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Submitted by Geoffrey Dow on Wed, 2009-01-14 20:59
Spread the word!
I've dabbled in writing (and, many years ago, cartooning) since before I turned 10. At times I have even thought it a calling ...
I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations… I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory;' but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.
— J.R.R. Tolkien
Our purpose in life is to tell each other stories.
— Heath Johns, in conversation
"Our purpose in life is to tell each other stories." That sentence, said to me over beers a couple of years back, better answered the existential question of purpose than has any philosopher, religious figure or teacher.
Tolkien's disdain for allegory is just as apposite.
There ultimately is no objective purpose, or meaning, to human existence. We are animals-that-speak and, as such, share with animals-that-don't-speak such drives as the desire to reproduce, to feed ourselves, to protect ourselves and our pack-mates. Beyond those drives our intelligence and imagination requires a "deeper" answer, requires a "meaning" to the fact of our existence.
It is by telling stories that we answer that need for meaning, and it is in "the freedom of the reader" that that meaning is fulfilled.
On the menu at left are some of my stories. One of them is as autobiographically true as it is possible to get; others have no basis whatsoever in the lived reality of my life.
It is my belief that for you, the reader, the origin is (or should be) irrelevant. The stories speak to - the stories are good stories - or they are not. Nothing else matters.