The question any novel is trying to answer is, Is life worth living? That’s a major question, a huge question, but the best way to answer it might not be to crank the novelistic universe into a crude, lurching motion by employing a big, inciting incident. Sometimes life provides only the tiniest of inciting incidents – that your left shoelace snaps within a day of your right one.

Nicholson Baker, The Art of Fiction #212, The Paris Review, Fall 2011

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