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There are two ways

14 September 2019

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that receives it.

~ Edith Wharton

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6 Comments to “There are two ways”

  1. Or be the flash-powder/flare the spark/candle ignites … 😉

  2. I’m trapped in a loop trying to “see” what she is saying.

    I have a glimmer, but part of that “loop” is my trying to remember the technical term for what I call a teaching story.

    HG Wells would have a character from one land, or the past, find themself in another world and he has to learn how that world works. And invariably, the rules of that land are seemingly the opposite of the traveller’s, and things work better than back “home”.

    Heinlein did that with Friday, where she is just the focus as she travels through the world she is created into, showing us how that world has changed.

    Another is Poul Anderson’s The Avatar, where the story is just an excuse to show every kind of star that they thought was possible, Neutron Star, Black Hole, etc…

    – No real change occurs in the character, only in the Reader’s understanding the new world.

    BTW, Any Dan Brown novel is the same, where you follow the character just to learn the history, and then when you read the novel again, you realized that there is no actual Story, just a history lesson that you now already know.

    In every novel he does, if the main character had simply stayed in bed, and did not get involved, events would have happened regardless of the main character being there.

    Each Dan Brown novel is simply a roller coaster ride, that runs on rails. Whether the car is empty or not, the ride is still the same. HA!

    It’s a way to teach some idea/concept in story form rather than a dry essay.

    Does anyone know what that kind of story is called.

    Thanks…

    • Parable.

      • Followed “Parable[*]” down many different links and I think the term I’m looking for is:

        wiki – Utopian and dystopian fiction

        – The stories use the form to illuminate the present.

        This brings me back to the Wharton quote that is haunting me.

        The candle(character) shines forth, attracting people like moths to the flame. They are not aware that they can be burned.

        The mirror is focused on the candle(character) flame, directing the light here and there. The mirror sees the candle(character), sees the people attracted to the flame. The mirror sees everything except what is behind it.

        I need to keep playing with this.

        Thanks…

        BTW, it’s been a while since I’ve been this trapped chasing a Mirage/Zeugma/Palimpsest. HA!

        [*]I may use that term the way Resnick did.

        Kirinyaga: A Fable of Utopia is a science fiction novel published in 1998 by Mike Resnick. It is a series of parables about one man’s attempt to preserve traditional African culture on a terraformed utopia.

  3. So I guess Richard Pryor was a candle, right?

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