If novelists think, perhaps we think through a frenzy of

metaphor-making and analogy-building, an accretion of meaningful images juxtaposed in

ways that seem to us fruitful, although to someone else

they might seem baffling. On different days (or sometimes on

the same day, when I was feeling particularly lost), I

read about the ebb and flow of history — revolution, the

plight of political prisoners, the most intense passions of revenge

excited by class antagonisms.  I read these things because it

is the only way I could deeply inhabit a world

other than the limited one of my own narrow experience.

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Paraphrases from the essay “The Sea of Information” by Andrea Barrett.

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