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.