Thursday, September 08, 2011

Speaking of flash fiction and other small things (we were, weren't we?) . . . here's a quote from Stephen Delaney:

"Today, more than 300 years after Leeuwenhoek stuck that water droplet under his lens and saw his "wretched beasties," with the knowledge that trillions of microbes within us do much of our inner housework for us, we're all aware that small doesn't always mean petty. And I think our literature bears this out. If we imagine a work of fiction as a house, small things aren't just the clapboard and trim (though they often are), but they can be structural elements as well. A single hair can make our emotions peak. When sketching a character, that hair can add vertiginous perspective and depth."

The above quote also reminds me of Keats' idea of poetry and its "infinite riches in small rooms." Flash fiction is also a tiny container and the best of these small rooms does bestow riches on the perceptive reader.

Now here's a quote from Henry Miller:

"Every day we slaughter our finest impulses. That is why we get a heartache when we read those lines written by the hand of a master and recognize them as our own, as the tender shoots which we stifled because we lacked the faith to believe in our own powers, our own criterion of truth and beauty. Every man, when he gets quiet, when he becomes desperately honest with himself, is capable of uttering profound truths. We all derive from the same source. There is no mystery about the origin of things. We are all part of creation, all kings, all poets, all musicians; we have only to open up, only to discover what is already there."

Miller makes a strong case for discovering what is already there in each of us. Small things are most certainly already there for the noticing, for the discovering, for the creating of the small room that is flash fiction-- one small detail at a time, one small story at a time, one small truth at a time.

Most certainly the loss of both my parents within a day and a half of each other (at the end of March) was exceedingly traumatic, but it's also time I get back to doing what I love-- exploring, reading, and writing flash fiction. It's about time (and all that that suggests). Maybe these two quotes can inspire you as well.

1 Comments:

At 8:56 AM, Blogger paintingwithfootprints said...

I love flash fiction, reading and writing, the way you can get such richness into such as small space is sort of ... great. I've been trying to write some recently but it's all been abstract and I don't know if thats good or not. But never mind I just wanted to comment and say I share your love but not your expertise :)

 

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