Once more into the breach--
The streets in my little Colorado town are extremely steep and extremely icy today with our unusually cold weather--- so for now I've put my yellow paper on a table in my house next to Li Po, who is obviously toasting Russ. The quotations below are from a volume of Hoban’s short stories and essays, The Moment under the Moment:
Consider fiction phenomenologically. The word itself is derived from the past participle of the Latin fingere, to shape, fashion, form or mould. We take it for granted that there will always be fiction of one kind or another in the form of stories: forming; shaping. Why do we take that for granted? Why do we make fiction? Why do we say, ‘What if?’
We make fiction because we are fiction. Because there was a time when ‘it lived’ us into being. Because there was a time when something said, ‘What if there are people? A word, perhaps, whispered in the undulant amorphous ear of the primordial soup: ‘What if there are people, hey? What if?’
It lived us into being and it lives us still. We make stories because we are story. The fabric of our myths and folk-tales is in us from before birth. The action systems of the universe are the origin of life and stories. The patterns of blue-green algae and the numinous wings of the Great Nebula in Orion and the runic scrawl of human chromosomes are stories. Begotten by no one knows what, stories beget people to live them. We are the offspring of innumerable ideas.
The myths that are in us, whether they be of Demeter/Persephone’s winter descent or Orpheus losing Eurydice, are the dynamics of thing-in-itself acting itself out in the collective being and consciousness of which each one of us is a particle.
- from “Household Tales of the Brothers Grimm,” The Moment under the Moment, London: Jonathan Cape, 1992, 141-155.
Huck Finn, standing alone against the authority of the failed-child establishment and refusing to sell his dark brother down the river, is about as unfailed a child as you can find: a child eminently practical and resourceful, cunning enough to survive the grey city of the world, a child in touch with the mystery of being and always in a state of innocently becoming. An American Dream with him in it has a good chance of not being a nightmare.
- from “I, that was a child sleeping…,” The Moment under the Moment, as above.