26 September 2017

to the Edge and Beyond

I recently attended a literary conference with authors from around the world. A very interesting session was entitled "To The Edge and Beyond." It was supposed to be about speculative fiction, mystery, and horror. But the participants went to the edge of a typical writers' discussion and then, beyond, when they got into some philosophical issues.

One thread addressed the question: are authors really always writing about themselves? I had believed in some sense, every character is the author. But the idea that every piece of writing is about the writer was a new one for me. I'm not sure I agree. What do you think?
Closely related to this idea is: can writers inhabit otherness? Can they truly inhabit an alien being, be it a literal animal (or whatever) or a metaphorical one? I don't think they can. What do you think?

One thread dealt with the writer-reader relationship. Both writing and reading are transformative processes. Both are intimate processes, almost involving mind-to-mind communication. Wow. That's kind of mind-blowing to think about (as I write this and you read this)!
As with other forms of art, this two-person communication is necessary to make it art. Or is it?

When considering writers as artists... Some people think artists must walk a tightrope between the alien and the familiar. Art is the union of the bizarre and the normal. In creating art, do artists create a new world of the imagination?

Why do people read? One author said mystery is at the center of everything and readers are trying to solve mysteries. Or do readers want to be transformed? What about transgression? One author thought readers want to do things in literature that they can't do in real life. What do you think?

Suffice it to say, I'm still pondering all this stuff!

The submission deadline for the final issue of 2017 is October 15. Get those stories in!

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