Is imagination necessary to read?

1 11 2018

                                                                                                           PHOTO: Camistok

CAN IMAGINATION GET IN THE WAY OF READING?

Some time ago, I was confronted with a major aspect of reading, something we aren’t conscious of. A friend of mine – a non-reader, by the way – explained to me how he could never get interested in reading. Simply because he had the worst difficulty ever: in his mind, he couldn’t imagine the universe, the characters’ physical qualities or any room that was being described in a book. Therefore, he eventually just gave up picking up books.

This intrigued me. So I started thinking about it. I’ve read books since I can remember, so I can say that my imagination is “well-exercised,” right? As readers, what can we say about these non-readers and the people who choose watching TV over reading? We say they choose to do so because they’re lazy – they refuse to use their imagination because “it’s so hard.” And that’s what popped into my head when I heard my friend complaining about this. But then, something stopped me.

Read further @ BookRiot

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Deep-reading Process & Our Brain

30 09 2018

                                                                                              Photo: calmmoment.com

WHAT DOES IMMERSING YOURSELF IN
A BOOK DO TO YOUR BRAIN?

Only connect.

–E.M. Forster

The act of taking on the perspective and feelings of others is one of the most profound, insufficiently heralded contributions of the deep-reading processes. Proust’s description of “that fertile miracle of communication effected in solitude” depicts an intimate emotional dimension within the reading experience: the capacity to communicate and to feel with another without moving an inch out of our private worlds. This capacity imparted by reading—to leave and yet not leave one’s sphere—is what gave the reclusive Emily Dickinson what she called her personal “frigate” to other lives and lands outside her perch above Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts.

The narrative theologian John S. Dunne described this process of encounter and perspective taking in reading as the act of “passing over,” in which we enter into the feelings, imaginings, and thoughts of others through a particular kind of empathy: “Passing over is never total but is always partial and incomplete. And there is an equal and opposite process of coming back to oneself.” It is a beautifully apt description for how we move from our inherently circumscribed views of the world to enter another’s and return enlarged. In Love’s Mind, his numinous book on contemplation, Dunne expanded Proust’s insight: “That ‘fruitful miracle of a communication effected in solitude’ may be already a kind of learning to love.” Dunne saw the paradox that Proust described within reading—in which communication occurs despite the solitary nature of the reading act—as an unexpected preparation for our efforts to come to know other human beings, understand what they feel, and begin to change our sense of who or what is “other.” For theologians such as John Dunne and writers such as Gish Jen, whose lifework illumines this principle in fiction and nonfiction alike, the act of reading is a special place in which human beings are freed from themselves to pass over to others and, in so doing, learn what it means to be another person with aspirations, doubts, and emotions that they might otherwise never have known.

read futher @ Literary Hub





Writing Advice by a Great Author

3 05 2018
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“INTUITION IS ESSENTIAL.” WRITING ADVICE FROM GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ

In the face of the literary world’s ongoing fetish for youth, I often like to remind myself that Gabriel García Márquez didn’t become famous until he was 40. That’s when he published his fourth novel, One Hundred Years of Solitude. Now, of course, he’s a household name, beloved for his storytelling ability and fantastical imagination (though as he’d tell you, everything in his most famous novel happened—somewhere, to someone). García Márquez is a master of storytelling, but he’s also a master of discipline: above all else, he put in the work. For that alone, we should all listen to his advice. So on the anniversary of his death, here is some collected literary wisdom from one of the all-time greats.

Read further @ Literary Hub

 





Thoughts on Books & Reading

1 03 2017

imagesTHIRTY-THREE THOUGHTS (PLUS A FEW QUESTIONS) ON BOOKS AND READING

What are your thoughts on books and reading? Why do you read? I mean what do you hold to be self-evident and true about books and reading? Here are some thoughts on books, reading, and their importance.

  1. Passports facilitate travel outside of one’s country of citizenship. Books are my passport to any point and place in time and space, whether real, imagined, or somewhere in between. It is why I named my blog Passport Books.
  1. Books allow us to play dress up but without actually having to change clothes, hair, or makeup, which is great because I’m partial to jeans, tee shirts, minimally fussed with hair, and a little gloss.
  1. In a book you can be anything, in any place, at any time.
  1. Imagination is what separates human beings from inanimate objects.
  1. With imagination all things are possible.

