We consider the bibles and religions divine...

We consider the bibles and religions divine . . . . I do not say they are not divine,I say they have all grown out of you and may grow out of you still, It is not they who give the life . . . . it is you who give the life; Leaves are not more shed from the trees or trees from the earth than they are shed out of you.

– Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

I picked up the book after one confused moment following this video. Did Whitman really speak like that? I don't know. But for all this song and dance, a few lines of poetry do more to tell us Whitman's insight on our corporeality. Earlier on he writes,

"the sun and stars float in the open air.... the appleshaped earth and we upon it... surely the drift of them is something grand,"


"I do not know what it is except that it is grand, and that it is happiness."

I think I'd rather leave it all here for now. Not the "why," but the mystery.

The kind of vision a fiction writer needs to have...

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.