I was thinking about fractals today, or more particularly, about the concept of a structure made up of similar structures. What really interests me about this is that fractals are frequently used in art, some examples of which you can see here.
What’s interesting to me is that the concept of self-similarity appears in written as well as in visual works. By that I mean that it is often the way that one minor incident in a story serves to illustrate the same overall theme conveyed by the story’s main plot. When symbolism is used, or when one minor event in a story foreshadows the larger plot, this may be thought of as a kind of self-similarity. And these are common literary techniques.
I don’t mean to say that this is “fractal literature”, since fractals are visual things, but these two concepts are, forgive me, similar, and it makes me wonder if there is something intuitively pleasing to our minds about the concept of self-similarity.