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Cornelia Funke

“The poem you brought yesterday,’ said Balbulus in a bored voice as he bent over his work again, ‘it was good. You ought to write such things more often, but I know you prefer writing stories for children or songs for the Motley Folk. And why? Just for the wind to sing your words? The spoken word is nothing, it hardly lives longer than an insect! Only the written word is eternal!’
‘Eternal?’ Fenoglio made the word sound as if there could be nothing more ridiculous in the world. ‘Nothing is eternal- and what happier fate could words have than to be sung by minstrels? Yes, of course they change the words, they sing them slightly differently every time, but isn’t that in itself wonderful? A story wearing another dress every time you hear it- what could be better? A story that grows and puts out flowers like a living thing! But look at the stories people press in books! They may last longer, yes, but they breathe only when someone opens the book. They are sound pressed between the pages, and only a voice can bring them back to life! Then they throw off sparks, Balbulus! Then they go free as birds flying out into the world. Perhaps you’re right, and the paper makes them immortal. But why should I care? Will I live on, neatly pressed between the pages with my words? Nonsense! We’re none of us immortal; even the finest words don’t change that, do they?”


Cornelia Funke, Inkspell
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Inkspell (Inkworld, #2) Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
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