I have always imagined the creative aspect of the narrative arts–fiction, theatre, and motion pictures–as an exotic species of watch-making: tales put together using a million carefully crafted pieces, some little, some big, but all essential cogs in the narrative machinery. The processes of writing-directing-acting and reading-viewing imbuing it with the vital spark that clicks the myriad gears into place, revving the complex machine to life. The lingering feeling of a clock-work universe in motion is hard to ignore. Imagine my joy then, when I came across the following lines in the prologue to Goethe’s Faust Part I
Tonight, therefore, I say to you,
Do not spare our machinery.
Employ the sun and moon, do not hold back!
Use all the stars we have in stock;
Of water, fire, walls of rock,
And beasts and birds there is no lack.
In our narrow house of boards, bestride
The whole creation, far and wide;
Move thoughtfully, but fast as well,
From heaven through the world to hell.
Could there be a more magically exuberant description of bringing narratives to life?