We are living in the age of the image. Images are imprinted, wrote George Steiner, the philosopher and literary critic, almost in the manner of genetic information, on our sensibility. Think of our remembrance of history and of the great books we've read and what remains most vivid? Images: images of Caesar being stabbed in the Senate Forum, Socrates drinking his cup of hemlock, Hamlet pacing with poor Yorik's skull in he palm of his hand -his father's ghost swirling at the ramparts, Christ on the Cross, Hitler's manic raging speeches, Churchill strolling jut-jawed through the ruin's of the Battle of Britain, troops landing at the beaches of Normandy, the planes crashing into the Twin Towers.
The first "novels" were the ancient stories-our mythology- written in the the stars, on the cave walls of Lascaux and the on the city walls of ancient Greece and Rome in a highly visual "pre-literate" age when man had internalized the cosmos.