"It seems to me that my effort to come to terms in writing with an actual experience has been, every time, an effort to imagine the experience, to see it clear and whole in the mind’s eye. One might suppose, reasonably enough, that this could be accomplished by describing accurately what one actually knows from records of some sort or from memory. But this, I believe, is wrong. What one actually or provably knows about an actual experience is never complete; it cannot, within the limits of memory or factual records, be made whole. Imagination "completes the picture" by transcending the actual memories and provable facts. For this reason, I have often begun with an actual experience and in the end produced what I have had to call a fiction. In the effort to tell a whole story, to see it whole and clear, I have had to imagine more than I have known. "There’s no use in telling a pretty good story when you can tell a really good one," my mother’s father told me once. In saying so, he acknowledged both a human limit and a human power, as well as his considerable amusement at both."

— Wendell Berry 

Posted on Jan 21st, 2013 at 09:53pm

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  1. sarahbaugh posted this