> 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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