Books and Stories

I have a lot of friends who say they love book or that they love novels. I realized a little while ago that I really do not love books or novels. Books and novels are just containers and delivery systems. It is like saying that I really like the plate that brings the food. I realized that it is not the novel that I love. I love stories. It does not matter what format they are in, I really love a well told story.

When I was in Philadelphia I heard Jonathan Safran Foer on the Radio. He talked about how the boundaries of the novel have been so well protected for the last 500 years. If you took a fine artists from 500 years ago to a modern art museum they might not be able to recognize it as art. If you take a playwright from Shakespearian time to a fringe festival, they might not recognize the play. If you give a novelist a novel they will also be able to recognize it. I think this says something about the novel as an art form.

I realize that I love stories more than novels. I would rather has someone tell me a story than read a story. I want to be able to swap stories with other people. I want to hear what people have to say. It is the words and the stories that stirs something special in me. This is why I loved radio when I was young.

I also realize that not loving novels is bound to hurt me a writer in the long run.


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