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Ernest Hemingway on how he approached symbolism

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 11, 2008

Ernest Hemingway on how he approached symbolism in his stories:

“No good book has ever been written that has in it symbols arrived at beforehand and stuck in,” says Hemingway. “That kind of symbol sticks out like raisins in raisin bread. Raisin bread is all right, but plain bread is better.” He opens two bottles of beer and continues: “I tried to make a real old man, a real boy, a real sea and a real fish and real sharks. But if I made them good and true enough they would mean many things. The hardest thing is to make something really true and sometimes truer than true.”

I like the raisin bread analogy. Just make the plain bread good instead of trying to jazz up subpar bread with raisins. Good advice for writing and cooking. (via rodcorp)