On the origins of fiction - "Where do you get your ideas from?"

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Sciborg_S_Patel

#1
Writers at times say a character, a setting, or even a whole story bubbles up from whole cloth. Sometimes we find the same archetypal beings recurring, like the imagery of Shaman-viewed entities Hancock mentions in Supernatural.

Stroker had a dream of a vampire king rising from a grave, Lovecraft said his most realistic dream was of Nyarlathotep the Crawling Chaos (who also bore an odd resemblance to Tesla), Howard said Conan appeared in his mind from whole cloth.

Then we have the space between fiction and vision, with perhaps two of the preeminent examples being Dante's Divine Comedy and the Dialogues of Plato.

Consider Eric Weiss' suggestion that are in a nexus of Subtle Worlds, that our thoughts are influenced by different subtle planes. So regarding fiction...Maybe it's all coming from Somewhere(s)?:

 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Note that I realize there is context for the fictional figures I mention - Howard had already thought about the Vikings/Celts for a time, Lovecraft probably did have some attraction (not necessarily sexual) Tesla, Stroker was already researching vampires.

Yet it interests me because of the gravity certain aspects of fiction exert. See also the Imaginal Resources thread Michael2 made.
 
#3
Here is a novel said to be written through a medium by the spirit of Mark Twain
https://web.archive.org/web/20140420190350/http://www.spiritwritings.com/JapHerronTwain.pdf

Here is another novel written by a spirit:
THE SORRY TALE A STORY OF THE TIME OF CHRIST BY PATIENCE WORTH COMMUNICATED THROUGH MRS. JOHN H. CURRAN
https://web.archive.org/web/20140420190710/http://www.spiritwritings.com/SorryTale.pdf


(via: https://web.archive.org/web/20150210115152/http://www.spiritwritings.com/library.html)
 
B

Backup Liker 2 the Backup

#4
Mysterious Universe has had a couple good shows on the crossover of fiction or comic stuff with "real life." No idea of the episode numbers.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
Posted all this before but thought it might be of some relevancy here:

“All Art is Magick…There is no more potent means than Art of calling forth true Gods to visible appearance."
— Aleister Crowley, Liber ABA, Part 3, Chapter X.

"Art is, like magick, the science of manipulating symbols, words or images to achieve changes in consciousness."
~ Alan Moore

"Art and ritual have a common root, and neither can be understood without the other..."
~ Jane Harrison, Ancient Art and Ritual

"Art is magic... But how is it magic? In its metaphysical development? Or does some final transformation culminate in a magic reality? In truth, the latter is impossible without the former. If creation is not magic, the outcome cannot be magic."
-Hans Hoffman

"The present painter can be said to work with chaos not only in the sense that he is handling the chaos of the blank picture plane but also in that he is handling the chaos of form. In trying to go beyond the visible and the known world he is working with forms that are unknown even to him. He is therefore engaged in a true act of discovery in the creation of new forms and symbols that will have the living quality of creation."
-Barnett Newman

"When something unreal can become almost real, it is perhaps more frightening to us, and perhaps more revealing."
-David Levinthal

=-=-=

Consciousness in the Aesthetic Imagination

Van Gogh, in contrast, captures the sunflower as an experience, a singular encounter. The resulting image exudes a presence that is like an alien sentience. Sunflowers are no longer instances of a type but sui generis. Each is a unique and unrepeatable event in reality’s unfolding. It’s only after the fact, when the intellect steps in to take apart the experience, that we label the image “sunflowers in a vase.” If the botanical drawing suggests something like Plato’s metaphysics of ideal forms, the painting throws us back to the likes of Heraclitus, the Pre-Socratic philosopher who held that there is no fixity of being, only a flux of becoming.

In Van Gogh’s work, something familiar is reimaged in light of an ineffable newness that inhabits it and makes it an event. We realize that there is no such thing as sunflowers in the abstract, but only these sunflower-events that the intellect then classifies according to generalities which exist only in and for it. The way I put it in Reclaiming Art is that, while the botanical drawing eliminates every anomaly in order to represent the generic specimen, the painting removes all that is general in order to preserve only the anomaly. That’s why even the most naturalistic work of art contains a note of strangeness, a soupçon of the Weird.

