“The real is imagined and the imagined is real,” said Irish author Colum McCann. The award winning author’s latest novel is Transatlantic. Last night I watched an interview of McCann on PBS. There are two reasons I am sharing this interview. First, McCann’s comment about writing being a rare moment when the author enters the thin air of magic when the real is imagined and the imagined is real breathes, life into the ensouling of the word. For a writer, his statement is one that has found its way into my quote journal. I can imagine I will return to these words many times as a source of inspiration and encouragement. Much like the Buehner’s Ensouling Language.
Second, for those of you interested in Myers-Briggs, watching this interview will give you a perfect example of two types talking right past one another. McCann is obviously an NF (iNtuitive-Feeling), while the interviewer clearly must be an ST (Sensing-Thinking).
When McCann utters the creativity of his soul in the mystical realm of imagination and reality, the interviewer is stupefied. Before McCann can move to the next flow of NF, the ST interviewer stops him in mid-sentence so that the interviewer can try and quantify the qualitative. While McCann was caressing the prose in the intimacy of sensual love, the interviewer was hoping the author would provide him with a step-by-step description of how to change the oil in his Ford pickup. When the interviewer asks McCann a conflated question he answers, ‘yea,’ as in “You cannot hear me, so I will further explain myself because I did not understand your question.” The interview is a perfect example of two distinct, and somewhat opposite personality types, having an important conversation. While, one person is describing the intricate subtleties of a well-played baseball game, the other person is explaining the precision of thoracic surgery. Neither is a wiser than the other, nor out of place, nor inappropriate—simply here we have a beautiful portrayal of two stark juxtaposed MBTI personality types. I imagine Jung would have enjoyed the interview.
Immediately at the conclusion of the interview I downloaded Transatlantic to my Kindle. About a quarter way through the book, I am not disappointed. In the words of the Irish, this is a beautiful book.