Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why Fiction?

"We demand windows. Literature as Logos is a series of windows, even of doors. One of the things we feel after reading a great work is 'I have got out.' Or from another point of view, 'I have got in'; pierced the shell of some other monad and discovered what it is like inside ...  In reading great literature I become a thousand men and yet remain myself. Like the night sky in a Greek poem, I see with a thousand eyes, but it is still I who see. Here, as in worship, in love, in moral action, and in knowing, I transcend myself; and am never more myself than when I do." 
~C.S. Lewis

Do you ever wonder why fiction exists-- why you write or read it? I love Lewis's take. Any additional thoughts?

16 comments:

  1. That's beautiful! I have not heard that one before. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. I love C.S. Lewis. He was so clever with his wording, and his imagination was unlike any other. Thanks for sharing this :)

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  3. Ah, so beautiful. Lewis was so wise. I think another reason fiction exists is that we are more easily able to portray truth in fiction than in non-fiction at times...we can mirror the truth and order of the world in a way that is beautiful and even primal; there is something inherent in man that recognizes the truth of stories.

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  4. Because real life doesn't have enough aliens and dragons and such?

    CS Lewis is amazing. Thanks for sharing that quote:)

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  5. Fiction is a means of walking a mile in the other person's shoes.

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  6. This is a great quote. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. So interesting! I really like the answers everyone has given so far. I'll add that fiction is fun!

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  8. He was brilliant. I completely agree. I feel the world opens more with each book I read.
    Catherine Denton

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  9. My fiction exists to woo women.
    Sincerely,
    Who Who

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  10. Hi Amy .. so true - our imagination is our escape. Truth can happen too quickly to record - so that can be fiction later on .. our minds are just wonderful resources to draw ideas together and create stories - we do it naturally all the time, when we talk ... Have a great weekend .. Hilary

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  11. I adore C.S. Lewis. Haven't read this quote before, but I will use it tomorrow on a quote page, so thanks! :)

    In "Shadowlands," the movie about Lewis and his wife where Lewis is portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins, a student of Lewis' suggests: "We read to know we're not alone." This is suggested in your passage here, though I don't know if that quote really came from Lewis' life. I've always loved that line, though.

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  12. C.S. Lewis is a genius. I'd never thought of it in such a deep manner. But I love that conflicting nature he describes. . . The escape that let's us be more real.

    Great quote!

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  13. That's interesting. I never really "thought" about it before. But yes, I think that's why I love to read and write fiction: to get out and experience something yet still remain myself.

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  14. very late in commenting on this one, Amy, but letting you know I linked over here . . . couldn't help thinking of this as I'd just had a philosophical "discussion" about fiction with the kiddoes. ;)

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  15. Maybe to allow us to live vicariously? I love his thoughts, too. I love looking out windows, and I'm a huge fan of movies. Great stuff, thanks for sharing! :o)

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