Friday, June 02, 2006

Surprising and Inevitable

Over the past few days I've been thinking about how the plot of a good movie or story is always feels at the same time surprising and inevitable. It's a wonderful paradox: If the story is inevitable, why does it feel surprising? If the story feels surprising, how can it be inevitable?

It was inevitably surprising (sorry) then, when I came across this passage listening to Aristotle's Poetics:

"Such incidents have the very greatest effect on the mind when they occur unexpectedly and at the same time in consequence of one another..."

So... it all goes back to Aristotle. Well, I've finally got around to the classic work on storytelling, and I've found it not very dry and not seeming like it was written 2500 years ago (though it was)

I'm listening to the recording at Librivox, which as usual is excellent. I've also been listening to their large and well read poetry collection.


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