The Owlet - Fiction vs Non-Fiction
Greetings from Sonipat, Haryana!
I would like to talk about a debate that I have been thinking about for a while - Fiction vs Non-Fiction.
Now, this is a multi-faceted topic, rife with intricacies and nuances. In fact, it merits its own article altogether. So I shall confine this letter to one aspect only—why is fiction so much easier to read than non-fiction?
It is undeniable—most pieces of fiction read with an ease that is all but absent in informational prose. But why?
No more is this more obvious to me than in the Harry Potter series. This story has a haunting quality in that it can render the reader oblivious to the passage of time. Chances are you have experienced this yourself; you picked up the old Harry Potter book from the shelf, settled down just to skip a few pages, and before you know it, the sun is down, and you are absorbed into the workings of Hogwarts. (I plead guilty to this phenomenon many times)
Now, I would be remiss if I did not say that I love non-fiction. I adore it, for I learn about topics I couldn’t imagine studying otherwise. But I scarcely recall a non-fiction book that I have immersed myself in like Harry Potter.
Sharing stories is one of humanity’s longest traditions. Stories, in the form of religion, legends, myths and superstitions, have permeated history since time immemorial. It marks the passage of ideals. These stories have the power to change our worldview.
I guess that in fiction, I place myself in the story. I see the world through the protagonist, almost as if I was the protagonist himself. I never do this non-fiction. Fiction possesses a personal touch that connects with the reader on an emotional level. That must be the reason behind its emotive resonance.
What do you think? Do you have any other ideas? Let me know by dropping me a reply!
My Favourite Things this Week
Project Animalia: A Year in 365 Animal Paintings • The Revelator — therevelator.org While in lockdown, artist Mesa Schumacher took her fans around the world by drawing a new species every day.
Stories alter how you perceive the world (in a good way)...
Telling incredible stories A blog post that deconstructs how to be a great spoken storyteller. How do you make an audience lean in?
While driving through Kochi, I came across a huge lake where I saw hundreds of kites flying around. For reasons only known to them, they were swarming above the water column, taking turns diving at the surface trying to catch a fish.
I immediately stopped the car and took out my camera. The subjects were fast moving, so it took quite a while to get the hang of photographing them. I got many shots of individual birds, but in the back of my head I knew that a shot of several birds together would be far more compelling.
So I zoomed back and tried to include many birds in the frame. This is the resulting image. In it, I see a certain story, with each bird caught mid-flight, wings spread out in all its glory.
Rock bottom is the solid foundation on which I have built my life - J K Rowling
Have a great week!
If you’re new, welcome to The Owlet! My name is Ishan Shanavas, and here I talk about my work, along with curating the most interesting ideas on the internet. I confine them to topics like Nature, Culture, Photography, and Art but often fall prey to other genres.
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