Found Document: James Salter’s Novel Naming Process


As part of James Salter month at the Paris Review , the journal’s blog has posted some of Salter’s notes and scribblings, documenting a little bit of his process coming up with the title for his 1975 novel Light Years. The novel is an exquisitely rendered, moving portrait of a disintegrating marriage told in beautiful sharp sentences, and like any other great work of art, it’s compelling for fans to see at least a tiny piece of the creative process. But even if you aren’t familiar with the work, it’s fascinating to watch Salter’s thought process play out on the page, to see his marked favorites and crossed-out options, to watch the sounds of the words shift and expand in his associations – ‘last’ becomes ‘lost,’ ‘light’ becomes ‘lies’ – careening towards the final title.

[via the Paris Review]