Creating a World

doorknob“The serious fiction writer imitates God when in his book he creates what seems to be a whole world. It must give the illusion of being a whole world, too, for when one writes a novel, one must create a lot more than goes into it. I had an old novelist friend [Ford Madox Ford] who used to say that when he had a man turn the knob of a door in one of his novels he had, first, to create the knob and then the door in which it was set, and then the wall of which the door was a part and the house and then the town or village or region in which the house stood and then the country—until finally he had created a continent.”

—Caroline Gordon, undated writing. From Caroline Gordon Papers, Princeton University Box 29 Folder 5 [“Miscellaneous”]

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