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Re: [mythsoc] Mary Sue Goes To Mordor

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  • Margaret Dean
    ... I don t think I see myself in characters so much as wanting to be able to meet and talk to certain characters that I particularly like. A good,
    Message 1 of 33 , Feb 27 11:20 AM
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      SusanPal@... wrote:

      > Anyway, it's an interesting issue. Question for the list: when you read
      > Tolkien, do you see yourself as one or several of the characters? Which
      > ones? With whom do you identify, and why, and how do you think that's
      > "inflected" your reading of Tolkien's work?

      I don't think I see myself in characters so much as wanting to be
      able to meet and talk to certain characters that I particularly
      like. A good, well-written character with a life of his/her own
      often doesn't have any =room= for self-insertion.

      In general terms, the =kind= of Tolkien character I'd be would
      likely be a rather bookish, elf-loving hobbit. (I've even given
      her a name and lineage: Carnelian Took, daughter of Faramir Took
      and Goldilocks Gamgee.) But the character I would most =like= to
      be like is Galadriel.


      > The problem with *desiring* Legolas -- and I've seen Internet postings from
      > plenty of women who say they want to have his half-elven children -- is that
      > male-elvish/female-human sexual relationships are completely against canon:
      > in all the elvish/human pairings I know about, the gender roles go the other
      > way. Which means that I, myself, have found that particular fantasy very
      > difficult to construct, as fun as it might be to do so. But that also makes
      > me wonder, on a much more serious level, why Tolkien never wrote any such
      > pairings. And I still need to do the research of reading the material David
      > sent me to on this issue!

      Yes, go read the "Debate of Finrod and Andreth." To avoid
      spoilers, I'll just say that the matter of male elf/female human
      pairing comes up in it, for possibly the only time in canon.


      --Margaret Dean
      <margdean@...>
    • Paul F. Labaki
      ... and David Bratman responded ... I ve never been able to understand that kind of attitude in a reader. One of the great joys of the written word is it
      Message 33 of 33 , Mar 5, 2002
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        >
        > Susan Palwick wrote"
        >
        >> I suspect that we always insert ourselves into texts, especially texts we
        >> love, whether we intend to or not; part of the process of becoming a good
        >> reader is becoming conscious of that process and controlling it
        >
        and David Bratman responded"

        > I don't think I do that. At any rate, while I prefer stories with
        > sympathetic protagonists whose actions I understand, I never require that
        > they resemble me, and I don't quite understand the common complaint of
        > readers that they have to have a character to identify with, preferably one
        > of their own sex/race/etc.

        I've never been able to understand that kind of attitude in a reader. One
        of the great joys of the written word is it allows the reader to experience
        thoughts and emotions experienced by the characters which the reader might
        otherwise never experience in the primary world. This differs from a
        viewer's experience with film because the viewer always remains external,
        whereas readers enjoy more of an internal perspective of characters'
        experience like the puppeteer in "Being John Malkovich" literally seeing
        through another's eyes.

        I've never wanted to insert myself in stories I'm reading.


        David also wrote:

        > I see the story through whomever is the viewpoint character at the
        > time. If by "see yourself as" you mean, "whom do you think you could
        > actually be?", that for me would be the same as "with whom do you
        > identify?", which I would interpret as "whom are you most like?"
        >
        > And the answer to that for me would be Merry. (The real one, not the one
        > in the movie.) We're both more captivated by maps and history than by
        > Elves, we're more than a little pedantic (see Merry at the ruins of
        > Isengard), and we're determined to carry on despite being stranded in Rohan.

        I'm abashed to say, I am most like Bilbo, except that I could never move
        silently like a hobbit. Somehow that seems a bit presumptuous to me, but I
        think it is true, and I must say I'm disappointed, because my favorite
        character has always been Gandalf.
        >
        >
        > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >
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        >
        >
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