- Robin Levinson King
- BBC news
It’s rare that artists want to talk about their love lives in interviews.
But the Canadian Emily Saint John Mandelauthor of hits like Station Eleven (“Station Eleven”, which was made into a mini-series), The Glass Hotel (“The glass hotel”) and his latest work The Sea of Tranquility (“The Sea of Tranquility”), insists.
On the weekend, Mandel posted a message on social media asking for help updating his marital status on the page describing your person Wikipedia.
The user-edited online encyclopedia said she was married, but she’s actually not. She divorced her husband last November.
But when the Canadian author tried to correct the page, she found herself in a bit of a “Kafkaesque” situation.
“It turns out you’re not really the expert in your own life when it comes to Wikipedia. You need a second source,” he told the BBC.
“I just hit a brick wall when I talked to the editor there and got that information,” he added.
ask for help
Interviews with the authors generally take place according to a publication schedule for the books.
And with the pocket edition of The Sea of Tranquility which came out last April, it could be months before the author has a chance to correct her marital status for the public.
So Mandel took to social media this weekend to see if journalists would ask him about his marital status in an interview.
“What I want for Christmas is for a journalist to write a story for publication (Internet only ok!) and ask me if I’m still married,” she wrote on Twitter.
The BBC was only too happy to help, as were Slate.
Now, the Wikipedia page dedicated to him contains the correct information.
Mandel isn’t the first person to have had to ask a second source to validate aspects of his own life.
In 2012, author Philip Roth wrote an open letter to Wikipedia that was published in the journal New Yorker, to correct an inaccuracy about the real-life inspiration for one of his novels.
It turns out that you’re not actually the expert in your own life when it comes to Wikipedia. You need a second source”
The Mandel Incident seems like something surreal that could have happened to a character in one of their own novels, which often deal with everyday life in catastrophic events, be it pandemics, time travel, Ponzi schemes, or even fame itself. .
In his latest book The Sea of TranquilityOlive Llewellyn’s character writes a book about a pandemic that is published just before a real pandemic breaks out.
Something similar happened with Mandel, whose novel Station Eleven from 2014, is about the near end of humanity after a pandemic.
The play became another best seller during the covid-19 outbreak and was adapted for small screen broadcast on the HBO Max streaming platform.
Mandel said he chose to write about his experience because it was “such a strange existential moment.”
“I don’t feel like I predicted anything. Pandemics are just something that happens, horrible as they are. But at the same time, it’s been an interesting and surreal experience to have spent so much time talking and traveling to write a book. writing about pandemics and then suddenly being real and having to compare reality and fiction,” he explains.
He also drew some of his bizarre real-life encounters for the character of Olive Station Eleven.
“99% of the time it’s great. I had a collection of surreal moments that I wanted to write about,” he says.
Perhaps his recent encounters with the internet bureaucracy can be material for his next book.
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