In the introduction to his book, “Other Colours”, a compilation of his writings on Life, Art Books and Cities, Turkish author Orhan Pamuk says:
An imaginative novelist’s greatest virtue is his ability to forget the world in the way a child does, to be irresponsible and delight in it, to play around with the rules of the known world- but at the same time to see past his freewheeling flights of fancy to the deep responsibility of later allowing reading to lose themselves in the story. A novelist might spend the whole day playing, but at the same time he carries the deepest conviction of being more serious than others. This is because he can look directly into the centre of things the way that only children can. Having found the courage to set rules for the games we once played freely, he senses that his readers will also allow themselves to be drawn into the same rules, the same language, the same sentences and therefore the story. To write well is to allow the reader to say, “I was going to say the same thing myself, but I couldn’t allow myself to be that childish.
Sadly, about 15 years ago, I lost the ability to appreciate novels and movies. As Pamuk explains, to enjoy the experience, one must let go and allow oneself to be manipulated by the author or the director. This is precisely what I guard against. When I watch a movie, I am so conscious of the movement of the camera, the rapid zoom-in and zoom-out and the background music that is played with clear intent to create the necessary effect and to stir my emotions. Due to this constant vigilance, every scene looks artificial, every story completely unrealistic and every Rajinikanth movie over-the-top.. The net result being that I deny myself the simple joy of reveling in fantasy or even absurdity..
Clearly, such periodic and child-like flights of fantasy are necessary to re-charge one’s brain, improve powers of imagination and foster creativity. The old theory of right-brain complementing the left brain.
Note to self: Loosen up.