Monday, October 5, 2009

Living in the Imagined World

As I've said before, writers are a weird breed in that we live in imaginary worlds for most of our waking days. But I always say that it's not a bad place to live if one has the mental fortitude to take up residence there. 

Sometimes I think that most people would benefit from taking such a vacation every once in a while. And not simply by reading a book or submersing themselves in a movie...which are also mental vacations, but ones to a completely different local and pace than what I'm talking about. Those are like Caribbean vacations; lots of fun, booze, heat, sand, quick plane rides and then it's done and gone. What I'm talking about is more like one of those two months in the Alaskan wilderness kind of vacations. Unfortunately, most people don't have either the time or commitment to make such a jaunt.

-How mankind loves to remain transfixed at the very doors of the imagination! This prisoner would dearly love to escape, but he hesitates on the threshold of possibilities, dreading that he may find he has stepped on to a rampart walk leading back to its own casemate. He has been taught the mechanism of the logical sequence of ideas, and the poor fellow has assumed that his ideas are connected. So he justifies his reason and his delirium by means of delirious reasoning.-  from Paris Peasant by Louis Aragon

I think the above quote does a good job of summing up some of the fear involved in making the kind of plunge I'm talking about. Imagination has historically been feared just as much as it has been celebrated. A lot people are afraid of traversing it's unfamiliar typography, getting lost, and never making it back.

There's always been a fine line between creative and insane. I've been think about this line a lot in working on my new novel. Is someone over that line really crazy or is the world too rigid in its reality? I think it's fairly obvious which side of the argument I stand on.

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