Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Faulkner on experience, observation, and imagination

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Interviewer: How much of your writing is based on personal experience?

Faulkner: I can’t say. I never counted up. Because “how much” is not important. A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination—any two of which, at times any one of which—can supply the lack of the others. With me, a story usually begins with a single idea or memory or mental picture. The writing of the story is simply a matter of working up to that moment, to explain why it happened or what it caused to follow. A writer is trying to create believable people in credible moving situations in the most moving way he can. Obviously he must use as one of his tools the environment which he knows.

William Faulkner, to The Paris Review

Written by nevalalee

March 27, 2011 at 8:42 am

Posted in Writing

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