Peter Mendelsund suggests that “we hear more than we see while we are reading” in what he coins “our mind’s ear.” I, for one, find this to be wholly true. It is difficult for me to visually imagine what a character looks like. However, I can sense what they are like. Other readers, though, do see a story playing out like a movie in their mind. I suppose this all depends on the specific structures of the mind of the reader. Those of us in Literary Studies likely have a stronger connection to the textures of the words on the page-the form that creates the content. However, other people’s minds work differently.
Brooklyn based digital artist Brian J. Davis has recently created composite sketches of literary characters through what he calls ‘commercially available law enforcement software.’ How might this technology be useful in Literature classrooms? Could students in Literary Studies use this technology to shape characters, and help us to analyze them? Perhaps more intriguing, if we did this, would we all achieve similar results?