ghost stories

December 30, 2019

Writers of ghost stories today are at a disadvantage compared to their predecessors — and the situation is getting worse. That is of course because, as with ‘westerns’ or other ‘genre’ fiction, there are a strictly limited number of plots and incidents possible. Ghost behaviour is ‘old hat’, and the writer seeking acceptance today needs to come up with something a bit original or different.

David G. Rowlands
Introduction to: The Executor and Other Ghost Stories

Menton J. Matthews III

Life is fury, he’d thought. Fury — sexual, oedipal, political, magical, brutal — drives us to our finest heights and coarsest depths. Out of fury comes creation, inspiration, originality, passion, but also violence, pain, pure unafraid destruction, the giving and receiving of blows from which we never recover. The Furies pursue us; Shiva dances his furious dance to create and also to destroy. This is what we are, what we civilize ourselves to disguise — the terrifying human animal in us, the exalted, transcendent, self-destructive, untrammeled lord of creation.

Salman Rushdie
Fury

originality

April 14, 2018

Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.

W H Auden
The Dyer’s hand and other essays

try to tell the truth

April 14, 2018

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.

C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity