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 historical events — of
political revolutions, the pursuit of utopian dreams, and uncorrupted idealists
crushed by Philistine intolerance. 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.
Paraphrases from the essay “The Sea of Information” by Andrea Barrett.