Travel Literature Makes My Heart Beat Faster.. discussion

visual or sound bite?

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message 1: by Jane (last edited Feb 12, 2010 02:23PM) (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments In a recent discussion with a friend I just realized that different people absorb travel descriptions differently. I am an artist so I absorb pictures and when you mention a book I have read in the past I see the area in my mind. Andrew Harvey bothered me when he told of hearing the scene in front of him. WHAT? And then my friend tells me she can not visualize but hears the sound and the rhythm. Then a male friend says he only collects the facts, strictly left brain. Would you comment on how you read. I never realized that everyone doesnt read as I do and find this difference fascinating.

message 2: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (nancybartellsbcglobalnet) | 48 comments I, too, am a very visual person. I "see" everything I read.

I also am a therapist and when a client talks about their home, etc. I visual a place and put them there in my head. I never go to the client's real home and have no real frame of reference for my fantasy. Each client has his own place in my head.

Sometimes author's detailed description of setting almost interfere with what I'm imagining. Isn't that strange?

message 3: by Jane (last edited Feb 12, 2010 02:23PM) (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments Here is a quote from Harveys book, " A journey in Ladakh" This is one passage that left me questioning; "When the birds sang the walls sang too, and the paths, and the four or five fat monks on their balconies, and the dogs nosing from rock to rock, and the sound of the singing filled all the corners of the desert and its silence, and was its essential sound, the sound that sustains all the ramshackle splendor of rock and stone and light.

I thought it was just poetic words until I find others that actually hear words.

message 4: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 127 comments Fascinating. I definitely read mostly visually. Sometimes if I read several books about the same place, I find myself comparing the author's description with the visual picture I've gotten from previous books.

message 5: by Michelle (new)

Michelle | 1 comments That is a very intriguing question. I had to think about it before I could answer. And I came to the conclusion that I do both, but read more visually. I guess it depends on the scene you are reading. Jane's quote is the perfect example of reading with your ears. I also add smells to get a total "feel" of the places.

message 6: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (nancybartellsbcglobalnet) | 48 comments I had a friend who used to "see" people in colors. She would say "They are grey plaid" or "He looks like waxed paper". She "saw" me as sea green. I think I have read about people whose senses sort of flow between one and the other. This is fascinating to me as to how we all perceive the world. Great topic!

message 7: by Jane (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments I have been holding off on commenting, hoping for some strickly left brain people but I agree Nancy, it is very interesting. I hope we can explore it more. It must have to do with right brain, left brain activity in people. I am curious if their other activities, unrelated to reading, also uses one side of the brain more then the other. Andrea and I seem to be dominately visual. Besides art I participate in many creative activities from writing, fabric and paper arts, and designing and dyeing fabeics. How about you Andrea? And

message 8: by Jane (last edited Feb 13, 2010 07:05AM) (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments And Michelle, SMELL? Please elaborate. I can close my eyes and besides visualizing places and things I can see different colors and hear a piece of music in my mind, but smell I never thought of. How exciting.

message 9: by Jane (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments Safia, on learning differently, my daughter is quite intelligent but has trouble taking verbal instructions. Her learning comes strictly from the written word. A lecture never gets through. I too love detail descriptions. My first introduction to heavy descriptive writing was Mitchners HAWAII that I read many years ago but I still have a detailed picture of Hawaii in my mind.

message 10: by Jane (last edited Feb 13, 2010 07:29AM) (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments I don't mean to dominate this thread but I must comment on Nancys comment on her friend who saw her in colors. Grey plaid, hmmmm and wax paper?? So glad you shared that. It gives us a big one to think about, and also about senses flowing between one another. I have heard about people who could read a persons mood or general personality at the moment by colors surroundinng the person. On senses flowing, Joseph Campbello would say it is God within us recognizing God within another and exchanging energy. but thats another subject. But energy? Do you think it could be some type of energy exchange?

message 11: by Jane (last edited Feb 13, 2010 07:36AM) (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments You know Safia, you seem to have a great balance between right and left brain as I would consider intuition and feelings definately right brain but to retain those impressions as map orianted could be left brain? Just a thought....

message 12: by Jane (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments Oh yes, I understand that. I thought you did not require any real world smells, just producing them in your mind.

message 13: by Nancy (new)

Nancy (nancybartellsbcglobalnet) | 48 comments Here's something else to think about. Has anyone read "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine Aron. She claims HSP's (myself included) have a highly sensitive nervous system and we are very affected by sense perceptions. We don't like loud noises, bright lights, crowding, etc. We get labeled as introverts because of our avoidance of a lot of stimulation AND in turn we usually have a rich inner life that uses lots of imagination, etc. I think that's one of the reasons I read so much so I can have control over sense perceptions.

message 14: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 53 comments Don'y know what I am... just in the sense that there are some situations I don't like, yet today I was in a noisy, crowded environment getting nervous about Wales winning the rugby and was on a high! Last Wednesday I avoided even friends as the club had karaoke. sometime it all works... sometimes not! Good point to know why though!

message 15: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 127 comments In response to Jane's question, books lead me to very visual images, but I'm not a visual arts person in general. As for smells, I thinks it's very strange that we can't really "remember" them except when we encounter them again. A remembered smell when re-encountered is really a strong emotional experience, but I can't sit here and really remember a smell. I teach writing, and I tell students that unless they can think of a similar smell to the one they are describing, one that readers are familiar with, they won't have much luck describing smells. I love Elspeth Huxley's description of the Kenyan highlands because she describes the smell, but I already know that smell. To someone who hadn't been there, it might not create the same impression.

message 16: by Harvey (new)

Harvey | 53 comments Interesting point. Can you maginne or describe? Omdurman Market was different in my imagination to the reality. My job depends on imagination... Is there a substitute for experience?

message 17: by Jane (new)

Jane (grammyjane) | 19 comments IIn response to Harveys question, 'Is there a substitute for experience' I say YES'. I stumbled into Visualization out of not knowing what I was doing. When I first got my computer I decided to have a group in yahoo called A Crone Village for women over 50. I created a village and each new member was to create an imaginary shop to work out of. I was lucky that 6 very imaginative writers joined and to this day I can see, in my mind, the spiders weaving clothes in Patties pj shop, and the other extremely imaginative places surrounding the park. This was my entrance into visualization. Once the village came to an end I discovered, "The Soul Food Cafe", set up by an Australian teacher. Group journeys are taken by everyone on various web pages, such as a visit to a gypsy camp. All become very real in our minds, including the visions of our fellow travelers.

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