Monday, December 04, 2006

Wonder of The Written Word

Over the last few years, I've really come to enjoy reading fiction. As a child, I never enjoyed it. I liked reading books with information and pictures, but I didn't see the point of reading fictional books. I thought, why read for entertainment when I can watch tv?

Recently, I've found that there is a lot to be learned from fiction. The problem is that no one ever taught me to appreciate it. In this regards, I feel my school teachers failed me. I wish they would have taken time to let me fall in love with reading before we started analyzing and criticizing the stories. Subliminally, my teachers were teaching me that stories were meant for analyzing and understanding, but not for enjoyment. Instead of using these stories to stretch my imagination, they used them to control my imagination and confine it. I realize this was not their intention, but nonetheless, it was the result.

So you might ask, "why am I telling you this?" Well, I find in my writing, a lack of language to express certain thoughts, and a lack of imagination to create poetic sounding language. When I read books by C.S.Lewis and G.K.Chesterton, I'm awestruck by their ability to let me see exactly what they see, and feel what their characters feel. I wish I were able to do the same.

I just read the "Great Divorce" by C.S.Lewis this week (second time reading it), and I was captivated by the images used in the book. The language he uses not only opens my imagination, it also sparks my curiousity. His ability to convey such profound ideas in such gripping, colourful, imaginative ways, leaves me speechless. I wish I had the imagination and language to inspire in others a sense of wonder as Lewis does for me.

I'll leave you with an excerpt from "The Great Divorce"...

"Before me green slopes made a wide ampitheatre, enclosing a frothy and pulsating lake into which, over many-coloured rocks, a waterfall was pouring. Here once again I realized that something had happened to my senses so that they were now receiving impressions which would normally exceed their capacity. On earth, such a waterfall could not have been perceived at all as a whole; it was too big. Its sound would have been a terror in the woods for twenty miles. Here, after the first shock, my sensibility 'took' both as a well-built ship takes a huge wave. I exulted. The noise, though gigantic, was like giants' laughter: like the revelry of a whole college of giants together laughing, dancing, singing, roaring at their high works."


Blogger Mike said...

you need to read some Flannery OConner.

Nuff said.

8:31 p.m.  

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