The first time I heard it, I imagined a distant fantasy world. Reading the short definition (a series of fantastic unimaginable images) reminded me of what being alive truly is. Researching the origins made me realise how deceiving the English language can be.
“Phantasmagoria” – is a name given to a fantastic series of phantasms, illusions or deceptive images, known only to be seen in dreams or created by the imagination. It was a sinister theatrical exhibition created by showmen with a passion for making “the unreal seem real” in the late 18th century. Entertainers relied on evil tricks and true creativity to capture their audiences and it was noted that they were only satisfied IF their spectators shivered, shuddered and covered their eyes out of fear that ghosts and devils would appear and dash towards them. In subdued lighting, ghoulish sound effects and an atmosphere thick with smoke and a hint of fear – I think their idea of a successful night was well in reach.
With that in mind, I would still like to give all credit to my brother Kuba; I would have never had a title if he did not have a fascination with the English literature. Stuck at a cross road with some rather unusual title jumbled in my head, I slyly brought up the topic of English, concluding with a simple question of what his favourite word of all time was . . . without even thought, a sense of complete serenity coupled with a slight smirk arose as he answered “it would have to be phantasmagoria” – the title search had ended and the word was considered sold. So I thank you my dear brother . . . seems like we always help each other in some of the most remarkable ways without even realising.
So if you’re wanting to know which version of the word I prefer to describe this, assume me as ignorant. . . my version is far less sinister and reminds me of the distant worlds I seem to find myself in all too often. It is creative, it is perfect, it is adventure, it is anything you want it to be. It is the fantastic unimaginable images that we see everyday – it is the world as we know it.