I'm asking you to describe how a book, movie, or other piece of fiction altered your state in a big way.
Maybe nothing original in these circles here1 but 1984 from George Orwell was definitely a read I did not expect to impact me in the ways it did. I had a lot of expectations before reading it. I think I only read it because I couldn't stand one more reference to the book like Orwellian or doublespeak which I didn't get since I didn't read the book. People seemed to regularly use orwellian terms online to describe something. So I was like:
Certainly this book is overhyped, right? And these people just want to act clever because they read one book about a topic which isn't even nonfictional and now they need to show it off everywhere, right? There's only one way to find out though.
So I started to read it and finished the 500+ pages within a week iirc. I still remember how I read it in the train on my way back home from university. I also remember how a friend and me read books in the train which we never did before. I think I told him I want to finish this book so hard that I would rather read this book than to have a conversation with him. So he just also read a book while we were driving back home as we did several times a week (same home town).
After I finished it, I felt like this book just gave me a reality check I desperately needed. It's also one of the books where I feel like I watched a movie or series since I have mental imagery of a lot of passages.2 Additionally, it's not a book with a happy ending. But that's probably the reality check that I needed. That book left me in a state3 where I felt abused and betrayed.
The way it impacted me can be described as having a completely different view on governments, society and language ever since. I would say I am more aware of how language shapes our thinking (important for an aspiring writer, I guess) and can appreciate different languages more. For example, some languages have words for things that other languages don't have. Kind of crazy to think about. And this book basically describes how crazy it can get if language (and thus thinking) is politicized. We all think in a specific language, no? What if this language slowly ceases to exist?
And to be honest, I feel like this is very similar to what is currently happening. The latest example that affected me a lot was the discussion about master vs main. Or maybe that's just me becoming one of these annoying personas who push other to read the book, lol.
After I finished that book, I also read Animal Farm. Also a great book about power vacuums, how revolutions can mean nothing and how history repeats itself since people will probably always remain gullible.
I think of the movies I have walked away from, yet remained within for long afterward. As the consumer of fiction and also the creator, I like knowing other people feel this way just as a human connection thing, because this feeling can be so singular and lonely sometimes, but it's also where I write from. Even as a kid, I was affected by fiction like this, and I would linger in it as long as I could. The name I'm giving it now, "heightened experience," is really unsatisfying. Sometimes I'll say it's when I feel unordinary. What would you call it?
Mhh, good question. Funnily, I remember that I once watched a movie with a lot of friends and thought I would remember this movie since we all seemed to like it and thus discussed it afterwards (in probably childish ways however). I think I thought in that moment that I will remember this movie. But seems like I have forgotten, lol.
However, while thinking more about it, it might have been Kick-Ass:
I think I would call it simply "profound experience" or if we want to be a bit more creative to feel "more connected". I like connections :)

Footnotes

  1. But interestingly, no one mentioned it here yet.
  2. I wonder if this happens for other people, too? Like sometimes, I don't even remember in which language I read a book. The experience of reading a book usually ends up as a stream of images in no explicit language in my memory.
  3. Funny, the use of "state" is ambiguous here.