Thursday, June 19, 2008

On "Show, Don't Tell"

"I think, frankly, it's a bit like behaviorism or something. I really wonder how much of it carries over from science, I mean really crude science as understood in the late nineteenth century and the early twentieth century-- that there's something illusory about thought and that in fact it's behaviour that counts, and only behavior, when in fact people's brains are buzzing all the time. People are to an incredible degree constituted of what they never say, perhaps never consciously think. Behaviour is conventionalized and circumstantial. In many cases, the behaviour that in fact would express what someone thinks or feels is frustrated, cannot occur. Here we are, basically organized to carry this big brain around, and it's absolutely bizarre to act as if what goes on there is not part of the story." --Marilynne Robinson, The Believe Book of Writers Talking to Writers