Diptychs is a photographic project where two photographers demonstrate their perception of a single word. I cannot recommend enough that you check it out, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s a beautiful example of why two people can sit side by side reading the same book and come away with a totally different impression. If a single word can create such different imagery, imagine what differing images a phrase, paragraph or scene can create.
Some authors have such a superb grasp of the use of imagery in their writing it can take your breath away. I was reminded of that when I recently re-read Ann Aguirre’s Doubleblind:
I’ll always want him. Until every sun goes dark in every sky, until I am nothing more than long-forgotten cosmic dust, I will want him. And even then I suspect my particles will long for his.
Such an amazingly beautiful paragraph not only touches the mind and heart in its written form but in many becomes visual to the reader. If you haven’t read the Sirantha Jax books then you may have completely different imagery that those words evoke, but by the power of individual words used you will still have imagery.
And to me, that’s the reason why people will always want books in whatever form they take. Let’s face it, in some ways it’s easier to plonk down on a couch and watch tv or a movie than to read a book. But the fact that not only can two authors can sit side by side and try to convey that exact same emotion and it be expressed in entirely different ways which are formed by their own experiences and perceptions of the world, but that two readers can read those paragraphs and come away with entirely different perceptions of the imagery that was provoked is a powerful tool. It allows the essence of the story to become intensely individual, a personalised experience that speaks directly to the reader. And no tv show will ever give you that.