llustration by Maja Misevic-Kokar, from “One Thousand And One Nights” (2 volumes), translated from French into Serbian by Stanislav Vinaver, published by Matica Srpska, Novi Sad, 1989.
But you’ve always had faith in stories?
It is what I do. I mean, if you are a carpenter you have faith in carpentry.
~Salman Rushdie interview by Tim Adams, Observer, 26/06/11
One has to have faith in stories to write stories. How simple an idea, how deep an idea. If one believes in the power of the narrative, that the act of telling a story can have significance, then how easier is the writer’s task. Instead of imagining you’re groping in the dark, foolishly scribbling away instead of getting a real job, you can imagine purpose. Oscar Wilde aside, we don’t value pleasure for itself. And he was no work shirker.
Placing storytelling the context of a craft, viable as building a house, farming the land, healing the sick, is dangerously marvelous. It implies that we have a need for a possibility spun by imagination that fulfills a void in our lives. Can a story save a life? It can shape a life.
Post Script: The Private Patient was very good.