Art isn’t concerned with how the world appears to the intellect because it operates at the level of sensations as opposed to concepts. The term “aesthetic” denotes an engagement with reality at the pre-conceptual level of instinct and intuition, affect and vision. Van Gogh’s picture conveys its sunflowers as pure sensations, that is, as that which exists before the intellect subsumes it in a generalization.
Nothing in the foregoing implies that the aesthetic imagination is opposed to intellect. Novels, poems, films, paintings, and even choreographies are full of general ideas and concepts. But when such things appear in an artwork, they do so as sensuous events within the aesthetic world that the work evokes. They are on a plane with everything else, because the intellect too is in the Real.

Take for instance the idea of Christianity in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. What is it that makes this novel, written by a fervent Christian, different from those fundamentalist paperbacks we find on drugstore bookracks? It’s that The Brothers Karamazov doesn’t absolutize Christianity. It doesn’t raise Christianity above the fictional universe in order to make it a given on which the significance of other things depends. On the contrary, Dostoevsky allows his Christian faith to exist on a plane with the other forces that make up his universe.

At the sensuous level of aesthetic vision, all things—even ideas, concepts, opinions and beliefs—manifest as forces. In philosophy, it was Friedrich Nietzsche (and Baruch Spinoza before him) who showed that even the most abstract concepts are, at bottom, feelings in disguise. At any rate, this is how they appear to the aesthetic imagination. Concepts have no transcendent power over reality. They don’t hover above the spatiotemporal universe, shining down upon it. They are no more (nor less) “objective” than anything else. Like all things, concepts are events in a world. You use them as you’d use a hammer, to build something up or tear something down. Even the loftiest conceptual system fully belongs to this world. Judging by the novels he wrote, Dostoevsky didn’t conceive of Christianity as a theory to be accepted as true or rejected as false. He saw it as a force that inhabits us, opening up new possibilities and closing off others. A similar view runs through the work of Nietzsche, who was above all a great aesthetic thinker, maybe the greatest who ever lived. And Nietzsche’s key insight is that the world is shaped by a primal energy of desire. Look at any concept or idea closely enough, he says, and you’ll see that within it there burns a sensuous force, a “will-to-power.”
 
#8
There are no original stories. They have been around for years, but when Hollywood or whatever discovers them, they are suddenly "new." But we should keep telling our stories, anyway.
 
#9
Note that I realize there is context for the fictional figures I mention - Howard had already thought about the Vikings/Celts for a time, Lovecraft probably did have some attraction (not necessarily sexual) Tesla, Stroker was already researching vampires.

Yet it interests me because of the gravity certain aspects of fiction exert. See also the Imaginal Resources thread Michael2 made.

I haven't found any reference to Tesla in Lovecraft's biography by Joshi although I imagine he was aware of his experiments. Most curious thing is that both shared many similar character and physical traits like being tall, slim and stork-like, ambivalent towards women with very little sexual experience, obsession with science and philosophy, preffering solitude etc.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#10
“Each holiday tradition acts as an exercise in cognitive development, a greater challenge for the child. Despite the fact most parents don't recognize this function, they still practice the exercise.

Rant also saw how resolving the illusions is crucial to how the child uses any new skills.

A child who is never coached with Santa Claus may never develop an ability to imagine. To him, nothing exists except the literal and tangible.

A child who is disillusioned abruptly, by his peers or siblings, being ridiculed for his faith and imagination, may choose never to believe in anything- tangible or intangible- again. To never trust or wonder.

But a child who relinquishes the illusions of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, that child may come away with the most important skill set. That child may recognize the strength of his own imagination and faith. He will embrace the ability to create his own reality. That child becomes his own authority. He determines the nature of his world. His own vision. And by doing so, by the power of his example, he determines the reality of the other two types: those who can't imagine, and those who can't trust. ”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant



 
#11
“Each holiday tradition acts as an exercise in cognitive development, a greater challenge for the child. Despite the fact most parents don't recognize this function, they still practice the exercise.

Rant also saw how resolving the illusions is crucial to how the child uses any new skills.

A child who is never coached with Santa Claus may never develop an ability to imagine. To him, nothing exists except the literal and tangible.

A child who is disillusioned abruptly, by his peers or siblings, being ridiculed for his faith and imagination, may choose never to believe in anything- tangible or intangible- again. To never trust or wonder.

But a child who relinquishes the illusions of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy, that child may come away with the most important skill set. That child may recognize the strength of his own imagination and faith. He will embrace the ability to create his own reality. That child becomes his own authority. He determines the nature of his world. His own vision. And by doing so, by the power of his example, he determines the reality of the other two types: those who can't imagine, and those who can't trust. ”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Rant
Interesting viewpoint... I've wondered about the effects of Santa Clause and other myths on childhood development. I'm told that when I was very young I made an argument to my mom that there were so many millions of chimneys out there that in order for Santa Clause to visit every one of them in a single night he would have to be practically everywhere at once and only God can do that. After that, Mom decided to tell me the truth about Santa.

