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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Samuel R. Delany on What Story Is

"[W]hen the reader moves his or her eye from word to word on the page—that’s what a story actually is. What the language calls up in your mind can also make you think in a rich and vivid manner. How it makes you think about what it evokes, including its place in the world.... And how it makes you think about it must be supported by certain discourses. If those discursive models are rich enough, they inculcate the sophisticated idea of discourse itself.... 
"Frequently, those discursive models are in conflict with simpler discourses."
-- Samuel R. Delany, The Art of Fiction No. 210 [Paris Review Interview by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah]

Comment:  Interesting how one defines what story is, creates what one sees as value in writing.    It is by such definition that writers are dismissed as "Philip Dick, another entirely middlebrow writer."  I quote certain writers not always because I agree but because I find it interesting to ponder.  I often find myself having to switch gears in how I read certain writers because of what aspects of narrative they prize over another.

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