A few days ago I was editing a chapter of the fantasy novel I’m currently writing and amid all the adding and erasing and tweaking, I recalled an article from my high school English textbook: it was titled ‘In Praise of Imagination’. No sooner had I started pinning down some thoughts on the subject when I was excited to find out that both this blog and my Instagram account had reached 100 followers!
I am obviously grateful beyond words for your warm support and for honouring me with pressing those magical “Follow” buttons⸺nothing makes a creation process the wondrous and rewarding journey that it is more than sharing it. 💚
So, here comes the (rather belated, yes, but things have been quite hectic here on the work front) story of how a post meant as a small tribute to the most creative part of our minds became a 100 followers ‘Thank You’ post. ~
Having re-watched Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban a couple of weeks ago after quite a long time (it’s my favourite film in the franchise and book in the series) I reached the conclusion that even those who are not into adventuring around the premises of Hogwarts cannot argue about the magnificent authoring imagination of J. K. Rowling. Aren’t we often contemplating on and marveling at the creative workings, which produced masterpieces like The Portrait of Dorian Gray, Howl’s Moving Castle or Plato’s Republic?
Such a topic, however, often gives rise to the genre debate, and the fantasy subgenre issue in particular. Literary works that have been described as belonging to the ‘fantasy’ category are more times than many given the cold shoulder by the more ‘sophisticated’, ‘real-life oriented’ or ‘strictly literary’ readers, critics, etc. It might be understandable up to some point, that such classifications are bound to be made for publishing and marketing reasons. Yet, the pity in this is how often such classifications lead to beautiful pieces of literature falling prey to prejudice before they’re even given the chance to plead their case. Why can’t a literary novel be fantasy as well? The take of authors Neil Gaiman and Kazuo Ishiguro on the matter is truly enlightening and could prove to be groundbreaking (you’ll find the relative link at the end of the post). For what is worth, the Nobel Prize winner’s latest work, The Buried Giant, is a fantasy novel.
As for a non-fiction point of view on this topic, I have often come across excerpts elaborating on Carl Jung’s opinion about imagination. The celebrated psychiatrist sustained that the gradual development of the so called ‘rational thinking’⸺responsible for sciences of indisputable importance such as mathematics, physics, law, etc. and linked with the conscious part of ourselves⸺was a milestone in human evolution. Respectively, he believed that ‘fantasy thinking’, which is the source of all creativity and the arts, comes from the unconscious and ‘primeval’/undeveloped part of the human mind.
No matter where the truth lies in all this (and it almost always is somewhere in the middle), one cannot deny the role of imagination in our everyday lives. If something boosts the mind’s rational thinking to carry on with its demanding journey it’s none other than its imaginative component, which can make any day worth living.
Let me know your thoughts too on the matter at the comment section below⸺what does imagination and creativity truly mean to you? How do you choose to incorporate them in your life?
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you again for your support and invite you to stay tuned for many more creative endeavours!
I’m leaving you with the beautiful, award-winning short film Alike, which captures how a world with or without imagination and creativity can be. And don’t forget: imagine on. It’s good for you. ~