...so that's why I am my own authority... lol
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#12
THE TAROT OF UNPOPULAR FUTURES: WHISKY RANT (PART 9)

In his own words, Grant Morrison went to Kathmandu to be abducted by aliens. He was successful.

That's an astounding statement until you realise that it isn't.

In fact, there are dozens and dozens of examples of artists and writers inadvertently creating their own futures, getting trapped in a strange loop by their own narratives or seemingly pulling highly accurate visionary depictions backwards through time.

So much so that you could be forgiven for thinking it's a majority experience.

Dickens, for instance, would have 'inner eye visions' and basically just copy down what he saw like some common Utah-based church founder. And it's important to remember that he more or less single-handedly built the modern christmas.

He saw something in his head, mixed it with some of his own ideas, wrote it down and it came true.

Pretty magical, huh?

But this stuff happens to non-magicians... it seems literally anyone can fall down this particular rabbit hole -atheists, drunks, ballet dancers, at least one rocket scientist.

(For a full exploration of a muggle getting caught in their own story I refer you to Robert Anton Wilson's meticulous and extremely boring obsession with James Joyce.)

Whilst it may happen to the non-magician, it is of extreme usefulness to the magical. You could say the principal difference between the magician and the non-magician is the same as that of a motorist and a mechanic. Both of them drive but only one of them is professionally interested in popping the hood.

Because somewhere in all this synchronicitous art... all this circular, prophetic fiction... all this downright magical leakage of High Weirdness is some pretty potent tech... In fact, it may well be the ultimate tech.
SORCERY AS STORYTELLING

...We know from quantum observation results that the mind is in some way linked with the actual manifestation of the universe, we know that fairy tales are what Tolkien refers to as “furniture in the nursery”, we know that successful individuals vivify around expedient narratives. We know that less successful ones do as well.

Clearly it goes beyond primitive beliefs or mere inspiration. The same human organ that creates A Game Of Thrones is responsible for collapsing a wave into a particle. Enchantment follows a narrative structure from inspiration to idea to creation to end result.

A fuller exploration can be found in this excellent extended video of Alan Moore talking magic in a London gallery...
STORYTELLING AS SORCERY
Let's go back to Grant Morrison now:

"When I was doing the Invisibles... I kind of went method acting on it. So if I had an transvestite witch character then I had to become a transvestite witch and see what that felt like and I had to summon Mayan and Mexican Gods and deal with them and see what they look like and copy down what they have to say... I became the King Mob character, the Lord Fanny character... I was living out that book. The idea was to do almost like an art installation... you know I wound up in hospital because I had my lead character in hospital. This shaven headed bald guy who had lots of fun and sex and girls. So when he got sick I got sick and when he got well I got well.

And I found I could put things in... and it was very weird I still don't know what it is and I ask other people to try this... try and implicate your art and your life to such a degree that you can't tell the difference anymore and strange things start to happen. Reality becomes very plastic. And it seems as if you can press buttons in your little voodoo world, your little fictional creation... and real things will happen... The more we test it the more it becomes a human technology that we can give to everyone..."
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#13
An addendum from Gordon's post on Tolkien:

"We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall.

Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil."
-JRR Tolkien

I'm not as convinced on the latter, depending on how one defines progress as materialistic, though there is a kernel of truth there I believe. Anyway, some more on inspiration for fiction:

As an outsider, trying to find an entry point into the life of an idol is only ever going to yield tiny fragments. But perhaps that is appropriate? This is the man who gave us the story of tiny things -hobbits, rings, riddles- that shape the entire world.

And with that, let's close with the first 'tiny thing'... a charm for the forgotten Old English angel that inspired Eärendil. When he first saw the words in a ninth century poem he writes "I felt a very curious thrill as if something had stirred in me, half-awakened from sleep. There was something very remote and strange and beautiful behind these words, something far beyond ancient English." His biographer, Humphrey Carpenter, says that it was this little fragment that "marked the beginning of Tolkien's own mythology."

So I suppose, in a way, it marks the beginning of mine too.

Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
Ofer middangeard monnum sended


Hail Earendel, brightest of angels
Above middle-earth sent unto men
 
#14
Not sure this is the type of reply you are looking for, but have you ever researched fictional realism. The theory that everything we write comes from another universe somewhere and the writer simply connects to this universe and uncovers its stories.
 
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