Saturday, February 02, 2008

Some Effects

Well its 9pm on a cold saturday night here in the Regenstein library, south side chicago. I'm farely certain other hogwarts grads are somewhere in the building, which is a strange feeling, I'll have you know. Nonetheless, this is the first moment in a long while that I've had to think, collect, and reflect. Theres been something nagging me since I've arrived at Uni, and I've wanted to run it by the pw crew: the loss of imagination.

I know there are some of us who have been gifted the ability to dream lucid dreams, some the ability to write creative verse, but there are some of us with no such innate imaginative outlet. For some of us the only imaginatinative outlet available is the 10 minutes betwee when we turn off the lights and fall asleep. I first realized something was going on when I went to a movie this fall, a Kirosawa actually, and quickly realized that I was close-reading the subtitles and analyzing the development of scene structure. This was a saturday night outing that my friends and I had planned, and nonetheless, I found myself analyzing. Partially pleased, partially disgusted, I watched the rest of the film wilfully denying myself the opportunity to analyze the movie, and instead watched it just as I've watched every other full-screen showing. This shift, from dyonesian to appollonian, in my creative life then extended to my own music playing, my reading for pleasure, my conversations with friends/family, and essentially every other aspect of my life. I realized that when I turned off the lights and layed in my bed at night I would think critically about everything that went on in my day, etc. I no longer drempt about what I would do if I was in "xyz" situation, what it would be like to be "xyz" person, instead I was making cold, calculated decisions.
I realize that this is my peter-panish realization of the way my brain will most likely function for the rest of my life, but it seems that theres no lack of correlation between my coming to university and my loss of imagination. Whether its a good thing or a bad thing, an intended consequence or an incidental one, I'm not sure. I do know that I never want to lose my imagination, whether it keeps me from being the most rational, reasoning person or not and this is no childish wish of mine. I really value imagination and I feel like you all do to, which makes me ask whether you think there is something going on in schools (even one so bent on promoting liberal arts, as this one in Hyde Park is) that is destroying imaginations, and whether it should/can be stopped.

best wishes,
njs

4 comments:

Paddy said...

An initial and crucial question that must be asked: Are you mourning the LOSS of something that is passing or beginning feel the absences of something that was never cultivated in the first place?

sobinator said...

the loss of something that was once a crucial part of my life. definitely.

MrC said...

Sobo,

School destroys imagination at every turn in my view. We approach this world as inquistivie imaginative human beings until we get to school. Then the weight of authority bears down on us so hard that we begin the process of imaginative destruction from the first grade on. Some of us resist and hold out longer than others. I think I have done a better job than most at this,yet when I am turly honest with myself, I too am an imaginative sellout on many levels. Imaginative life is painful and as we grow older our ablility to bear the pain becomes less and less worth it.

C

Paddy said...

I wouldn't feel guilty or self-conscious about analyzing a Kurosawa film nowhere nohow! The power of artistic design and analysis informs and raises the level of dialogue as well as appreciation. We are not mere dumb animals that just want feeding and a belly rub every now and then.