Pale Fire indeed

I think it was in Nabokov's novel Pale Fire that the author joked about a novel that would tell the story of a family from the perspective of a tree growing in the backyard. The snatches of life that a tree might "hear" or "observe" would comprise the narrative thread.

It was a good spoof of naturalism in literature and it is one that Civil War author Tom Wheeler needs to read. He's written a history of the Union war effort from the perspective of a telegraph line. The joke's now on him.