Join Ursula K. Le Guin as she explores a broad array of subjects, ranging from Tolstoy, Twain, and Tolkien to women's shoes, beauty, and family life. With her customary wit, intelligence, and literary craftsmanship, she offers a diverse and highly engaging set of readings. The Wave in the Mind includes some of Le Guin's finest literary criticism, rare autobiographical writings, performance art pieces, and, most centrally, her reflections on the arts of writing and reading.
The Wave in the Mind 1 csillagozás
But there’s no such thing as pure invention. It all starts with experience. Invention is recombination. We can work only with what we have. There are monsters and leviathans and chimeras in the human mind; they are psychic facts. Dragons are one of the truths about us. We have no other way of expressing that particular truth about us. People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.
Nothing comes from nothing. The novelist’s “ideas” do come from somewhere. The poet Gary Snyder’s finely unpoetic image of composting is useful here. Stuff goes into the writer, a whole lot of stuff, not notes in a notebook but everything seen and heard and felt all day every day, a lot of garbage, leftovers, dead leaves, eyes of potatoes, artichoke stems, forests, streets, rooms in slums, mountain ranges, voices, screams, dreams, whispers, smells, blows, eyes, gaits, gestures, the touch of a hand, a whistle in the night, the slant of light on the wall of a child’s room, a fin in a waste of waters. All this stuff goes down into the novelist’s personal compost bin, where it combines, recombines, changes; gets dark, mulchy, fertile, turns into ground. A seed falls into it, the ground nourishes the seed with the richness that went into it, and something grows. But what grows isn’t an artichoke stem and a potato eye and a gesture. It’s a new thing, a new whole. It’s made up.
Deliberate, conscious control, in the sense of knowing and keeping to the plan, the subject, the gait, and the direction of the work, is invaluable in the planning stage—before writing—and in the revision stage—after the first draft. During the actual composition it seems to be best if conscious intellectual control is relaxed. An insistent consciousness of the intention of the writing may interfere with the process of writing. The writer may get in the way of the story.
The exercise of imagination is dangerous to those who profit from the way things are because it has the power to show that the way things are is not permanent, not universal, not necessary.
I think it is a mistake to think of story as simply moving forward. The rhythmic structure of narrative is both journeylike and architectural. Great novels offer us not only a series of events, but a place, a landscape of the imagination which we can inhabit and return to. This may be particularly clear in the “secondary universe” of fantasy, where not only the action but the setting is avowedly invented by the author.
To fuse author and character—to limit the character’s behavior to what the author approves of doing, or the character’s opinions to the author’s opinions, and so forth—is to lose that chance of revelation.
On the lowest plane, genre offers the kind of reliability hamburger chains offer: If you pick up a Louis L’Amour western or the eighteenth mystery in a series, you know what you’re going to get. But if you pick up Molly Gloss’s The Jump-Off Creek, a western, or Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, a fantasy, or Philip K. Dick’s The Man in the High Castle, a science fiction novel, although each reliably fulfills the obligations of its genre, it is also utterly unpredictable, a novel, a work of art.
All of us have to learn how to invent our lives, make them up, imagine them. We need to be taught these skills; we need guides to show us how. If we don’t, our lives get made up for us by other people.
Hasonló könyvek címkék alapján
- E. M. Forster: Aspects of the Novel ·
- Marjorie Garber: The Use and Abuse of Literature ·
- Northrop Frye: Anatomy of Criticism ·
- Lajos Egri: The Art of Dramatic Writing ·
- Stephen King: On Writing 92% ·
- Gail Carson Levine: Writing Magic ·
- William Strunk Jr. – E. B. White: The Elements of Style ·
- Nancy Kress: Dynamic Characters ·
- Lawrence Block: The Liar's Bible ·
- Ben Bova: The Craft of Writing Science Fiction That Sells ·