A World of Disorderly Notions
Here are some images from recent sketchbooking. I haven’t been up to much “sketchbook for sketchbook’s sake,” these past couple of months. It’s been more planning, note-taking and preparatory doodling.
I find that I don’t have much to say about these pages. Instead, I’ll fill this post with quotes scribbled down in my sketchbook from The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human, by Jonathan Gottschall. I’d long been looking forward to reading this text. It is only slightly disappointing (spends too much time convincing us WHY we should be reading it–I’m reading it, already! Get to the point!!)–but it has some good bits and pieces.
We’re headed down to New Orleans soon for Sandy’s memorial service.
“Human minds yield helplessly to the suction of story. No matter how hard we concentrate, no matter how deep we dig in our heels, we just can’t resist the gravity of alternate worlds.” p. 3
“Like Tom Sawyer, whitewashing the fence, authors trick readers into doing most of the imaginative work. Reading is often seen as a passive act: we lie back and let writers pipe joy into our brains. But this is wrong. When we experience a story, our minds are churning, working hard.” p. 4-5
“Historians, too, are storytellers. Some argue that many of the accounts in school textbooks, like the standard story of Columbus’s discovery of America, are so rife with distortions and omissions that they are closer to myth than history.” p.15
“We tell some of the best stories to ourselves. Scientists have discovered that the memories we use to form our own life stories are boldly fictionalized.” p.18
“Our various fictional worlds are–on the whole–horrorscapes. Fiction may temporarily free us from our troubles, but it does so by ensnaring us in new sets of troubles–in imaginary worlds of struggle and stress and mortal woe.” p.49
“Man–let me offer you a definition–is a storytelling animal. Wherever he goes he wants to leave behind not a chaotic wake, not an empty space, but the comforting marker buoys and trail signs of stories. He has to keep on making them up. As long as there’s a story, it’s all right. Even in his last moments, it’s said, in the split second of a fatal fall–or when he’s about to drown–he sees, passing rapidly before him, the story of his whole life.,” –Graham Swift, WATERLAND, p. 87
Drawings to accompany the transcription of a dream I had about Uncle Cole.
“A world of disorderly Notions, pick’d out of his books, crowded into his Imagination.” –Miguel de Cervantes, DON QUIXOTE, 1605-1615, p. 65
“Knowing that fiction is fiction doesn’t stop the emotional brain from processing it as real.” p.62