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Spellbinding Sentences by Barbara Baig

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Chapter 7

The Language of the Imagination

The artist seeks out the luminous detail and presents it.

—Ezra Pound

What do you think the imagination is? Many people think it’s merely the ability to make things up, or to create fantasy. The imagination can do those things, but its real power is more fundamental. At its most basic, the imagination is the mental faculty that lets us create in our minds pictures of things—real or invented—that are not actually present to our senses. In our imagination, we can see the face of a friend who is far away; we can taste the hamburger we plan to eat for dinner; we can smell the perfume one of our characters is wearing.

Many people believe that it’s only the gifted few who have “imagination”—but that’s not so. ...

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