19 November 2022

Idle Musing on Imagination

Some months ago, a friend bemoaned the fact that she had no visual imagination, which is to say, she found it impossible to visualize anything she read, which is why she avoided imaginative fiction such as fantasy and science fiction. In contrast, I find it so easy to visualize what I read that I typically feel as if I have been transported to another world and lose all awareness of my real world surroundings. When I am immersed in a book or an article, I can't even hear someone speaking to me until they tap me on the shoulder or cover what I'm reading with their hand. As it happens, these extreme experiences have names. Apparently, my friend has aphantasia, whereas I have hyperphantasia. It doesn't alter anything, but I find it interesting that a name exists for something I have always — in my case — taken for granted.