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Coming out of the cave


9 Comments leave one →
  1. 14/10/2010 10:27 pm

    The miners’ experience is extraordinary – it’s a hell of a compelling story, even on the face of it (just from following the headlines). And the way everyone (presumably including the miners themselves) is busy constructing stories and legends out of it is also fascinating. But lordy, the idea of a fictionalised account of it all? Yawn! I’d much rather dive into the messy, complex, ambiguous reality of it all…

    I think about all this a lot at the moment too. These days I have almost no interest in books that retread tired old story forms, straining to make them seem fresh again, in the hope that I’ll feel some kind of artificially induced emotions.

    I do enjoy stories, however, that are more like essays or notebooks – where the author is thinking out loud, or daydreaming, or playing. Half-formed stories; stories that don’t try to fool me into believing they’re real; stories that wrestle with themselves…

    I’m enjoying your comics a lot – maybe partly because they have some of that thinking-out-loud feel to them?

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      15/10/2010 6:52 pm

      Thanks, Dylan! Yes, the miner’s story is really compelling – bring on the messy ambiguous reality, I say. And I am thinking out loud – these are very much first drafts, but it’s great to get an immediate response rather than to wait the years it takes in order to produce a traditional ‘book’.

      I am loving your Magic Pen comic!

  2. 14/10/2010 11:44 pm

    Good work. Really impressive.

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      15/10/2010 9:39 pm

      Thanks, Darryl. I am going to have to look out for your book now.

  3. 15/10/2010 9:08 am

    Fantastic comic – “I feel irritated that the story is being slotted into an existing narrative” is spot on. Every event has to be satisfying to the viewer which ironically makes movies (and constructed news stories) unsatisfying.

    I thought about these ideas a lot yesterday as well while writing two poems: one that ended up talking about the Chilian miners who have a lot of pressure to change their lives (and probably will for a little while but will then go back to their normal selves), and also a poem about a series of people who are linked but the poem refuses to tie them together. It desires to be unsatisfactory.

    Thanks for the great comic.

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      15/10/2010 6:59 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! I clicked through to your site and then clicked through to your poem which had Plato and his shadows in it. Lovely. I see that Plato’s cave is one of your themes…

  4. Caren permalink
    15/10/2010 9:16 am

    Sarah – I love ‘The stories are telling themselves. They don’t need us.’ Good fiction comes from somewhere else, I think, somewhere less obvious, somewhere strange and dark and murky and unconscious. Bit like the composting metaphor of the shredder in the last frame, although probably more like actual composting – slow and dark and smelly. (Was it Natalie Goldberg who always used to talk about composting material for writing?) Ha – my compost bin is a slimy mess!

    Dylan – great comment – yes to messy, complex ambiguity. But surely that’s the very thing that makes a reader believe that fiction is real, isn’t it? And personally I always want fiction to do just that – what’s that phrase – to be ‘a vivid and continuous dream’.

    • Sarah Laing permalink
      15/10/2010 6:55 pm

      Caren, I have just started reading a novel by Joan London – Gilgamesh – and so far I am in that ‘vivid and continuous dream’. Looking forward to getting back into it. And I love the idea of finding fiction in the strange, murky, dark unconscious. Makes there seem something alchemical about writing!

      • Caren permalink
        16/10/2010 11:42 am

        Have you read ‘The Slap’? That totally got me… I deeply believed in its characters, and really appreciated what felt like the author’s great fondness and respect for them too. (You know what I mean?)

        And I’m a hard girl to please when it comes to fiction these days… think I’ve been ruined by all that book reviewing and have become bitter and jaded, or something. Hope it goes away soon!

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