September 21, 2012

Shshshshsh

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I was thinking about the medium of television and movies and how it is all external.  It is all image. Filmmakers use various techniques to try to circumvent that, to show you the internal life of the characters, whether it’s facial expressions or voiceover or symbolism or special camera techniques.  However, it is essentially an exterior medium.  It is the way we experience the outside world every day, and we have to try to figure out what’s going on inside other people.  We’re these scientists who investigate the clues to others’ inner lives.

Writing is not like that.  It is an interiority medium.  You have to make a much more conscious effort to paint a picture of the outside world, and even when the world is presented it’s a reflection of the inner life of the characters or of the writer. I’ve always said that this is why I love fiction ~ it’s as close as you can get to another person’s reality.

The internet is an interesting combination of both.  It lends itself to the visual and therefore the quick fix, the exterior.  Yet it’s also word driven and therefore we have the insides of people displayed for all to see.  Everyone can get past the gatekeepers to express their inner lives.  But the quick fix nature of the medium encourages the reader not to connect and understand but to form an instant opinion and move on.

Lately I’ve been finding this all exhausting, and I’ve been seeking out the little corners of the internet that have long quiet intense articles.  Anything by Roxane Gay.  Byliner and its long-form journalism.  The Rumpus.  Or I’ve been avoiding the internet altogether and going to the source, to my beloved books.  Still working my way through that fabulous short story collection The Story and its Writer, and also started the second in the Song of Ice and Fire series.  Seeking solitude and quiet.

 

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