Saturday, March 27, 2004

"These things take on a life of their own..."

I'm finishing up Orson Scott Card's fourth book of the Alvin Maker series, Alvin Journeyman, so I can begin Dow Mossman.

This morning I came across the following dialogue. The characters are Calvin, Alvin's dark younger brother, and his new friend, Honore, a poor novelist. The setting is Paris;

"And why would I need to impress you, Honore?"

"Because I am going to write you into a story someday, my friend. Remember that the ultimate power is mine. You may decide what you will do in this life, up to a point. But I will decide what others think of you, and not just now but long after you're dead."

"If anyone still reads your novels," said Calvin.

"You don't understand, my dear bumpkin. Whether they read my novels or not, my judgment of your life will stand. These things take on a life of their own. No one remembers the original source, or cares either."

"So people will only remember what you say about me - and you they won't remember at all."

Honore chuckled. "Oh, I don't know about that Calvin. I intend to be memorable. But then, do I care whether I'm remembered? I think not. I have lived without the affection of my own mother; why should I crave the affection of strangers not yet born?"

"It's not whether you're remembered," said Calvin. "It's whether you change the world..."

- Journeyman,
p. 376.

Honore's full name is Honore de Balzac.


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