• Ou Ming
  • Sunday, November 05, 2006

    I want to tell you a story

    We grow older, but we do not change. We become more sophisticated, but at bottom we continue to resemble our young selves, eager to listen to the next story and the next, and the next. For years, in every country of the Western world, article after article has been published bemoaning the fact that fewer and fewer people are reading books, that we have entered what some have called the 'post-literate age'. That may well be true, but at the same time, this has not diminished the universal craving for stories.

    Novels are not the only source, after all. Films and television and even comic books are churning out vast quantities of fictional narratives and the public continues to swallow them up with great passion. That is because human beings need stories. They need them almost as desperately as they need food and however the stories might be presented - whether on a printed page or on a television screen - it would be impossible to imagine life without them.

    Still, when it comes to the state of the novel, to the future of the novel, I feel rather optimistic. Numbers don't count where books are concerned, for there is only one reader, each and every time only one reader. That explains the particular power of the novel and why, in my opinion, it will never die as a form. Every novel is an equal collaboration between the writer and the reader and it is the only place in the world where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy.

    I have spent my life in conversations with people I have never seen, with people I will never know and I hope to continue until the day I stop breathing.

    It's the only job I've ever wanted.

    excerpt of Paul Auster's acceptance speech for the Prince of Asturias Prize for Letters, Spain's premier literary honour, which he received last month. The rest is rather banal and boring but you can find it here. Of course for this kind of ceremonies, what more could you expect?


    Blogger thas said...

    Λοιπόν, μεγάλη κουβέντα θα πω, αλλά δεν νομίζω ότι μου αρέσουν ή ότι με γοητεύουν οι ιστορίες. Πολλές φορές με κουράζει η σκηνοθεσία τους. Ονειρεύομαι μια πεζογραφία ιδεών ή συναισθημάτων. Δεν κάνω πνεύμα, το εννοώ. Απλώς δεν ξέρω πώς γίνεται.

    Ωραίος ο Ώστερ, ένιγουέι.

    November 11, 2006 9:28 pm  

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