theparisreview:

“As a reader—and I am more of a reader than a writer, we all are, I suppose—I can enjoy a good story, but in a novel, which takes time to read, a good story is not enough for me. If I close a book and there are no echoes, that is very frustrating. I like books that aren’t only witty or ingenious. I prefer something that leaves a resonance, an atmosphere behind. That is what happens to me when I read Shakespeare and Proust. There are certain illuminations or flashes of things that convey a completely different way of thinking. I’m using words that have to do with light because sometimes, as I believe Faulkner said, striking a match in the middle of the night in the middle of a field doesn’t permit you to see anything more clearly, but to see more clearly the darkness that surrounds you. Literature does that more than anything else. It doesn’t properly illuminate things, but like the match it lets you see how much darkness there is.”
—Javier Marias, The Art of Fiction No. 190

theparisreview:

“As a reader—and I am more of a reader than a writer, we all are, I suppose—I can enjoy a good story, but in a novel, which takes time to read, a good story is not enough for me. If I close a book and there are no echoes, that is very frustrating. I like books that aren’t only witty or ingenious. I prefer something that leaves a resonance, an atmosphere behind. That is what happens to me when I read Shakespeare and Proust. There are certain illuminations or flashes of things that convey a completely different way of thinking. I’m using words that have to do with light because sometimes, as I believe Faulkner said, striking a match in the middle of the night in the middle of a field doesn’t permit you to see anything more clearly, but to see more clearly the darkness that surrounds you. Literature does that more than anything else. It doesn’t properly illuminate things, but like the match it lets you see how much darkness there is.”

Javier Marias, The Art of Fiction No. 190

Notes

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