posted by mysterychicken .
from Feast of Fear: Conversations with Stephen King:
..."And I get paid to show people the different perspective. That's why people pay writers and aritists. That's the only reason we're around. We're excess baggage. I have no skill that improves the quality of life in a physical sense at all. The only thing I can do is say: "Look here, this is the way you didn't look at it before. It's just a cloud to you, but look at it, doesn't it look like an elephant?" Somebody says: "Boy! That does look like an elephant." And for that, people pay because they've lost all of it themselves. You know, I'm like a person who makes eyeglasses for the mind."
In this, he seems to be saying that the artist's job is to look carefully and point out the things that they see. He also is making the point that people buy books because they've lost their own imaginations and need the author to show them new things.
The activity: 'Write King a letter telling him how you feel about his interview. What do you think writers and artists do for us?'
I'm not exactly sure what to write here...basically I think writers and artists help us to open up our imagination in ordinary things that seem bland to the eye; They help us explore places right from our home and they inspire us to imagine and dream. Is that alright?
I think you are right on. They also give us an opportunity to go places and meet people that we would otherwise not be able to meet.