"Images were magic once. They adorned the walls of deep caverns, propitiated, evoking victory over creatures dangerous and necessary for survival. In that way, man possessed the essence of those creatures as well as their nourishing flesh.
Images were language once. The earliest letters, long after the earliest hieroglyphs (the meaning of “hieroglyph” is “sacred carving”), evoked creatures and elements. They summed up, or conjured, or invoked those things they named, and gradually gathered meanings as they grew more abstract and distanced from imagery.
Images were true once. Stories of ogres, dragons, princesses and knights grew in the minds of those harkening to the storytellers the Brothers Grimm patiently listened to as well. The same kinds of stories were sung and told through countless generations, before their penning by scribes. Beowulf, Gilgamesh, Jason, Arthur, and countless more, before we invented fiction as we know it, possessed images that were real in the minds of those who knew the stories.
Now images are no longer magic, no longer language, no longer necessarily true. They are used, abused, manipulated, commercialized and bought and sold like other commodities. We take them for granted. We associate them with immaturity – we believe “serious” imagery deals with life, not with things imagined.”