The narrator in Rivka Galchen's story "The Lost Order" is akin to Walter Mitty, the protagonist in James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty," who sees himself as defined only in his dreams, not by the man he is in real life. They are both negative images.
In many ways, visual art gave birth to literature. The first stories written down were cave paintings. For years our alphabet was made up of pictographs which simply meant that the only people who could tell stories were those who could draw.