Fiction is a Passport to Anywhere

Art shows us many worlds

In honour of finally finishing all the volumes of Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, I decided to share this quote from Time Regained, which captures one of the main reasons why I love reading.

Thanks to reading, I have lived many lives. I have seen a brave new world as Prospero’s daughter and seen the brave new world that John Savage saw when he hung himself. I have witnessed one hundred years of solitude and the fall of the House of Usher.

Like Tiresias, I have been man and woman. I have been madness maddened searching for a white whale. I have been a genteel woman in the English countryside, hoping for a suitable match for a husband. I, like Tiresias, have witnessed the empty romance of the typist and the young man carbuncular and the enduring romances of Dante and Beatrice, Petrarch and Laura, and so many others.

I have gone through the looking glass, through the wardrobe, and through the wall to Diagon Alley. I’ve been abducted by Tralfmadorians and been instructed not to panic (and to bring a towel).  I’ve awoken to found myself transformed into a monstrous vermin and (more than once) awoken to find it was all a dream.

What lives will you live today?

Twist Endings and the Morals of Guy de Maupassant’s “The Necklace”

“How life is strange and changeful! How little a thing is needed for us to be lost or to be saved!”[i]

diamond necklace

Twist endings to stories, apart from their entertainment value, are interesting because they always have a specific moral attached to them. One could say this of the ending to many stories, but twists seem to send home particularly strong messages. Ray Bradbury’s “A Sound of Thunder” for example, shows what happens when we don’t follow directions, what happens we mess with nature, and why we should never step on butterflies. Ever. Even if butterflies are creepy. Continue reading