Sunday, May 21, 2017

Art is Humbling

"Do not only practice art, but get at the very heart of it; this it deserves, for only art and science raise men to the God-head. [...] The true artist is not proud, he unfortunately sees that art has no limits; he feels darkly how far he is from the goal; and though he may be admired by others, he is sad not to have reached that point to which his better genius only appears as a distant, guiding sun."  ~ Ludwig van Beethoven

Friday, May 19, 2017

Inner Space

"The inner spaces that a good story lets us enter are the old apartments of religion."
~ John Updike  (quote & photo from Joseph Durepos)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Poison Stories

“To poison a nation, poison its stories. A demoralized nation tells demoralized stories to itself. Beware of the story-tellers who are not fully conscious of the importance of their gifts, and who are irresponsible in the application of their art: they could unwittingly help along the psychic destruction of their people.” --Ben Okri
Ben Okri is a Nigerian novelist living in London. His 1991 novel, the Famished Road, won the Booker Prize. (Thanks to David Brown and Tonie Mwangi for this pearl of wisdom.)

Monday, May 1, 2017

"Myth is much more important and true than history. History is just journalism and you know how reliable that is."
– Joseph Campbell 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Story is Metaphor

"Stories are not just entertainment, not to me. A story records and transmits the experience of being human. It teaches us what it’s like to be who we are. Nothing but art can do this. There is no science that can capture the inner life. No words can describe it directly. We can only speak of it in metaphors. We can only say: it’s like this—this story, this picture, this song."
~Andrew Klavan, The Great Good Thing

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Spirit and the Flesh

Christ as the Suffering Redeemer, Andrea Mantegna, 1431-1506
The Italian Renaissance painter Andrea Mantegna has always been a particular favorite of mine. The clarity, the sculptural solidity, the vivid characters and colors, the careful detail (click HERE to enlarge) combined with epic scope, all put in service of a transcendent reality. It's a paragon of the "imaginative realism" I try to create in my novels. The stories walk that slippery line between the real and the ethereal, between the matter of the spirit and the imagination of the flesh.