Saturday, July 13, 2013

Fiction and the Space-Time Continuum

Some people don’t like fiction, saying, “It’s all just make believe, I prefer biography,” or “I’d rather watch a movie.” Whatever, they are still experiencing a tale. We do not know when the oral traditions of storytelling began, but probably long enough ago that fiction became entrenched as the biological need it has become. Biological need? Yep. In biology, survival tends to get rid of anything unnecessary, yet fiction continues. We have a need for it and spend countless hours in other worlds of fantasy (all fiction is fantasy), which might be better spent doing something else, so why? In some ways it remains a mystery, but Joseph Campbell, Carl Jung, and Vladimir Propp showed in their respective researches how stories might serve some deep spiritual and mental need for both the author and the reader.

Fiction isn’t just a way to relax and to pass time, or a method to relieve stress, or to help a person fall asleep, but an ongoing collision between fantasy and reality that takes the reader on a journey of some sort, whether an adventure tour, a voyage of growth, a drive to change entrenched viewpoints, or an expedition to achieving a long sought goal. A story always contains a problem that needs solving, which provides an experience that calls for the reader’s personal interaction, learning, and maybe his or her personal change. If that interaction doesn’t happen, neither does the story.

Each of us lives in a finite space and time, and physics, even philosophy, have indicated the possibility of multiple universes. So maybe that’s where reading takes us--a junction between biology and the space-time continuum fueled by imagination. Maybe imagination is where infinite universes intersect and all those stories are true in some other time and reality.

Available from Champagne Books.
Cross posted at Rhobin L. Courtright


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You are likely right about the truths within the fiction or fantasy; that everything is true somewhere is a real possibility.

I find reading fiction expands my interests and my imagination. It will sometimes solidfy my take on a question or support it.

Also, it poses possibilities.

Rhobin Lee Courtright said...

Aren't possibilities intriguing?

Big Mike said...

I agree and in primate man it was a form of social networking around the camp fire. Sadly fewer and fewer dive into the fictional world. Each year stats reveal their are less readers of fiction then the last year.

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Blind Consent, “The answers are buried in the secrets of the past.”
Forgotten Children, “Only Sara knows the truth.”
Tainted Hero, “Sometimes good people do bad things.”
Veil of Deception, “Sometimes truth cuts deeper than a lie.”
Shadow of Guilt, “To each crossing of paths, there is a purpose.”
The Treasure, “A lonely heart can impair one’s judgment.”
Final Solution, “How far is too far?”
Righteous Fury, “There’s a fine line between honor and treason.”