Guest Post by Author Thaisa Frank
Boundaries, Imagination and Beliefs
Now and then, people who read my work wonder where my boundaries are. Do I really believe in vampires and angels and girls with feet that can see? Do I believe that there are enchanted men or that a woman can see Poland in back of her car?
The answer: Of course not.
Like everybody else, I live in a world of shifting boundaries. When I have to cook a meal or get a child ready for school or go to a party, I lunge for all the things that have nouns: Salt, sugar, socks, backpack, earrings, lipstick, heels. Nouns and what they stand for feel solid and reassuring. I also love documentaries--maybe partly made up but seeming like a perfect marriage of facts and images.
But there’s a part of life that has a shifting, luminous edge for me. So I live between reassuring fixtures and what’s barely intuited, hard to put into words. That may be one reason why I’m receptive to what seems “given” by the imagination. Also putting something fantastic in a story but grounding it in the ordinary world is one way to explore these blurred lines. Readers I’ve met have told me this kind of fiction encourages them to imagine as well as see dissonance and absurdity.
Of course all fiction encourages readers to imagine and has blurred lines. Readers want to follow the characters home and see the difference between the stories they tell on the street and the way they live privately. My work ends up having to do this, too.
One last thought about the imagination: It seems to know more than we do. When I wrote Heidegger’s Glasses I made things up about WWII in the first draft because I do research later. When I got around to research a lot of what I made up really happened. Some coincidences must have been because I knew the facts subliminally. But there were so many, it seemed as though the creative imagination has phalanges and can time travel. I think all of us can do it! Just start with the phrase “Once upon a time….” and you will let into the fantastic world of the imagination.