What makes a book not a movie?
“…it is our expression that there are no positive differences: that all things are like a mouse and a bug in the heart of a cheese. Mouse and a bug: no two things could seem more unlike. They’re there a week, or they stay there a month: both are then only transmutations of cheese. I think we’re all bugs and mice, and are only different expressions of an all-inclusive cheese.
Or that red is not positively different from yellow: is only another degree of whatever vibrancy yellow is a degree of: that red and yellow are continuous, or that they merge in orange.
So then that, if, upon the basis of yellowness and redness, Science should attempt to classify all phenomena, including all red things as veritable, and excluding all yellow things as false or illusory, the demarcation would have to be false and arbitrary, because things colored orange, constituting continuity, would belong on both sides of the attempted borderline.
As we go along, we shall be impressed with this:
That no basis for classification, or inclusion and exclusion, more reasonable than that of redness and yellowness has ever been conceived of.
Science has, by appeal to various bases, included a multitude of data. Had it not done so, there would be nothing with which to seem to be. Science has, by appeal to various bases, excluded a multitude of data. Then, if redness is continuous with yellowness: if every basis of admission is continuous with every basis of exclusion, Science must have excluded some things that are continuous with the accepted. In redness and yellowness, which merge in orangeness, we typify all tests, all standards, all means of forming an opinion—
Or that any positive opinion upon any subject is illusion built upon the fallacy that there are positive differences to judge by—
That the quest of all intellection has been for something—a fact, a basis, a generalization, law, formula, a major premise that is positive: that the best that has ever been done has been to say that some things are self-evident—whereas, by evidence we mean the support of something else—
That this is the quest; but that it has never been attained; but that Science has acted, ruled, pronounced, and condemned as if it had been attained.”
writing in The Book of the D*mned (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)
When I am asked for my philosophy of life, I sometimes respond that I am a Fortean.
What is a Fortean?
A follower of Charles Fort, who I have quoted above.
Saying you are a Fortean, though, is always a bit of a joke.
You see, according to Fort, you can’t really “be” anything to the exclusion of anything else.
Everything is simply a different degree of everything else…there are no hard and fast “things” in Fort’s writings.
Start with a Fortean, and eventually, you’ll find an element that takes you to “another” philosophy, and from that one to another, and then another, and another, and eventually, you end up back with your Fortean.
Fort said, “One measures a circle, beginning anywhere.” That’s the source of the name of one of my other blogs, “The Measured Circle”. Unlike this one, which does have some artificial constraints on subject matter, I write about whatever I want there. 🙂
This is a joke I wrote years ago: “Question: why did the Fortean cross the road? Answer: there aren’t two sides.”
Let’s say there was a North side and a South side. If you stand exactly in the middle where are you…North or South? If neither, how do you define that middle? Can’t you keep widening it, until both sides are considered as one?
That’s a whole lot of philosophy to get to the point of this post. 😉
Right now, most people have unbreachable, rigid concepts which separate, say, a book and a movie.
In the future, though, will that continue to be true?
If I asked you to define a movie, you would probably come up with something about a moving visual image.
Some books have that now…from animated covers to enhanced editions which may actually include movie clips and other videos.
Let’s say there is an enhanced edition of a biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., which includes video of the I Have a Dream speech.
Is that not a book?
Even if 80% of the book is the written word?
You would probably define a book as something about, well, written words.
When you are reading subtitles in a foreign language movie, is that a book?
Most people would immediately say no.
It’s a movie…with subtitles.
That enhanced e-book? It’s a book…with video.
What is an audiobook?
I tend to think of an audiobook as just as much a book as a p-book (paperbook).
It’s still the author’s words…you are just consuming them differently.
If someone is print disabled and listens to the great works of classical literature, do you not consider them well-read?
As technology expands, I think the lines will blur.
We may come to expect the ability to see video in books.
We may also find it natural to pause a movie of Alice in Wonderland and bring up the text of the corresponding chapter to the scene which we are watching.
We might pick up again after the scene we read, or continue where we left off.
Part of it might be an opera.
Now, I have to admit, this really appeals to me, but I like lots of things happening at once…I like to say that I love chaos. 🙂
Most people don’t.
I would guess most of you would not want your books, especially your fiction books, to have video, audio, and more.
You are fine with italics and bold, which are visual effects.
You may be okay with a map being in a book, or a “family tree” for a complex multiple generation work.
Do you like footnotes, endnotes, and/or cross references?
What if instead of having things like, “Said Pat”, there was a little picture of the speaker at the beginning of each paragraph of dialogue?
What if the picture moved?
What about a separate font color for each of ten characters? That would be expensive to do in the old days, but not so expensive for an e-book on a tablet.
I’m really just ruminating on this, but I think books will become much more dynamic than they are now, with more interactivity and more media.
Not every book, and not for every person. There is a certain…calmness in just reading the printed word.
I just don’t know how long that’s going to be the popular mainstream, though…
What do you think? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.