I doubt if anyone’s mind is completely closed. Perhaps in the final stages of dementia the door will be shut or seem so, but even there something is going on inside, it’s just impossible to follow for those outside.
But there are people who like to hunker down in the opinions they’ve held since school and pretend that they don’t need reappraising. To those people I’d recommend the books of Jasper Fforde.
They are extremely odd books, set in a world that’s a sort of spin-off of ours but not quite. They aren’t for the ignorant – they assume some knowledge of literature; they aren’t for the sexist or racist – they show individuals being effective, useless, opinionated and weird, but all the time as individuals not stereotypes; they aren’t for the closed minded – they open up the possibility of radically different interpretations of the world to the ones we know.
So to anyone whose cherished opinions are beginning to crumble and who’s fighting to shore them up, I’d suggest, ‘Give up for a bit, get down to your local library, borrow one of Mr Fforde’s books and enjoy some way-out thinking’.
Cover art from Jasper Fforde’s site, Thursday Next series.