|The Glitter Globe/S. R. Karfelt|
In some ways it’s like that Darmok episode of Star Trek the Next Generation. That’s the one where the Enterprise’s Universal Translator can’t figure out the Tamarian Language. They speak in metaphors. Shaka, when the walls fell.
We all collect bits and pieces of books and movies and they become part of how we see the world and those parts become ours. This is one of my favorite lines when my guys are heading off into the wilderness.
Tell me you don’t use that one? Sometimes movie and book references can be cryptic. We don’t all read or watch the same things, right? Remember that line in The Princess Bride where Vizzini goes, “Never get involved in a land war in Asia” and laughs cryptically in his hyena laugh before he falls down dead?
And we’re all like, what about Asia? What’s that obscure reference? Does it refer to Sun Tzu’s The Art of War? (not to be confused with Stephen Pressfield’s the War of Art). So although I find it funny each and every time I watch that movie, I don’t use it. I like to have a firm grasp on my analogies and metaphors. Although they’re somewhat subjective, aren’t they? For instance in Jane Austen’s novels, dance is considered a metaphor for marriage. What?
Well, okay. And I think I might have my own thoughts on what marriage is an analogy for.
But my point is that we take all these bits and pieces of other people’s words, imaginations, and talents and internalize them into our own thoughts, words, and ideas. We, as Austin Kleon puts it so eloquently, Steal Like An Artist. For instance Outlander by Diana Gabaldon…
Was inspired in some part by an episode of Doctor Who…
And there has been speculation that Sinclair Lewis’s Babbit inspired J. R. Tolkien to come up with the name Hobbit.
Bit of a stretch if you’ve read it, but the subconscious is a freaky machine. It does rhyme. We all know that The Hobbit inspired The Lord of the Rings. I mean at some point the writer thought or was asked, and then what happened? Dangerous words, those.
But, oh, so very inspiring. Finding the well of creativity takes reverse engineering, and I’m more into the reconstruction part myself. It’s like the lyrics to that song. Is it Sting or The Police? “Every breath you take, Every move you make, Every bond you break, Every step you take, I'll be watching you,” and turning it into something glittery.
Do you have a favorite story about something that was inspired by something else? It’s not always movies and books, weren’t helicopters partially engineered by the way hummingbirds fly? And what’s your favorite movie or book quote? Which ones have stuck in your head the most?