We gaze upon the first sights of a motion picture and are dazzled by the titillating colors or CG-effects. We’re drawn to the screen for having grabbed our imagination and sent it soaring in the air.
When we read novels, we are compelled to have the same reaction. Some find it more difficult to conjure pictures as easily as those on the television screen, while others have little difficulty in exercising their imagination.
The subject of imagination between novels and film is fully explained in Marilyn Chandler McEntyre’s nonfiction book, Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, about the author conveying truth in fiction and recognizing which facets of our culture have been distorted for entertainment.
Here, McEntyre criticizes films for having squelched the imagination that we find more vividly in books. I can agree with her, that with films the imagination of watching a centaur or fairy is already digitized and presented for us, and we do not have to exercise our mental faculties at all.
Yet I also refute her in saying that I glean imagination from those films as readily as I do from novels. When the swell of music or the sight of landscapes sends goosebumps up my arms, I am full of delight and feel the impulse to write. McEntyre’s point that I refute is that the films take away any imagination we would otherwise conjure more clearly on our own when we read novels. I argue, “Can we not also see this imagination in film?”