Posted in Book Stuff

the poetry of taxation

“Imagine someone who wants to have a purely realistic and Aristotelian outlook and metaphysic and wants to avoid thinking of how some of the radical insights of Gödel, Wittgenstein, Davidson, Derrida and Deleuze might chip away at his system. The complexity of language and its nature of being contradictory and deconstructing are there all the time. . . . Sooner or later this person’s world view will have major problems. Our tax system wants to be a ‘modernist’ enterprise in an increasingly ‘postmodernist’ world.”


That is a quote from a letter written by Stephen Lacy, one of the accountants who corresponded with David Foster Wallace as he researched The Pale King, published posthumously. I’ve always wanted to write a novel about an accountant who was only superficially boring, but never managed it. I was an accountant in between my English degree and selling The River Midnight (which allowed me to give it up). People were always surprised by that.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

3 thoughts on “the poetry of taxation

  1. Wow! You are really amazing Lilian. I have several friends who are either bookkeepers or accountants and they have the most meticulous minds. Now I understand your super-powers of organization!

  2. I do find the idea of a sophisticated portrayal of an accountant appealing – it’s a job that could use a bit of a shake-up in image.I think that it might be too much to ask the accountant to be the main protagonist, but as a secondary character s/he might do a treat.

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