A new study on 17th- and 18th-century spaces for solitude and reflection poses the question: can a place of imagination be a real place?
This is so interesting! "what one looks at (if anything) while writing and also what one sees while reading"
I think I look at "nothing" while writing but the inside of my head. Whatever pictures are happening there or I am trying to see or make.
What I see when reading .. someone else is supplying the starter images, a very relaxing feeling. I will often read those parts over again because they give a particular kind of pleasure or interest, and now that I think about it, maybe it is a way to fix the image in my head.
There is a related thing where writers tell you what someone looks like. I always wait impatiently for that kind of information. It is a little bit childish I think, and thus pleasurable.
I like the phrase "word mounds."
It seems that space in books is connected to atmosphere and atmosphere itself can become a kind of space? I am thinking of Knut Hamsun's books, Hunger, but also another one where a guy lives in a cabin in the woods with his dog ... I will have to go back to the book to see how it is described. Now that I think about it quite a few books have left images of rooms or other spaces in my head. Elizabeth Bowen I think is a good one for rooms and houses.
The kitchen in Shirley Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle!
My first closet -- was an actual closet, built by my father, who also built the room I shared with my two younger sisters. One day I turned my closet into a smaller room of my own. It made sense since it had two doors that slid closed. I drew a picture of a phone on one wall, to make sure I could be reached - by whom I have no idea! It looked like a push button phone before I think I ever saw one. We still had dial phones then, but I needed a phone that could be one dimensional, so I drew a rectangle with numbered squares inside it. Perhaps closets are places where we become equal to our needs somehow.