"We tell ourselves stories in order to live. The princess is caged in the
consulate. The man with the candy; will lead the children into the sea.
The naked woman on the ledge outside the window on the sixteenth
floor is a victim of accidie, or the naked woman is an exhibitionist, and it
would be 'interesting' to know which. We tell ourselves that it makes
some difference whether the naked woman is about to commit a mortal
sin or is about to register a political protest or is about to be, the
Aristophanic view, snatched back to the human condition by the fireman
in priest's clothing just visible in the window behind her, the one smiling
at the telephoto lens. We look for the sermon in the suicide, for the
social or moral lesson in the murder of five. We interpret what we see,
select the most workable of multiple choices. We live entirely, especially
if we are writers, by the imposition of a narrative line upon disparate
images, by the 'ideas' with which we have learned to freeze the shifting
phantasmagoria which is our actual experience."