February 21st, 2016

Reading Desk

A completely unreal world

It is necessary to create constraints, in order to invent freely. In poetry the constraint can be imposed by meter, foot, rhyme, by what has been called the "verse according to the ear." In fiction, the surrounding world provides the constraint. This has nothing to do with realism (even if it explains also realism). A completely unreal world can be constructed, in which asses fly and princesses are restored to life by a kiss; but that world, purely possible and unrealistic, must exist according to structures defined at the outset (we have to know whether it is a world where a princess can be restored to life only by the kiss of a prince, or also by that of a witch, and whether the princess's kiss transforms only frogs into princes or also, for example, armadillos).

Umberto Eco

chiaroscuro and color

Swans, off-white, bob on the lake, which gleams silvery from the clouds. One has its head tucked back as it sleeps; one is preening, so its head can only sometimes be seen.

The median dips down into a valley, and so the hawk perched on a tree there is level with the cars streaming by, as it watches with a stern gaze.

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