Thursday, January 24, 2013

Evocative Power

A narration, regardless of its nature, should address the senses first.

Whether written or oral, whether a book or a performance, it should aim straight at the audience's heart, rather than at their brain.

It is necessary to understand that any acting or writing technique will be totally useless if it cannot move a reader or an audience. The purpose of story-telling is to touch, to amuse, to cheer up or even to sadden, to teach or to exemplify, to entertain and to catch interest. We also narrate to bore our children to sleep!

The overabundance of technology, plastic, glossy colours and flawless shapes, we should admit, has changed the course of our spiritual evolution. It feels, sometimes, that our soul too has become a glossy, dull-coloured and rectangular piece of plastic. We carry it in our cell phone case and has a retina display  We often share the impression that our feelings have become mere apps. Their logos appear on a display, they have bright colours and are expressed through smileys.

When life can no longer do so, art can bring us back to experiencing certain genuine and raw emotions. In order for this to happen, though, art has to aim at the core of those feelings. It has to pierce through the hard shell that envelops them like walnuts. It has to shake them because they are dormant.
Art can only succeed if it is expressed through a strong evocative power.

A narration is evocative when it touches the senses; it brings the audience or readers to see, hear, smell, taste, or touch the narrated context or object.
It is evocative when the mood it creates enshrouds the audience. It is evocative when its messages are not strictly conceptual, but through the reproduction of sounds, smells, visions and flavours it brings us to facing the beautiful side of life, the romantic one. Or even the ugly and sad ones. Isn't this what we need when Life grants us an interval?

Do you agree?

*I apologize for the incompleteness of this discourse. This post represents for me the first draft of a totally new awareness that is inexorably and quite drastically changing not only the course of my "artistic" endeavours, but of my life as well. I hope, in a nearest future, to be able to stand on a firmer ground and be, then, more precise.   



  1. I agree 150%. And, please, make no apologies for your thoughts, feelings, and awareness. No apology necessary at all. I have felt like this for a long time and I've been on a mission for years now to awaken the senses of the masses. Often times it feels as if it's a fight I fight alone, but I don't even care, because I know what it's like to look into the eyes of another and instantly see their soul. I have seen firsthand what rich, substantive art can do for another human. I would argue that it's the biggest reward an artist can achieve. The ability to move another...to inspire another...to awaken a dead soul. That's power, and it takes a certain level of skill, talent, and finesse that most don't possess. So, yes. I stand with you totally and completely on this one. Let's change the world.


  2. "It's a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless automat of characters. And if all of us are play acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don't have genuine souls." From Gillian Flynn's 'Gone Girl'. As I commented elsewhere for most people it's a 'Pick and Mix Affinity' or nothing.

  3. To reach someone on an emotional level, they must relate to, understand, even become what you are portraying or describing. Involving the senses places that person there so they can become.

    1. Ok, Jasmynne, I won't apologize again!
      Yes, skills, talent, and finesse. Sensitivity too, let me add.

      Thank you for the quote. I believe the moment someone starts play acting, they are the furthest from getting into people's hearts.

      The senses are the key to remembrance, to the emotions, and to everything else that lies on deeper layers.

  4. Yes! Thank you, Jay! Spot on. How funny that we are on the same wave length this week! This is exactly what I'm trying to tap into...

  5. Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.
    ~Anton Chekhov

    “The fragrance of white tea is the feeling of existing in the mists that float over waters; the scent of peony is the scent of the absence of negativity: a lack of confusion, doubt, and darkness; to smell a rose is to teach your soul to skip; a nut and a wood together is a walk over fallen Autumn leaves; the touch of jasmine is a night's dream under the nomad's moon.”
    —C. JoyBell C.

  6. I've been thinking about the post a lot, and I have to say, I think I agree. Though I don't agree all art *must* address the senses (it's very difficult to profess any universal truths, especially for art), I've found that the art that speaks to me the most is the one that touches my emotions.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  7. Curious coincidences happen, Morgan!

    I totally agree, Christie. Thank you for sharing those quotes. The first one reminds me of Bruce Lee's "It's like a finger pointing away at the moon. And don't look at the finger or you will miss all the heavenly glory!"

    Well, maybe we can say that some aspects of art should also address something else than the senses. But leaving aside universal truths, would art really make sense if it leaves you cold? Maybe, if it just requires you to use your brain and analytical power, we should call it philosophy, or science anyway...
    Thanks for your nice comment!