From Icarus to Euphiction…


Bruegel-Icarus-1024x676When considering euphiction, it’s important to note that the stories themselves don’t have to be about music, nor do they have to work like a song. The emphasis here is that the song has inspired you to create a story, whether the song works as a kind of soundtrack or you’re playing off of the song’s theme. And while this kind of writing is hardly new, the term euphiction is. Stephen King has talked about how the Ramones influenced his writing (and vice-versa), and it can be argued that specific passages where the Ramone’s have a direct influence in King’s writing are euphonious.

The key word here is influence. Borrowing an idea from Thomas C. Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor, we can look at euphiction this way.

Let’s take the myth of Icarus. Needing to escape from Crete, his father creates a set of wings from feathers and wax for him, with specific instructions not to fly too close to the sun. However, once Icarus is flying, he’s overcome with excitement. Enjoying his flight, Icarus ignores his father’s warning and naturally flies too high, until the sun melts the wax holding his wings together. Icarus eventually falls to his death.

Now let’s flash forward nearly 2000 years later. Renaissance painter Pieter Bruegel, inspired by the myth, creates Landscape with the Fall of Icarus.

Read the rest at the Cover Stories website.

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About Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.

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