Friday 14 August 2009

Stories are a force that gives us meaning

"It is important to transfer the data that we have, and the data that we have from the past is often very slight and slim, to transform it into something that is real for us, into something that is experiential for us. And that is of course what I think literature does. It translates date, it translates information, information which we have so much of in our age, we are the great information age, but we are short on experience. Art translates information into experience. It turns facts, if you will, into fictions. And although our immediate notion is that when we're dealing with fiction we are all of a sudden removed from reality, the opposite is the truth. It is only when facts become fictions, when they become stories, when they become experiential, even if it's the experience of characters, that's the only time when they become real, that's when we realize what they are all about in the first place."

Arnold Weinstein in the Teaching Company's "Classics of American Literature - Introduction".

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