Monday, March 21, 2011

Why We Read Fiction (Quote)

This quote about why we read fiction spoke to me. Orson Scott Card wrote it for the introduction of the 1991 version of his book Ender’s Game.

Why else do we read fiction, anyway? .... I think most of us…read these stories that we know are not “true” because we’re hungry for another kind of truth: The mythic truth about human nature in general, the particular truth about those life-communities that define our own identity, and the most specific truth of all: our own self-story. Fiction, because it is not about somebody who actually lived in the real world, always has the possibility of being about ourself.

Later on in the introduction, Card writes about the “true” story:

The “true” story is not the one that exists in my [Card’s] mind; it is certainly not the written words on the bound paper that you hold in your hand….The story itself, the true story, is the one that the audience members create in their minds, guided and shaped by my text, but then transformed, elucidated, expanded, edited, and clarified by their own experience, their own desires, their own hopes and fears.

No comments: