Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Stories We Tell

"We not only like our plots, we need our plots, and to some extent we are our plots. A story-of-my-life without a story is not a life."

Atwood, Payback

"A great multitude of people are continually talking of the Law of Nature; and then they go on giving you their sentiments about what is right and what is wrong: and these sentiments, you are to understand, are so many chapters and sections of the Law of Nature... [Such and such an act, they say,] is unnatural, that is, repugnant to nature: for I do not like to practice it: and, consequently, do not practice it. It is therefore repugnant to what ought to be the nature of everybody else." Jeremy Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, 1789

"And although he himself borders on the terminally polite, he tells me funny, sad, outrageous stories, the kind we all use to entertain company, deflect sympathy, and connect without too much feeling."

Normal, Amy Bloom

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