Yellow Rose

There are I believe two very disturbing kind of ‘mistakes’ to make in fiction:
– to put in your characters’ mouth your words, thoughts and emotions
– to put in your characters’ mouth your readers’ words, thoughts and emotions


How difficult it is to conceive of characters that are truly alive, that are neither shaped by some beliefs, experiences and thoughts of the author, nor realized by the emotions and response of the readers. They exist sort of on their own, even though only a few of the readers might discern the full extent of their lives.. which is but true for any living being.. only a few people around us will be really able to see what we are about.. others usually see what they want to or what they could.


But is it realistic to assume that authors and readers can keep these influences out. Also is it even a right demand to make? To the second I would say, depends what is a particular story about? If it is a historical fictionalized account then it might not be a right thing to do. 


A visual example comes to mind.. the portraits made by 14th-15th century painters vis-a-vis paintings of impressionists and surrealists. The difference between being completely inspired by and loyal to certain objects in the apparent world versus a sort of stylized art. The content is from our world, the characters are from our world, but the artist renders them in his style.. capturing by whatever means possible the intricate workings of light and shade, shadow and colors, life and fate. The author is the creator of the world he writes about, and not by maudlin tragedies or force of ideas, but with a disinterested involvement even indulgence in this world can he truly mirror it and make it alive. In a good work he writes not for one person, one character, one family.. but for life itself. And on its mysterious ways. Sort of flirting with the ever elusive lady the fate. He is astonished by her mischievousness, yet at the same time flattered by her and eternally devoted to her.. and the content can vary from the civil wars in Americas, to a lonely trip to East England, to a butterfly man and a dying poet of whom Borges tells us:
“.. and he thought that the rose was to be found in its own eternity and not in his words; and that we may mention or allude to a thing, but not express it; and that the tall proud volumes casting a golden shadow in a corner were not – as his vanity had dreamed – a mirror of the world, but rather one thing more added to the world.
Marino achieved this illumination on the eve of his death, and Homer and Dante may have achieved it as well.”
(Yellow Rose, Dreamtigers, Borges)




Of course, its difficult to achieve, but worth a try?

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