Everyone knows that stories are simplifications. To tell a story is to select. Only in this way can a story be given a form and so be preserved. If you tell a story about somebody you love, a curious thing happens. The storyteller is like a dressmaker cutting a pattern out of cloth. You cut from the cloth as fully and intelligently as possible. Inevitably there are narrow strips and awkward triangles which cannot be used – which have no place in the form of the story. Suddenly you realize it is those strips, those useless remnants, which you love most. Because the heart wants to retain all.

—John Berger