Fictions take hold even where, most vividly where, they terrify or unsettle. They are the faces at the unlit windows of consciousness and sub-consciousness. It may well be that all lasting fiction known to literature, from Homer to Borges, is, in categorical essence, a ghost story: that the characters narrated or acted out are spectral, in the rational pragmatic sense, but endowed, with penetrative “thereness” which we cannot explain or justify causally.

George Steiner


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