Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Jeanette Winterson

"As a writer, you're always something of a vandal. You know, you're a tomb raider. You're gonna go in there and take the things that already exist - drag 'em out again, and dress them up differently. There is a sense in which, you know, you are a thief. You know, it's no wonder that writers are ruled by Mercury, god of thieves and liars, and Mercury of the double tongue. And so, there is the sense in which you will always steal, and take for yourself, the things that you need. But then you also bring them back into the light. You dust them down, and then you put them out again for people to find in a different way. I mean, the whole thing about myths, is that they need to stay fluid, they need to keep moving, and they need to be dynamic. And that's why we can go on retelling them, so that, what is valuable is passed on from generation to generation, across time, through cultures."


Leigh Russell said...

This was definitely true in Shakespeare's day. Have we become too obsessed with originality?

Josephine Damian said...

Leigh: There's that famous quote is that if you steal from book, it's stealing, but if you steal tiny bits and pieces from a lot of books - that's creativity.

Something like that.