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Imagination: The Excitement of Possibility by Nigel Roth

Dernière mise à jour : 2 mars 2021

Sagan said we’d go nowhere without it, and Einstein imagined it would take us everywhere.

Kant believed happiness came directly from it, and without it, Steinem says, we lose “the excitement of possibility”.

That excitement can be borne out again and again in storytelling, which engages our auditory cortex and stimulates our neurons, as the imagination of the author activates our own thinking.

Oral storytelling began long before tales were written down, but we do have stories, like the sagas and chronicles from Iceland and England, to read and determine real from imagined lives, and texts like the twelfth century Welsh Mabinogion, which gave Tolkien all the inspiration he needed for his own characters and adventures.

And more recently, stories have imagined our own future rather than the Hobbits of The Shire, and given impetus to ideas and thinking that continue to shape our world.

Stories like Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backward. In 1887, as work was just beginning on a huge Paris tower named for its engineer Gustave Eiffel, Bellamy was creating a money card with which his citizens could visit the thousands of stores he foresaw in his shopping mall, and maybe purchase a bottle of the brand new Glenfiddich whisky that had just been introduced.