As an aphantasic I’ve always found long descriptions in novels boring and tend to skip over them. In fact, for a long time I didn’t know why they were there – perhaps the author was just filling up the word count?! Now I wonder whether there’s been any research into how aphantasic authors write. James Joyce, for example, who had very poor eyesight, doesn’t go in for visual descriptions. But then I noticed this passage in Ulysses and concluded that though he may have had very poor eyesight he wasn’t aphantasic:
‘Fifteen multiplied by. The figures whitened in his mind, unsolved: displeased, he let them fade.’
Has anyone done work on this?