Word to your bacon

contemp late

No story can be fully described, because the description would have to duplicate the story, and this is an impossibility. A story is only a story, not an abstraction, and it is the ultimate source of all writing; but since “the ultimate source of all writing” is a description of the inexpressible, which leads to making unreal distinctions, in order to speak of it we’ll call it “a story.” Once we single stories out and treat them as distinct from other stories, we find the idea of their opposite. Readable, for example, once distinguished, suggests its opposite, unreadable. A good story, when we think about it, is naturally opposed to a bad one. In fact, all distinctions naturally appear as opposites that get their meaning from each other. “Too abstract” and “like a teenage diary,” “holy fuck, another zombie,” “So what u cut n pasted your banal emails,” “didactic and obvious,” “talking animals doesn’t mean you’re a magical realist” “over earnest and shitty”-all derive their meanings from their opposites. Therefore, the thoughtful writer accepts how it is as how it is.

In seeking to grasp what it is, he does not devote himself to making distinctions that are then mistaken to be separate existences. He does not point out differences, he writes. A story exists, and he sees that nothing is gained by representing what exists by a description, a lesser, diluted existence. If someone interprets the story, he does not trust that interpretation as being equal to the actual story. If no distinctions of superiority and inferiority prevail among indie and mainstream, novelists and flash fiction authors, old fuckers and those annoying 20 year old blogger types, they will devote their attention to the stories rather than to rivaling one another. If no special value is placed on a writer’s awards, other writers will not covet them. If one writer doesn’t appear to arouse envy, other writers will remain satisfied with things as they are. Since this is so, the wise editor doesn’t choose to blackball genres of writing but satisfies the writers’ inner needs. He does not write rejection or acceptance letters. Stories contain nothing over and above the stories themselves. In a story, all nature originates, all conflicts are settled, all disturbances are quieted. No matter how many stories are written or read, more come. To look elsewhere is foolish.

Craft Notes / 3 Comments
July 8th, 2012 / 2:23 pm