I had occasion over the weekend to dig through some old boxes of scripts and stories I wrote years ago. I found some duplicate copies and stuff I no longer cared about and decided to get right of the dead weight.
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard about writers burning their early works, but it seems to have been a fairly common occurrence. And I can understand the appeal. Fire as metaphor and ritual seems to be a human constant, signaling everything from death to purification to rebirth.
I had about five thousand pages to dispose of, and believe me, I wanted to burn them. I wanted the act, the warmth of the fire, and the ashes. Particularly the ashes.
Because we live in a world dying from greenhouses gasses, such things are frowned upon these days, and recycling is the norm. So I recycled.
But I wanted to look into that fire.
— Mark Barrett