Thursday, March 22, 2007

Illusive Visions

Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there.
- EH Gombrich

This was a ‘quote of the day’ for me on my Google homepage, and it’s oddly appropriate. A good author is like the person who can handle a needle so well that we see a thread that doesn’t, actually exist.

The quote also calls to mind Peter Pan. Live, on stage, the scene where Wendy sews on Peter’s shadow? The two of them have to act convincingly enough that the audience sees a needle (which often doesn’t exist, either) going through the shadow, and then through Peter, to attach the shadow back on.

So I guess a good author is like a good actor. Both can convince their audience of something that doesn’t actually exist.

This trait is one that I hope I either have - or can develop - and that Randy Ingermanson, author of DOUBLE VISION, definitely has.

I had intended to discuss how DOUBLE VISION fit the category Christian Fiction today, but I find that my mind has gotten sidetracked with thoughts of illusions and mystery writing. Of stage tricks and slight-of-hand. In one way, the plot to DOUBLE VISION reminds me of the plot of the movie “The Illusionist”.


A short break here for me to encourage those of you who have not yet seen “The Illusionist” to do so. It’s a wonderful movie, well
acted and scripted, with good effects and cinematography.


Both DOUBLE VISION and “The Illusionist” give you an option for the answer to the mystery that sits at the back of your mind, not calling attention to itself if you don’t already know yet so obvious when you do. They both use good seeding to keep coming back to the answer without so much as hinting at it. The needle-wielders are so skilled that they get you leaping to conclusions that aren’t backed up by facts. They warp the reality of the situation with the appearance, and leave the audience thinking that a non-existent item does, in fact, exist.

Just like the thread.