Wednesday, 23 November 2011
Long Live The Imagination
By Richard Jay Parker
Following on from Matt's piece about pulp fiction I feel I should add my own positive endorsement of not just pulp fiction but the broader notion of the written word remaining a vital part of everyone's personal development. Whether you like reading Russian classics or riveting thrillers you're exercising your imagination - a faculty that is being steadily dimished by the plethora of 21st Century instant entertainment available to us.
Maybe it's not the fate of printed books we should be campaigning for but simply the idea of perpetuating the unique and personal experience of using words (in whatever format) to populate your mind with characters drawn from your own well.
OK - it's hardly surprising that a writer would be all for this but I really can't conceive of a world where some of the people who entertain me aren't entirely personal to me. When you open/switch on a book your imagination is choreographed by the author but it's the only time your brain fills in the gaps and fleshes out the characters.
TV, DVDs and computer games are great entertainment and enrich our leisure time but they do all the work for us. A little like dragging yourself down to the gym but watching everyone else working out. Fun but not very beneficial. And like your body your brain needs to be stimulated to stay in shape. OK - fifties scaremongering infomercial over.
Simply put, I don't want the human imagination to become a casualty. It's way too valuable and has given us the best books as well as the best DVDs, TV and computer games. We've got to keep it in shape.
Even though I use mine every day I realise it's not relevant to everyone's lives. I just hope this number doesn't rapidly escalate and we lose all those vital triggers to every new concept that entertains us. Can you imagine that?
Visit Richard at: http://www.richardjayparker.com/