The speed of communication today is mind-boggling and promises to keep getting faster. In many ways I see our challenge and reach for speed much like our determination to overcome the limitations of distance and decrease time spent in travel. I dare say in my own imagination I long for a Star Trek like transporter that can take me anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds and return me to my own bed by the end of the day.
Art and literature have always been a part of our communication. And in light of our constant pursuit for speed in every aspect of our lives I wonder if the phrase “a picture is worth 1000 words” will soon become a true marketing statement for a new way of “reading” a story.
For now our great works of art sit mostly in galleries and museums for the world to behold. From Medieval art birthed the Renaissance in man’s inward search to express the self more and the divinity less. Subject matter broadened, as did the color spectrum use by the artists.
Then came the Impressionists determined to express art for the sake of purity. From every bold stroke in Van Gogh’s paintings to the individual dots of Post Impressionist Seurat’s creations, the imagery spoke of a new transition—the next step in man’s desire to find individualism.
I dare say that books have made a similar journey in leaving much of the literary style to expand in theme, topic and audience, yet the goal always being the same—to take a reader on many journeys to many places with the only limitation being the mind.
So what if the two merged into a kind of commercialized product? What if the demand for speed in communication driven by what so many perceive to be a lack of time to embrace all we desire to “cram” into our lives reached into the book world? What if the common complaint I hear so often and even express myself as a lack of time to read were to coalesce into a contest to communicate a story with a single image and those best received, challenged and shared comprised the New York Times Bestseller list?
Without thinking of the ramifications of marketing and selling such a product when imagery is so freely accessed online, my thoughts wander to the evolution of such a product and would our desire for connection on deeper levels ultimately win out and return us to our yearning for a slower pace, to stop and appreciate every brush stroke, every dot and every word.
And in that evolution would we find the rebirth of the book as if it never left? What do you think?
Categories: Christian Fiction Dineen Miller The Soul Saver