There’s something magical about reading. It transports you to a world away from here, where anything is possible, and the only limitations are the confines of vernacular an author chooses to remain within. And as an adult (damn, I’m an adult now huh), there’s often just not enough time to delve into a book and read it cover to cover. Well, at least, a decent length novel; those simple 2″ margin adolescent books with a simplistic plot and one-dimensional characters don’t really count. One could argue, but hey, TV shows/movies can do the same thing! You can sit back, relax, and let the scenes play themselves out in front of you. You don’t have to do a thing! And to that I say, meh.
Regarding movies, at least in this current day and age, most of the focus seems to be on special effects and detailing and props as opposed to crafting an immersive experience that simply engulfs you and draws you into the world that the film has created. Aside from that, most films are usually too short to even accomplish that feat. Let’s not even get started with book-to-film adaptations. For the most part, these reels often encompass the major points of the film, but I’m often left with a feeling of disappointment because something was left out or changed or etc to fit the movie industry requirements.
Shows, I’d venture to say, can be a bit more flexible in terms of what they can offer, but at the same time, are limited by the need to create a captivating story arc for a 25min/50min period such that the audience wants to tune in to see what’s happening, but yet also have an overarching plot that keeps people interested over a period of time. It’s a different kind of beast with a different kind of problem, but, ultimately, my quip with it is that everything is already thought out for you and all that you’re required to do is sit there and soak it in. For some, this is one of their favorite forms of relaxation; no work or energy is required on your part, and this gives you some water cooler topics to talk about the next day. Hohumz.
So, as I mentioned in my previous entry, I’ve recently been spurred once again to pick up reading and lose myself in these wonderfully crafted worlds that are painted line by line through the foundations of each passing sentence. I was able to finish The Great Gatsby, and chuckled at the crazy life that Nick Carraway found himself in, his eccentric dalliance with Jordan Baker, and his doubly mysterious neighbor Jay Gatsby. My first impression of Gatsby lead me to think of a friend of mine, who would often take up random adventures at all sorts of hours of the day, usually with the air of assuming you had nothing better to do, and that you would simply just love to join him on his excursions. Then, further into the novel, we see how the past lives of Gatsby and Daisy once intertwined, and that Gatsby had never been able to let go of that fleeting moment. That he had built up Daisy onto a pedestal, making her larger than life, and a character encompassing more than who the real Daisy actually was. That all of his extravagant actions were ploys that he hoped would somehow lure her back into his life. And when the moment finally came, upon which they were meet face to face after a number of years, nothing could seem to go right that day, even as he tried and tried to make everything perfect. All of this seemed to provide me glimpses of my past self and some interest moments in my history. But of course, all of this was accomplished merely by reading the pennings of F. Scott Fitzgerald, of which he completed back in 1925. And here I am, many decades later, able to read his book and create a world and characters and happenings to his specifications, but using the imagery of what my mind wanted to see. Not only that, but beyond the mind working to create a the world of Gatsby, it also had to work itself to read and decipher vocabulary not necessarily used in everyday language. For some inexplicable reason, I got a lot of joy out of that.
I’m currently just about to finish 1984 by George Orwell. This was a book we read in high school that caught my attention, namely about the idea of a Big Brother and larger-than-life government, and the idea of a person desiring to break free from the shackles of the totalitarian society and attempting to find his own self in this futuristic world. I was really impressed by how Orwell was able to create this strict futuristic society back in 1949 (and how he projected society could be by the year of 1984). And once again, my mind flared to life to recreate the world Orwell created, and I was both on the edge of my seat and afraid to see what would happen next as I turned the page. It contrasts against the media of television and movies by allowing me to control the pace at which the story unravels. My mind gets to envision how the world looks like, and I get to unwrap the diction Orwell used to construct Oceania and its corresponding laws and regulations. I mean, yeah, I s’pose its more work than the average bear would like to undertake when looking for entertainment, but I really do miss this.