that, in order to maintain a reader’s interest, the writer would have to make do without any conflict except that which involves, I suppose, the resistance shown by objects to their own deterioration, the way a table must settle under the weight of a pile of books, for example, or how a fence on an acre of farmland begins to sag so incrementally that no one notices until the fence can no longer be righted, and eventually must fall, or be toppled…yes, if it were possible to write such a novel, without any conflict but that which I’ve described, though I’m not certain that what I’ve described is even conflict, as both a table and a fence are manmade, and thus are imbued with a resistance that isn’t their own, but rather is that of the design dreamed up, or intended, by the individuals who put the materiality of these objects into their current form, so that they might not be resisting anything, these objects, but are merely abiding by gravity, or the conditions of their molecular structure…but yes, if it were possible to write such a novel, where no characters could be found, not because characters aren’t interesting, but rather because they don’t comprise everything that is interesting, I guess I would try to write it.