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  • Robert Bruce Adams

Gone With The Wind

I’VE BEEN ENJOYING A BOOK written by British author, Ken Follett, Fall of Giants. It is classic historical fiction, presenting stories of several families and their struggles and miscues in the 20th century. Aristocracy was under rebuff, and nascent change was in full force in the early decades of the century. The overriding theme has the characters struggling with the conflict between old-fashioned expectations and the new realities brought to the front by social unrest and new found freedoms. Victorian prudeness had happily been replaced in most societies. World War I became a backdrop to all this drama.

My fascination with the novel is Follett’s superb blending of historical “facts” with that of “make-believe,” forming a tale with such deep dimensions and, oh so real. The book is well researched and his riveting accounts of life got me reflecting on my own writing, realizing that everything comes down to interpreting events to form some account of reality.

I try to reveal truths but struggle with the accuracy of my point of view. My stories depend on my memory and, in my case, with very little research. Yikes, what are the real truths in my own backyard with the stories I’ve created? There are no rights or wrongs, just perceptions. Go for it, all the great authors have used their creativity to spin their tales and there is nothing wrong with make-believe.

Gone With The Wind, by Margaret Mitchell, is another example of this genre. My interpretation of the Civil War sprung from her make-believe characters. Honestly, I have never read the book. My recollection of the plot comes from the 1939 movie by the same name starring the famous actors, Clark Cable and Vivien Leigh.

Having four libraries, all gems within short drives of my loft, allows me such opportunity to use their valued bounty. On this day, in late winter, I will drive to one of them, and check out this great Civil War novel. This isn’t the story where a grapefruit is smushed in the leading lady's face, is it?

Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

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