Saturday, October 14, 2006

Phantoms of the Imagination

From Italo Calvino's "Levels of Reality in Literature", collected in The Uses of Literature:
The preliminary condition of any work of literature is that the person who is writing has to invent that first character, who is the author of the work. That a person puts his whole self into the work he is writing is something we often hear said, but it is never true. It is always only a projection of himself that an author calls into play while he is writing; it may be a projection of a real part of himself or the projection of a fictitious "I"--a mask, in short. Writing always presupposes the selection of a psychological attitude, a rapport with the world, a tone of voice, a homogeneous set of linguistic tools, the data of experience and the phantoms of the imagination--in a word, a style. The author is an author insofar as he enters into a role the way an actor does and identifies himself with that projection of himself at the moment of writing.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Casey said...

Going to see this movie with Will Ferrell in it--Stranger than Fiction--this weekend? Seems apropos of something...

November 09, 2006 11:53 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

actually, I may see that movie, though I'm not sure when I'll get around to it... I saw a preview, and it looks interesting. thanks.

November 10, 2006 7:46 PM  

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