In his essay “So What Shall I Write About?” Haruki Murakami talks about his memories as a capacious warehouse filled with odds and ends which he can draw upon for his fiction:
We are─or at least I am─equipped with this expansive mental chest of drawers. Each drawer is packed with memories, or information. There are big drawers and small ones. A few have secret compartments, where information can be hidden. When I am writing, I can open them, extract the material I need and add it to my story…
He goes on to evoke Steven Spielberg’s E.T.:
There’s an umbrella, a floor lamp, pots and pans, a record player … [E.T.] manages to throw all those household items together in such a way that the contraption works well enough to communicate with his home planet thousands of light years away. I got a big kick out of that scene when I saw it in a movie theater, but it strikes me now that putting together a good novel is much the same thing.
Pack your head with memories and ransack them at will. Don’t worry if they do not seem to make sense together at first. They will.
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