Life, raw life, the kind we lead every day, whether it leads us into the past or the future, has the curious property of not seeming real enough. We have a need, however illusive, for a life that is more real than life. It lies in the imagination. Fiction would seem to be the way it is processed into reality. If this were not so we should have little excuse for art. Life, raw life, would be more than satisfactory in itself. But it seems to be the nature of man to transform?himself, if possible, and then the world around him?and the technique of this transformation is what we call art.
The imagination made us human, but being human, becoming more human, is a greater burden than we imagined. We have no choice but to imagine ourselves more human than we are.
The man who comes to writing late, but is in essence a writer, may sometimes gain as much as he has lost: his experience of life has given him a subject, he is spared the youthful writer's self-torment and soul-searching.
There's little to see, but things leave an impression. It's a matter of time and repetition. As something old wears thin or out, something new wears in. The handle on the pump, the crank on the churn, the dipper floating in the bucket, the latch on the screen, the door on the privy, the fender on the stove, the knees of the pants and the seat of the chair, the handle of the brush and the lid to the pot exist in time but outside taste; they wear in more than they wear out. It can't be helped. It's neither good nor bad. It's the nature of life.
When writing is good, everything is symbolic, but symbolic writing is seldom good.