Writers write to feed that demon-babe who cries out from the misery the world has inflicted upon it. Hemingway and Orwell wanted to use their gifts to help change the world for the better. And the world, I believe, is glad they did.
Many readers who cross the literary environs and pages of Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (1818) will close the last pages of the book and consider Victor Frankenstein as one who is tragically flawed.
Even though E.M. Forster’s Aspects of the Novel was first written and used for lectures inside the classroom at Trinity College, Cambridge, I cannot help but to imagine sitting in a stuffy classroom, loosening my collar, briefly staring out the window onto a sunny spring day in 1927 only to be drawn back to a powerful sermon concerning the craft of writing, given by a professional who knew what he was talking about.
One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) by Gabriel García Márquez is a brilliant book by a true master, storyteller and magician. While on a family vacation in Acapulco, Gabriel García Márquez became struck with a vision of a story that, in two years, would become the sensational novel called One Hundred Years of Solitude.
Not only has Coetzee brought David’s character to life and allowed to live his own life the way the character desires, the reader is simultaneously not repulsed but compelled to keep reading, keep digging, keep hoping like David that punishment will not go on forever.
”The fair girl advanced and bent over me till I could feel the movement of her breath upon me. Sweet it was in one sense, honey-sweet, and sent the same tingling through the nerves as her voice, but with a bitter underlying the sweet, a bitter offensiveness, as one smells in blood.”
The Hero with a Thousand Faces (1949) by Joseph Campbell is the book that awakened in writers and storytellers in publishing and in screenwriting to the larger scope of mythology as metaphor and to the underlining structure of stories.
”At first, when she pushed open the door and stepped in, she saw nothing at all. The only light was from a single green-glass desk lamp which illuminated little more than the tooled leather surface on which it stood. When she took another few steps she saw them, dark shapes in the furthest corner. “