Art is a captured emotion. When I say this I mean all artists, whether you are a photographer, a writer, or sculptor, you are trying to capture the way someone or something made you feel. As a story teller I am trying to captivate the audience and allow them to feel just a small portion of the emotion I am desperately trying to preserve.
Whereas life separates meaning from emotion, art unites them. Story is an instrument by which you create such epiphanies at will, the phenomenon known as aesthetic emotion...Life on its own, without art to shape it, leaves you in confusion and chaos, but aesthetic emotion harmonizes what you know with what you feel to give you a heightened awareness and a sureness of your place in reality.
It had been startling and disappointing to me to find out that story books had been written by people, that books were not natural wonders, coming up of themselves like grass. Yet regardless of where they come from, I cannot remember a time when I was not in love with them -- with the books themselves, cover and binding and the paper they were printed on, with their smell and their weight and with their possession in my arms, captured and carried off to myself. Still illiterate, I was ready for them, committed to all the reading I could give them ...
The pleasures of being a novelist are many. ? But the greatest by far is the manner in which I live through my characters; experiencing every detail of their story as it unfolds gradually and personally within my own creative psyche. ? I'm like a cat with untold lives, because each new book is my rebirth.
A necessary part of our intelligence is on the line as the oral tradition becomes less and less important. There was a time throughout our land when it was common for stories to be told and retold, a most valuable exercise, for the story retold is the story reexamined over and over again at different levels of intellectual and emotional growth.
Human stories are practically always about one thing, really, aren't they? Death. The inevitability of death. . .. . . (quoting an obituary) 'There is no such thing as a natural death. Nothing that ever happens to man is natural, since his presence calls the whole world into question. All men must die, but for every man his death is an accident, and even if he knows it he would sense to it an unjustifiable violation.' Well, you may agree with the words or not, but those are the key spring of The Lord Of The Rings
The drinking dens are spilling outThere's staggering in the squareThere's lads and lasses falling aboutAnd a crackling in the airDown around the dungeon doorsThe shelters and the queuesEverybody's looking forSomebody's arms to fall intoAnd it's what it isIt's what it is nowThere's frost on the graves and the monumentsBut the taverns are warm in townPeople curse the governmentAnd shovel hot food downThe lights are out in the city hallThe castle and the keepThe moon shines down upon it allThe legless and asleepAnd it's cold on the tollgateWith the wagons creeping throughCold on the tollgateGod knows what I could do with youAnd it's what it isIt's what it is nowThe garrison sleeps in the citadelWith the ghosts and the ancient stonesHigh up on the parapetA Scottish piper stands aloneAnd high on the windThe highland drums begin to rollAnd something from the past just comesAnd stares into my soulAnd it's cold on the tollgateWith the Caledonian BluesCold on the tollgateGod knows what I could do with youAnd it's what it isIt's what it is nowWhat it isIt's what it is nowThere's a chink of light, there's a burning wickThere's a lantern in the towerWee Willie Winkie with a candlestickStill writing songs in the wee wee hoursOn Charlotte Street I takeA walking stick from my hotelThe ghost of Dirty DickIs still in search of Little NellAnd it's what it isIt's what it is nowOh what it isWhat it is now
When we're the story, when we're part of it, we can't know the outcome. It's only later that we think we can see what the story was. But do we ever really know? And does anybody else, perhaps, coming along a little later, does anybody else really care? ... History is written by the survivors, but what is that history? That's the point I was trying to make just now. We don't know what the story is when we're in it, and even after we tell it we're not sure. Because the story doesn't end.
The 3 types of terror: The Gross-out: the sight of a severed head tumbling down a flight of stairs, it's when the lights go out and something green and slimy splatters against your arm. The Horror: the unnatural, spiders the size of bears, the dead waking up and walking around, it's when the lights go out and something with claws grabs you by the arm. And the last and worse one: Terror, when you come home and notice everything you own had been taken away and replaced by an exact substitute. It's when the lights go out and you feel something behind you, you hear it, you feel its breath against your ear, but when you turn around, there's nothing there...
Human beings across every culture I know about require such stories, stories with cool winds and wood smoke. They speak to something deep within us, the capacity to conceptualize, objectify and find patterns, thereby to create the flow of events and perceptions that find perfect expression in fiction. We are built this way, we create stories by reflex, unstoppably. But this elegant system really works best when the elements of the emerging story, whether is is being written or being read, are taken as literal fact. Almost always, to respond to the particulars of the fantastic as if they were metaphorical or allegorical is to drain them of vitality.