Leper. Outcast. Unclean...
Anyone who has read Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant Chronicles will understand what that means. This series of six novels was the spark that started my own meager attempts at writing and, consequently, hold a sacred spot in my heart. (Yep, a leper holds a sacred spot in my heart. Is it any wonder I'm so fucked up?)
The big news now, for anyone out there who reads him, is that Mr. Donaldson is working on a Third Chronicle of Thomas Covenant. Now, I gave up on fantasy novels nearly a decade ago but you can be sure I'll be gobbling these suckers up. (For those who don't know, they're like Harry Potter - with real problems!)(Is it any wonder I can't respect the Pothead?)
In a recent interview (stolen from kevinswatch.com), he had some great things to say about writing and life.
But on the subject of contradiction, consider this: every human being is by his/her very nature a contradiction between material flesh and unquantifiable consciousness. That's hard to think about. Understanding ourselves isn't easy. Personally, I don't know any other way to process the dilemma of being a walking, talking contradiction except through story-telling. Certainly the fundamental postulate of traditional Western religions--dualism--doesn't do it for me.