Nothing is more powerful, yet vulnerable, than the infinite permutations and combinations of words scripted on paper. With the monumental thought process that goes into authoring a novel, when the writer believes he has exhaustively painted his imaginative world, as readers all we get is but a peephole into the realms of his fictitious mind.
And through the carefully crafted spyhole, we look into a magical world that serves as the canvas for our own imaginative faculties. The greatest thing about books is that they subconsciously challenge us beyond our comfort zone and force us to subconsciously think for ourselves. As Carl Sagan said, “Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere” symbolizing the moments when we precariously set foot into the surreal world of the unknown.
Just as we don the role of an influential movie character, the same plays upon us in a book. Only this time, the reader is more susceptible to the parallel existence of his individual personality alongside that of the lead character. Which is why the protagonist of a best-selling page-turner could be the hero for some readers, but the antagonist for others. And coupled with our varying degree of disconnect from the real world, it is only a matter of time before we are resurrected from the grave of our mundane existence.
On lazy afternoons, when I pick up a novel to read, my social connectivity goes into ‘silent mode’ as I embark on a voyage dans le temps to another era. What dimension would that be, or what era would I be teleported, perhaps only Tolkien would know.
Then again, maybe only I would know … deep inside my imagination!