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Re: [mythsoc] Individual reactions to various...

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  • Bonnie Callahan
    Hi everyone; I ve been exploring the roots of some interesting neurological/biochemical research... Why do people fall in love with those they do? Why do
    Message 1 of 3 , Aug 3, 2005
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      Hi everyone;

      I've been exploring the roots of some interesting neurological/biochemical research...
      Why do people fall in love with those they do? Why do separated twins develop similar tastes
      after decades apart? Why do we develop our tastes & aversions about literature, shoes, vehicles,....?

      I wonder how much of our responses to literature are "guided" (not governed) by our inner
      chemistry? I've 9probably unfortunately) found that my most intense responses to the literature I love (for all time) SEEM to have taken place during the decades when my hormones were at their most active.
      Has anyone else in the Myth Soc. had any thoughts on this? Our biochemistry having an effect on what we "bond to" as our life's most meaningful experiences? I put forth none of this as any sort of dogma. I'm truly curious at this time as to the nature of criticism, evaluating what is most powerful to any given indivudual.

      If I were 17 right now, I'd be head over heels with images of Harry P., Elijah Wood, you name it.
      Would that be considered "clouded literary judgment"? I think so!

      The world-building Tolkien instinctively engaged in is a unique complex accomplishment.
      I can't vouch for Rowling. I've been curious about her academic background, whether it indicates
      a sophistication that would support her world-building. Just today, Tim & I (& a guest) discussed Shakespeare; What in Will's background would indicate his level of expertise as pertinent to his writing.
      It's still a mystery!

      Any thoughts?

      I'll see some of you in Birmingham after all. Let's talk.

      Yrs,
      Bonnie

      PS: I hope to have a CD of Mythopoeic history pix to share. I'll be coming w. Charles Coulombe.
      (for those of you who know him, rejoice.)
    • saraciborski
      ... governed) by our inner chemistry? I ve 9probably unfortunately) found that my most intense responses to the literature I love (for all time) SEEM to have
      Message 2 of 3 , Aug 3, 2005
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Bonnie Callahan <bonolatm@p...> wrote:
        > I wonder how much of our responses to literature are "guided" (not
        governed) by our inner chemistry? I've 9probably unfortunately) found
        that my most intense responses to the literature I love (for all
        time) SEEM to have taken place during the decades when my hormones
        were at their most active.
        > Has anyone else in the Myth Soc. had any thoughts on this? Our
        biochemistry having an effect on what we "bond to" as our life's most
        meaningful experiences?
        >

        Biochemistry explains nothing, in my case. I had my most powerful,
        most meaningful response to a piece of literature at age 35, to The
        Lord of the Rings. Nothing, nothing I had read, seen, heard or
        encountered in my life affected me as strongly; I was dysfunctional
        for months in an agony of grief, anguish and incomprehension (not
        understanding why it would affect me so). Furthermore, the older I
        get (and now at 62 I am virtually free from my hormones, thank God),
        the more profoundly I am affected by what I read, if it is good.
        Nothing much of what I read in adolescence still resonates, or if it
        does, it's because I have re-read it later with greater attentiveness.

        What contributes to our responding to literature, I believe, is a
        combination of biographical (personal, idiosyncratic) factors--where
        we are as individuals with regard to our self-development
        (neurochemical or hormonal disturbance could be said to be the
        reflection, not the cause of this), and our capacity for,
        attentiveness to, willingness to reach for meaning beyond the self
        (universal human truth, beauty and goodness). (I say nothing here
        about the artistry, vison, literary skill of the author of whatever
        we're reading, i.e. what makes it "good".)

        Sara Ciborski

        >
        >
      • Lezlie
        Hello-- I would say that if you buy into the current theories of mind/brain development, this would make an interesting study. I doubt -- a whole lot-- that
        Message 3 of 3 , Aug 3, 2005
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          Hello-- I would say that if you buy into the current theories of
          mind/brain development, this would make an interesting study. I doubt
          -- a whole lot-- that you would find any sort of causal relationship.
          Or, if you did, it would be pretty trivial.

          Personally, I think the "brain chemistry" approach to human choices is
          overrated in the literature, and will shortly be countered with
          evidence that's it's a "Chicken or the egg" question. The question of
          mind, choice, taste and individual reactions to any art form,
          including literature, is far too complex to be reduced to this
          particular paradigm in research. (Or, the example of "falling in love"
          that you begin with.)

          Th epremise seems, at first reading, to be reductionistic with results
          that are predictable, rather like the recent attempts to diagnose dead
          romantic poets as "manic depressives" by the psychiatric community.
          Sells books, but it remains an unproven load of (insert adjective)
          because the researchers did not avail themselves of any of the *known*
          facts concerning the goals and aims of the Romantic Movement. Not to
          mention the initial idiocy of diagnosing a person who is (at least) a
          century dead and buried.

          Sorry if I offend, but I, too, am a human science researcher, and I
          quite disagree with your basic premise from the get-go.

          BTW: When my daughter was 17, Elijah Wood was on her "eeewwww ick"
          list. Low point in the first film for both of us. Lezlie




          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Bonnie Callahan <bonolatm@p...> wrote:
          > Hi everyone;
          >
          > I've been exploring the roots of some interesting
          neurological/biochemical research...
          > Why do people fall in love with those they do? Why do separated
          twins develop similar tastes
          > after decades apart? Why do we develop our tastes & aversions about
          literature, shoes, vehicles,....?
          >
          > I wonder how much of our responses to literature are "guided" (not
          governed) by our inner
          > chemistry? I've 9probably unfortunately) found that my most intense
          responses to the literature I love (for all time) SEEM to have taken
          place during the decades when my hormones were at their most active.
          > Has anyone else in the Myth Soc. had any thoughts on this? Our
          biochemistry having an effect on what we "bond to" as our life's most
          meaningful experiences? I put forth none of this as any sort of dogma.
          I'm truly curious at this time as to the nature of criticism,
          evaluating what is most powerful to any given indivudual.
          >
          > If I were 17 right now, I'd be head over heels with images of Harry
          P., Elijah Wood, you name it.
          > Would that be considered "clouded literary judgment"? I think so!
          >
          > The world-building Tolkien instinctively engaged in is a unique
          complex accomplishment.
          > I can't vouch for Rowling. I've been curious about her academic
          background, whether it indicates
          > a sophistication that would support her world-building. Just today,
          Tim & I (& a guest) discussed Shakespeare; What in Will's background
          would indicate his level of expertise as pertinent to his writing.
          > It's still a mystery!
          >
          > Any thoughts?
          >
          > I'll see some of you in Birmingham after all. Let's talk.
          >
          > Yrs,
          > Bonnie
          >
          > PS: I hope to have a CD of Mythopoeic history pix to share. I'll be
          coming w. Charles Coulombe.
          > (for those of you who know him, rejoice.)
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