This afternoon, I picked up on an APA article they titled “Literary Character“. Our beginning to discover differences between learning by reading versus watching is important. From my point of view we do not need to see a devaluing of movies but rather a rethinking of how both fashions can be used. Since both touch into us in different fashions each sets off different parts of our neural nets and that is the whole point.
While physical reading is important, I have discovered that I do better listening than trying to use just my eyes. Why? I am uncertain but I know that by listening I am able to gain a broader time span than I can muster by being just visual. My daughter, though, is able to read with an amazing speed and cannot truly stomach listening to a book as her father can.
I see grave differences between the movies of Alfred Hitchcock and those of George Lucas. Both accomplished stirring up my body but only Hitchcock was able to agitate my mind and push it beyond excitement into terror, intrigue and the kind of thinking I love doing. Lucas was able to ruffle my emotional feathers going close to nowhere with my thought and emotional intellect. I am not demeaning that focus. Rather, I am wishing this fashioning of movies was never the dominant side it has always been.
“But a number of studies suggest that books — and specifically literary fiction — can also affect social skills, emotional intelligence, and behavior throughout life. As Canadian novelist and psychological scientist Keith Oatley, an APS Fellow, has written, stories appear to offer a deeply felt simulation of social experience, expanding our understanding of ourselves and others.”
Was it the contrasting works of Alfred Hitchcock, Edgar Allen Poe, Søren Kierkegaard, Douglas Adams, Robert Arthur, Darren Aronofsky, Isaac Asimov; Greg Bear; Ray Bradbury; Roald Dahl; Aldous Huxley; Paul Levinson, Larry Niven or even H. G. Wells that helped to shape my personality and that professional life I lived? Did those books come close to completely shaping me? I doubt any of those authors, especially the plethora of Sci-Fi I listed carried much of my life between their pages. Those did though generate massive amounts of thoughts and fantasies which proved a treasure.
So then, I do not want to see movies disappear. I do want to see the use of movies moved well past simply accepting the shape shifting of their only listening to the whims of the social psyche.