Creation v/s Imagination

I read a bit of Harry Potter today. Well, actually, I listened to it, as my brother was reading. And I found it to be so pointless. I read this book when I was maybe in college, and I went on to read the other 5 books as well. At the time, it seemed pretty interesting. But now, they make no sense whatsoever. This change in opinion, has come to apply not just to the HP series, but to all books in the fantasy genre. I have also come to understand that fantasy as a genre makes no sense whatsoever. This understanding was the result of about an hour of indulgence in a soliloquoy, which if witnessed, might become the basis of assumptions of mental instability. Considering that, it is going to take me a lot of effort to try and patiently put my thoughts into words. However, I will try and present my arguments against the fantasy genre of literature.The crux of this argument is imagination v/s creation. The former is what fantasies evolve from, or are created from. Indeed, J.K. Rowling seems to have a HUGE capacity for it, and so did J.R.R. Tolkein. The latter is what art, science, and essentially, everything of any consequence to man evolves from. Man survived, and continues to do so because of his ability to create. Writing, like other arts, is also a result of man’s ability to create, or his creativity. What the fantasy genre does, is reduces this process of creating, or man’s ability to create into a whimsical act often quite chaotic, having no implication and more importantly, no reason.

When one creates, one makes something out of something; not nothing. Creation requires basic raw material. In the case where the object of creation is intangible, it requires raw material in the form of thought, concepts and ideas. These thoughts, concepts and ideas also, cannot be created out of nothing — they need to have a solid basis in reality, they need to be justified, and most importantly, they need to be flawless. Thus, creation, at all times requires building up from a foundation of well-thought out, flawless premises and with a clear, unambiguous and unique objective. Take examples of absolutely any object of creation and you will realise this is the only way the process works. The process of creation, thus, requires certain parameters, definitions, a purpose, and most importantly an irrefutable reason as to why the creation must occur in the first place.

Take imagination on the other hand.Β  To ‘imagine’ is to create an image in one’s mind. Of what? Absolutely anything! Since it’s just an image, it requires to reason for its existence, it requires no objective, no parameters, and needs no definitions. Since its existence is devoid of any purpose, it has no implication, so there is no compelling reason as to why the image exists or why it doesn’t. Since it has no parameters, or objective, it is built on absolutely no premises, and thus has no direction. It can go wherever it wants, no patterns to follow, since there is no direction. An example of this is Harry Potter, and just about every other book that was based on fantasy. The book’s content could go almost anywhere. If the content were left unfinished, almost anyone would be able to finish it, since it would require nothing more than just a wild goose chase after random imagery. Since almost anyone could finish the content, or write one — the book no longer is an expression of the author’s ideas, it no longer has a central idea which is the author’s own and essentially the author isn’t writing it because he has something to say, but because he wants to say SOMETHING.

This entire argument is based on the presupposition that creation is superior to imagination. After the above explanation, my reasons for this become obvious, as does the fact in itself.


3 thoughts on “Creation v/s Imagination

  1. I understand what you are saying. But at the same time, I like Harry Potter.

    I think that creativity devoid of specific objective (your imagination argument) also serves a purpose.

    Think about a world where people stop admiring painting, sculpting or abstract art, simply because it is imagination without an end-result πŸ™‚

    Keep Writing πŸ™‚

    • Thank you for your comments
      People like different things. That’s an individual’s choice. What matters are the reasons.
      creativity devoid of specific objective (your imagination argument) also serves a purpose.” — This statement contradicts itself. An entity which is devoid of an objective cannot have a purpose.
      Think about a world where people stop admiring painting, sculpting or abstract art, simply because it is imagination without an end-result’
      This statement also contradicts itself. The art forms you’ve mentioned are all tangible and hence creations (as opposed to imagination) of the artist. Their existence is the end-result.
      Take care.

  2. Well, I would beg to differ with the whole premise of the argument.

    Creativity doesn’t exist without imagination. And all the facets as well as requirements of creativity that you have elucidated here are actually facets of imagination. In general, any good science fiction or fantasy actually becomes good when it becomes a better metaphor for the so called ‘reality’ then any realistic piece of writing. From Tolkein to Rowling, Asimov (or Ray Bradbury, for that matter) to Roger Zelazny (not to forget Ursula K. Le Guin, Frank Herbert, David Gemmel or even Neil Gaiman, and our dear own Satyajit Ray-albeit for kids), all these writers have created a metaphor for the human condition in a set up that has liberated them of the framework of ‘realistic world’ and have presented a picture of ourselves in a scenario that may appear alien at first, but once you wade through the waters and take a dip you’d realize the richness of their understanding of all facets of humanity. I don’t think anyone has ever dealt with the sexual nature of human beings better than Ursula Le Guin in The Left Hand of Darkness. Douglas Adams’s masterpiece The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (and its sequels) is one the ultimate satire of the human pursuit of the intellect. Asimov’s original Foundation trilogy (Foundation, Foundation and empire, The Second Foundation) is one of finest elucidation of the social evolution of the human civilzation. Well, I can continue on and on with the list, but I guess the idea is quite clear here!

    As for creating anything for purpose, it is the effect of theological mode of teaching that we have undergone in the centuries (all over the world) that make us believe that things are created with a purpose, We are made to believe that things happen because there is some purpose, may be some common good that creates the something new. But if you remove the glasses and see through reason you’ll realize that from physics to natural selection, nothing works teleologically. All evolution happen at random, and the purpose is created later. All scientific breakthroughs happen without any purpose, the purposes and uses and applications are created later. Any design that is created with a purpose in mind is nothing but a SMALL iteration of something that has already existed in full glory before.

    I guess it is getting too long here, so the rest I will write somewhere else! πŸ™‚

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