A few lines about Borges’ story “The Aleph” & using details to reveal character in fiction…

The Sanguine Woods

A6696D19-D2D2-4AD0-87D4-A490BCE551C0 From Light the Dark: Writers on Creativity, Inspiration, and the Artistic Process, ed. by Joe Fassler (Penguin 2017)

Excerpt from “The Aleph” by Jorge Luis Borges…

On the back part of the step, toward the right, I saw a small iridescent sphere of almost unbearable brilliance. At first I thought it was revolving; then I realised that this movement was an illusion created by the dizzying world it bounded. The Aleph’s diameter was probably little more than an inch, but all space was there, actual and undiminished. Each thing (a mirror’s face, let us say) was infinite things, since I distinctly saw it from every angle of the universe. I saw the teeming sea; I saw daybreak and nightfall; I saw the multitudes of America; I saw a silvery cobweb in the center of a black pyramid; I saw a splintered labyrinth (it was London); I saw, close up, unending…

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“Beauty has no obvious use…and yet…”

The Sanguine Woods

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‘Writing is the most solitary of arts. The very act of withdrawing from the world in order to create a counter-world that is “fictitious”—“metaphorical”—is so curious, it eludes comprehension. Why do we write? Why do we read? What can be the possible motive for metaphor? Why have some of us, writers and readers both, made of the “counter-world” a prevailing culture in which, sometimes to the exclusion of the actual world, we can live? These are questions I’ve considered for much of my life, and I’ve never arrived at any answers that seemed to me final, utterly persuasive. It must be enough to concede, with Sigmund Freud in his late, melancholy essay “Civilization and Its Discontents”, that “beauty has no obvious use; nor is there any clear cultural necessity for it. Yet civilization could not do without it.”’

Joyce Carol Oates, The Faith of a Writer

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A Poem a Day #11: “Fishing in Winter” by Ralph Burns

The Sanguine Woods

Fishing Snow Winter Lake Wallpaper Desktop Nature Download

A man staring at a small lake sees
His father cast light line out over
The willows. He’s forgotten his
Father has been dead for two years
And the lake is where a blue fog
Rolls, and the sky could be, if it
Were black or blue or white,
The backdrop of all attention.

He wades out to join the father,
Following where the good strikes
Seem to lead. It’s cold. The shape
Breath takes on a cold day is like
Anything else — a rise on a small lake,
The Oklahoma hills, blue scrub —
A shape already inside a shape,
Two songs, two breaths on the water.

Photographer unknown.

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