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Monday, December 26, 2016

Imagination -- the Writer's 'next' dimension


“Imagination... its limits are only those of the mind itself.” – Rod Serling
 
Serling, who was born in Syracuse, NY, on Christmas Day in 1924, had indeed a vast and multi-talented imagination, producing some of the most creative and lasting pieces ever written for radio, television, the big screen and the Broadway stage.
  
Known best for his live television dramas of the 1950s and his science-fiction anthology TV series The Twilight Zone, Serling also was active in politics, both on and off the screen, and helped form television industry standards. He was known as “the angry young man" of Hollywood, clashing with television executives and sponsors over a wide range of issues including censorship, racism, and war.


A World War II Army veteran who was badly wounded, Serling had strong opinions about war and the use of military force and became one of the most outspoken activists against war during the tumultuous 1960s and early 1970s – up until his sudden death in 1975 at age 50.    His lead-in piece to what would become The Twilight Zone actually dealt with America’s entrance into World War II.   His story concerned a man who has vivid nightmares of the attack on Pearl Harbor and goes to a psychiatrist.  The “twist ending” to the story                             
 (a device for which Serling became famous) reveals that the "patient" actually had died at Pearl Harbor, and the psychiatrist is the one having the vivid dreams.

Serling had ambitions to be an actor but “had some things to get off my chest,” which led to his writing career and, ultimately a place in America’s cultural history.  He is indelibly woven into modern popular culture because of The Twilight Zone. Even youth of today can hum its haunting theme song, and the title itself is a synonym for all things unexplainable. 

“I think,” he once said,  “every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.”






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