Is Writing Fiction an Inherently Religious Process?
J.R.R. Tolkien famously described writing as an act of “subcreation.” If we believe that a god created us and our world, then when we create fiction we are engaging in what is ultimately a divine process: the creation of life.
Through this, writing becomes a devotional art. Just as churchgoers express reverence for Christ’s sacrifice by ritually reenacting the Last Supper, authors express reverence by reenacting the creation of the universe and its inhabitants.
In a Flood Tide of Digital Data, an Ark Full of Books
Forty-foot shipping containers stacked two by two are stuffed with the most enduring, as well as some of the most forgettable, books of the era. Every week, 20,000 new volumes arrive, many of them donations from libraries and universities thrilled to unload material that has no place in the Internet Age.
Destined for immortality one day last week were “American Indian Policy in the 20th Century,” “All New Crafts for Halloween,” “The Portable Faulkner,” “What to Do When Your Son or Daughter Divorces” and “Temptation’s Kiss,” a romance.
“We want to collect one copy of every book,” said Brewster Kahle, who has spent $3 million to buy and operate this repository situated just north of San Francisco. “You can never tell what is going to paint the portrait of a culture.”