Hello, I’m Thomas Fuller, writer, though I’m no more who you think I am than you are.
When I came into the world it’s said that my mother, a writer herself, had prayed for a lawyer; I disappointed her, failing at math and sciences. It was through that failure though that I was thrown into the realm of literature, of trying to make words sound better than they really are, becoming a salesman instead. It was here that I found my voice (whatever that is), and prospered as much as a novelist who writes old-fashioned experimental fiction can prosper, a writer per force being a creature for whom failure is the measure of the man or woman writing.
I, Thomas Fuller, have written two novels—Monsieur Ambivalence (2014) and The Classical World (2018). Both books seem to me now not to have been written by Thomas Fuller at all, but by someone else pretending to be Thomas Fuller, a distant relative perhaps, a cousin I met once at a funeral or a family reunion who left some trace element of their being behind for me to remember them by. Did I really write a book about a man trying to sit quietly in a room by himself for one hour? Was that me who told the story of another man traveling through the Mediterranean asking the questions the ancients asked, what is love, what is truth, what is justice?
Authorship is slippery: the trick, I’ve learned, is to become comfortable with your failure and never let it down. I could write under a thousand different names and the writing would still come down to me, and then, at last, to the few intelligent readers to whom it makes little or no difference who the writer is, and who believe in the writer’s success as much as the writer believes in his failure.
And anyway I’ve reached an age in which I’m just beginning to see that I’m not a failed writer at all. I write, I believe in writing, I believe in writing so thoroughly that when I write I try to write the truth but through truth’s fiction, in a style that is completely invested in the fiction it’s presenting but whose voice leaves at least a little doubt.
That’s me, Thomas Fuller, writer.