"I would never consciously place symbolism in my writing. That would be a self-conscious exercise and self-consciousness is defeating to any creative act. Better to let the subconscious do the work for you, and get out of the way."
|Ray Bradbury's answer to the questionnaire on symbolism sent to him by a 16 year old in 1963|
So this 16 year old, Bruce McAllister, back in 1963, sent out 150 mimeographed surveys to famous authors to find out what they thought about symbolism in their work.
The amazing thing is that HALF of the authors replied.
This article in The Paris Review goes into depth on many of their answers, and it's fascinating reading.
Jack Kerouac. Norman Mailer. Ayn Rand. John Updike. Isaac Asimov.
I love Asimov's answer to did he plant symbolism in his work?
“Consciously? Heavens, no! Unconsciously? How can one avoid it?”
Bruce grew up to become a published author himself and a professor of literature and writing. And yet, this project he did as a teenager still has such power to make us think: How do I handle symbolism?
How do you handle symbolism in your writing? And what about in your illustrations?
Delicious food for thought!
Illustrate and Write On,
ps- My thanks to Suzanne for the heads-up about this great article!