Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for June 24th, 2018

The brownies and the bankbook

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The more I think of it, the more I am moved to press upon the world my question: Who are the Little People? They are near connections of the dreamer’s, beyond doubt; they share in his financial worries and have an eye to the bankbook; they share plainly in his training; they have plainly learned like him to build the scheme of a considerate story and to arrange emotion in progressive order; only I think they have more talent; and one thing is beyond doubt, they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim…What shall I say they are but just my Brownies, God bless them! who do one half my work for me while I am fast asleep, and in all human likelihood, do the rest for me as well, when I am wide awake and fondly suppose I do it for myself…I pull back and I cut down; and I dress the whole in the best words and sentences that I can find and make; I hold the pen, too; and I do the sitting at the table, which is about the worst of it; and when all is done, I make up the manuscript and pay for the registration; so that, on the whole, I have some claim to share, though not so largely as I do, in the profits of our common enterprise.

Robert Louis Stevenson, “A Chapter on Dreaming”

Written by nevalalee

June 24, 2018 at 7:30 am

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