For my inaugural podcast, Electric Lyre: Alterations of Consciousness, I sat down with J.F. Martel (author of Reclaiming Art in the Age of Artifice) and Benton Rooks (Disinfo writer and author of the graphic novels KALI YUGA and TRETA YUGA).
Seek the depth of things, for irony never penetrates there - and when you go thus to the edge of what is great, find out at the same time whether this form of comprehension arises from a necessity of your being. Under the influence of solemn events, it will either fall away from you, if it is a thing of chance, or, if it really belongs to you and is innate in you, it will grow stronger and become a serious tool and take its place among the means by which you will have to build up your art. - Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet
The kind of vision the fiction writer needs to have, or to develop, in order to increase the meaning of his story is called analogical vision, and that is the kind of vision that is able to see different levels of reality in one image or one situation. The medieval commentators on Scripture found three kinds of meaning in the literal level of the sacred text: one they called allegorical, in which one fact pointed to another; one they called tropological, or moral, which had to do with what should be done; and one that called analogical, which had to do with the Divine life and our participation in it. Although this was a method applied to biblical exegesis, it was also an attitude toward all of creation, and a way of reading nature which included most possibilities, and I think it is this enlarged view of the human scene that the fiction writer has to cultivate if he is ever going to write stories that have any chance of becoming a permanent part of our literature.
– Flannery O'Connor, from Mystery and Manners: Occasional Prose.