04-06-2008 09:38 PM
04-07-2008 10:10 AM
04-07-2008 02:47 PM
" I busied myself to think of a story, -- a story to rival those which had excited us to this task. One which
would speak to the mysterious fears of our nature, and awaken thrilling horror -- one to make the reader dread to look round, to curdle the blood, and quicken the beatings of the heart. If I did not accomplish these things, my ghost story would be unworthy of its name. I thought and pondered -- vainly. I felt that blank incapability of invention which is the greatest misery of authorship, when dull Nothing replies to our anxious invocations. Have you thought of a story? I was asked each morning, and each morning I was forced to reply with a mortifying negative.
Every thing must have a beginning, to speak in Sanchean phrase; and that beginning must be linked to something that went before. The Hindoos give the world an elephant to support it, but they make the elephant stand upon a tortoise. Invention, it must be humbly admitted, does not consist in creating out of the void, but out of chaos; the materials must, in the first place, be afforded: it can give form to dark, shapeless substances, but cannot bring into being the substance itself. In all matters of discovery and invention, even of those that appertain to the imagination, we are continually reminded of the story of Columbus and his egg. Invention consists in the capacity of seizing on the capabilities of a subject, and in the power of moulding and fashioning ideas suggested to it."
Fitzgerald later takes the egg to new heights, but, to ask what Shelley believes: Do materials have to be "afforded?"
04-10-2008 09:26 AM
04-14-2008 09:28 AM
04-20-2008 11:01 AM - edited 04-20-2008 11:09 AM
Message Edited by chad on 04-20-2008 11:09 AM