I'm fascinated with stories. Stories about other people, other cultures, other lives. I think the name of my blog even came out of this fascination I have with seeing other people's stories unfold. What takes place outside my window? Like Alice, I look through the looking glass to new worlds. Novels were made for me, and I dive into them like a person going home and exploring something new simultaneously. I've been reading Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man lately, and as I read his introduction to the Vintage International edition, I began pondering the interrelatedness of novels, and seeing, and experience, and why these things come together so perfectly for a nosy person like me.
"By way of imposing meaning upon our disparate American experience the novelist seeks to create forms in which acts, scenes and characters speak for more than their immediate selves, and in this enterprise the very nature of language is on his side" (Ellison XX).
"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me" (Ellison 3).
"And as the eye is the best composer, so light is the first of painters" (Nature, Emerson).
"I become a transparent eye-ball. I am nothing. I see all" (Nature, Emerson).
(Louis Armstrong's "What Did I Do To Be So Black and Blue," referenced in Ellison's Invisible Man)
I am invisible yet strangely visible behind this computer screen. That's what I've been pondering today.