Ghosts (Keith Scribner)
I don’t write ghost stories, but I explore the stories that haunt us: the lost baby, the wrong marriage, the decades-old slight, the momentary distraction in which the car drifted into the oncoming lane. These ghosts shadow my characters, threaten them, refuse to let them sleep.
I write about the stories we tell ourselves in order to live, stories hovering at every turn, stories that sustain us, define us, buoy us with meaning and purpose, stories that might be truer than we know, or might be delusions, fantasies, lies. Some ghosts rise from a memory or an old photograph that captures our best side, and some are inherited, passed down to us with quilts, old letters, and tarnished silver.
We protect our ghosts, we guard them, because to lose them is to lose the narrative that forms our identity. To lose our ghosts is to be struck with amnesia, staring at a blank face in the mirror.
As a novel tightens around them, ghosts are revealed, which can bring out a character’s pettiness, jealousy, self-absorption, weakness, and disloyalty, but also resilience, resourcefulness, love, and grace. In my work I try to expose the ghosts, subvert the stories we live by, whether they’re romantic, ennobling, or damning: the ancestor who was a great and famous man, the grand myths promising eternal salvation, the foul odor of shame and humiliation. Spooking a ghost can be dangerous—disturbing yet exhilarating—and ultimately freeing, allowing us to truly see the face in the mirror.
Pour citer cette ressource :
Keith Scribner, "Ghosts (Keith Scribner)", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), avril 2014. Consulté le 01/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/litterature/entretiens-et-textes-inedits/ghosts-keith-scribner-