When I read, I always see the characters in my mind as if on a screen. They become so vivid (if the work of literature is any good, of course) that I often decide that I must have seen a film version of the novel. I then keep looking for this film version, only to realize that it doesn’t exist and that all of the images of the characters and their surroundings come from my own imagination.
This is why I don’t like movies. They strive to tell me everything: how the characters looked, what they wore, what their every facial expression was like, etc. They even choose the angle of vision for me. Not only do they render me motionless and speechless, they also rob me of the need to imagine anything. It’s all right there, all spelled out for me in painstaking detail.
Spending just two hours at the movies terrifies me. What if the lights never go on and I will be stuck there, consuming one story after another in my role of a perennially passive observer? What if the surround sound noise never allows me to formulate a single thought of my own?
Lenin really knew what he was talking about when he denounced people who read books and declared that the main form of art for his regime would be cinema. And the circus.