Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for August 19th, 2018

Walking with your eyes open

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I walked a great deal for exercise, for amusement, for acquisition, and above all I always walked home at the evening’s end, when the evening had been spent elsewhere, as happened more often than not; and as to do this was to receive many impressions, so the impressions worked and sought an issue…One walked of course with one’s eyes greatly open, and I hasten to declare that such a practice, carried on for a long time and over a considerable space, positively provokes, all round, a mystic solicitation, the urgent appeal, on the part of everything, to be interpreted and, so far as may be, reproduced. “Subjects” and situations, character and history, the tragedy and comedy of life, are things of which the common air, in such conditions, seems pungently to taste…Possible stories, presentable figures, rise from the thick jungle as the observer moves, fluttering up like startled game, and before he knows it indeed he has fairly to guard himself against the brush of importunate wings.

Henry James, The Art of the Novel

Written by nevalalee

August 19, 2018 at 7:30 am

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