The line between ‘autobiography’ and ‘fiction’ is slim because both are lived. How does one translate the life lived into the story told?
—Sara Veglahn (via mttbll)
You do what you have to do, basically, as an artist, as a human being, to survive. And to put out something that’s meaningful in the world because you care about doing that. You have to be able to tell the truth. As a reader, if it’s not really true and bold and creative and courageous, I can’t really believe it, and I won’t get invested in it. I feel like I owe that to my readers as well, this level of honestly, or else why bother? If you’re not going to be brave, who cares? I don’t know of any work that I love that isn’t brave.
Your desire allows you to stay with the project, allows you to stay in the dark, to survive in the dark. If you’re always in the light when you’re writing a story, it’s probably not a story I’d care to read. One of the reasons we continue this very delicious mystery of talking about creative writing is that you can’t learn about the dark by turning on the lights. Everybody has to go off into the dark. And the reason we’re doing it is not for glory, but for our love of our material. That’s the cornerstone.
I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.
—Alice in Wonderland
But as anyone with the least knowledge of literature and writing—maybe art in general—will know, concealing what is shameful to you will never lead to anything of value. This is something I discovered later, when I was writing my first novel, when the parts that I was ashamed like a dog to have written were the same parts that my editor always pointed out, saying, This, this is really good! In a way, it was my shame-o-meter, the belief that the feeling of shame or guilt signified relevance, that finally made me write about myself, the most shameful act of all, trying to reach the innocence of the now burned diarist—self.
—Karl Ove Knausgaard (via mttbll)