Cover of Cleaning HouseIn order to preserve, protect, and defend the old ways of publishing, here is a digital reconstruction of a formerly real book, circa the last century. โฆ

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A photograph of actor Tom Hanks in character as Forrest Gump.

A photograph of actor Tom Hanks in character as Forrest Gump.

An Interesting Little Note

Text has become fluid, but facts remain fixed.

There is an extended metaphor at the end of Chapter 7 in Cleaning House about our housewife and her bonbons. There is a comparison of life to a box of chocolates, but I did not copy that idea from Forrest Gump. I was writing this book in 1979 as my senior thesis at Princeton, and Forrest Gump would not yet exist in the movies until a full fourteen more years would pass.

And then a strange thing happened on the way to researching who said what first and when for this little note. A site called Wiktionary reports that Haruki Murakami published his novel Norwegian Wood in Japanese in 1987 and in English in 1989 and once again, he describes life as a box of chocolates and Forrest Gump would still not appear on the scene for yet another six years.

A drawing of a box of Whitman's Chocolates.

โ€œYou know, theyโ€™ve got these chocolate assortments, and you like some but you donโ€™t like others? And you eat all the ones you like, and the only ones left are the ones you donโ€™t like as much? I always think about that when something painful comes up. โ€œNow I just have to polish these off, and everythingโ€™ll be OK.โ€™ Life is a box of chocolates.โ€

So, first my female protagonist, and then a Japanese man named Watanabe, and finally an actor playing an innocent savant all say the same thing every seven years or so. I just thought you should know. ๐Ÿ 

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