Read further @ Book Riot





Be a Better Writer by Reading

28 04 2014

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“It usually helps me write by reading — somehow the reading gear in your head turns the writing gear.” -Steven Wright

Reading is fashionable. Again. It’s cool. We bet you all can find many statements about how good and useful reading is, how much it can influence a person and his way of thinking, and how awesome it is to sit on your cozy sofa, reading your favorite book and diving (not literally of course) into this imaginary and so wonderful world…

And all such statements are true, actually. Many famous writers, singers, politicians, and even movie characters prove the fact of reading’s great influence on people’s mind: if you take a look at their bookshelves, you’ll definitely be surprised.

“If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.” -Stephen King

These words of the “Great Master” and famous American essayist can hardly be objected, taking into account his writing skills and his books’ importance for several generations of readers from different countries. Does it mean you should read a lot if you want to write like a professional? The answer to this question is quite predictable: yes, you should.

No good writing is possible without reading. Any proof needed? No problem.

How Reading Influences Your Writing

Being a writer, you’ll probably agree with the fact that the art of writing is nearly impossible to teach. It is impossible to finish some courses on creative writing or graduate from some university with a diploma of “a professional writer.” Do you consider it possible? We have bad news for you then.

Writing is a skill. But this skill is very complicated, because it can’t be got by simple learning of grammar rules, punctuation marks, and different writing techniques. Certainly, you should know how to write correctly, but only reading can help you achieve greatness. How?

  • It helps you find inspiration
  • It lets you gain new knowledge
  • It helps you learn your genre better
  • It provides you with wider vocabulary for your own works
  • It makes you understand the language better
  • It helps you learn from real gurus of writing
  • It helps you reveal the secrets of this job in practice

Can you imagine a musician who does not listen to music himself? The same question can be asked about writing. Every author writes for readers; no grammar rules and writing techniques will help you understand your reader if you do not read yourself.

Enjoy what you read. It is difficult and mostly impossible to write something really good if you did not experience anything good that had been written already. Being a writer yourself, you have an ace in your sleeve: you can read a book with an eye for writing, though you do not even realize it.

Everything you learn as a reader, you can use as a writer afterward. But even if becoming the second Ray Bradbury is not your plan, it is not a reason to forget about reading and consider it useless at once.

Read further @ the Huffington Post





Does Literature Capture a Moment?

5 09 2012

The truth about memory and the novel

By Richard Lea

The International Forum on the Novel produced intriguing theories about the relationship between fact, fiction and forgetfulness – as far as I can remember.

I’m trying to remember what Orhan Pamuk said about memory and the novel in The Museum of Innocence … or maybe it was in The Naive and the Sentimental Novelist. I’m trying to remember it partly because I don’t have a copy of either book to hand – if only I had them on a Kindle – but mostly because memory and fiction, and the distortions of memory in fiction, is pretty much exactly what we were talking about at the International Forum on the Novel.

It was a couple of weeks back, and like my reading of Pamuk, the event has already begun to subside into the fog – the French psychoanalyst Caroline Eliacheff, one of the writers on the panel that night,  isn’t the only one to suffer from a poor memory. But I’m sure Swiss novelist Bernard Comment started off with a claim that for him writing is a “stubborn regaining of the past”, an attempt “to engrave time somewhere”, despite its “relentless flow” partly because he wrote that bit down, or engraved it, if you prefer, right here. The Polish writer Hubert Klimko agreed that as a novelist he fights a daily battle against “memory … also against time”, but went on to claim that for the novelist, the most important memories are those you make up. He said he called Les Toutes Premières Choses a “novel” precisely to blur the question of how much or how little of his life story he had invented – while insisting that the three wildly different and increasingly baroque accounts of the day he was born were “nothing but the truth”, as he claims in the introduction, since he remembered each one of them clearly.

Continue reading @ The Guardian