It is currently Sun Dec 17, 2017 4:08 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:56 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2004 12:17 am
Posts: 9881
Location: The Inside Passage
I'm a lit guy, and a writer. I've always* been both, and over the years I've thought a lot about what makes reading good fiction pleasurable. Wit, irony, the music of a sentence, narrative, and beauty are all delights, but ultimately I think they're lesser delights. To me the major delight is the sheer pleasure of the principle illusion that well-written fiction provides: it seems, for a time, like you are living in someone else's head, seeing the world as they do. Barring telepathy, nothing else shatters the solipsism of being imprisoned in a single skull, and I've had little success at making a go of telepathy. I suppose this also might be the case with other art forms - theatre & cinema, to be sure, but perhaps visual art, were I a more sophisticated viewer. Or maybe visual art's delights are otherwise. I am a sophisticated reader of poetry, but while I find plenty of wit, irony, music and beauty in lyric poetry, I rarely get the same hologram of living another mind. Seamus Heaney, sometimes. Ted Hughes. But it's by nature brief.

But being limited to my own worldview is confining, and I love breaking free of it. I dunno when I learned this trick, but it must have been at a pre-critical thinking age. I grew up in a reading (and reading aloud) family, and without tv. Books were the only game.

On the net there's often a lot of angst about spoilers in books & movies, but these bother me not a bit. Suspense is of very little interest to me. I don't care what happens. I care about how the characters feel about it.

Does this match anyone else's experience of books, or am I unusual?

*, ok mild exaggeration.

_________________
And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

C.S. Lewis


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:43 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 32440
Location: Minneapolis
When I read the title I asked myself: Do I really dare enter?

s1m0n wrote:
On the net there's often a lot of angst about spoilers in books & movies, but these bother me not a bit. Suspense is of very little interest to me. I don't care what happens. I care about how the characters feel about it.

Similar here. I don't care about the story; I care about how it's told. As to movies, I encourage hearing the tale: I get to hear someone's storytelling, I get to have my own little inner movie, and then I get to compare it to the real deal. But maybe that's exactly what some people don't like. Me, I don't get it.

s1m0n wrote:
...or am I unusual?

Not for a reader, I should say.

_________________
"Dreams about the future are always filled with gadgets." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

"An anti-lunacy gadget would be nice..." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:52 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:18 am
Posts: 618
Location: Parker County, Texas, USA
s1m0n wrote:
Does this match anyone else's experience of books, or am I unusual?


It pretty well matches mine.

One of my older sisters taught me to read when I was four years old (by the simple expedient of reading aloud to me, a lot). I started devouring everything I could get my hands on, from then on.

I discovered that I could share feelings, emotions, and points of view with others, many long dead, by reading histories. I found that I could escape the prison-like drudgery of U.S. public schools, and the long nights of Rocky Mountain winters, by reading fantasy and science fiction. I learned to experience the sublime, by reading poetry, music, and holy writ. I'd like to believe that I largely escaped the shackles and blinders of modern news media and what passes for journalism today.

Reading and critical thinking are some of the hallmarks of true freedom. Not necessarily political freedom either, but the freedom of the mind and of the individual. The science fiction writer Robert Heinlein expressed this aptly for for me when he wrote: "I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do".

_________________
Deartháir don phaidir an port.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:07 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 32440
Location: Minneapolis
An Draighean wrote:
Reading and critical thinking are some of the hallmarks of true freedom.

Yes.

_________________
"Dreams about the future are always filled with gadgets." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

"An anti-lunacy gadget would be nice..." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 7:50 am
Posts: 2748
Location: the cutting edge
I see it as linking in to the collective human imagination. As C S Lewis put it " We read to know we are not alone"

RORY

_________________
I'm Spartacus .


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:59 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 32440
Location: Minneapolis
rorybbellows wrote:
As C S Lewis put it " We read to know we are not alone"

A meaningful point of view, and one I hadn't thought of.

_________________
"Dreams about the future are always filled with gadgets." - Neil deGrasse Tyson

"An anti-lunacy gadget would be nice..." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:41 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 7331
Location: East Coast US
I’ve always thought of it as a form of it as a form of escapism. I read to be someone else, be someplace else. . .

I’m a very slow reader. I’ve always had a very broad taste, so when I was a kid and reading 2-3 hours a day, it was easy to alternate literary books with SF and fantasy. I’m more tilted to fantasy now, because it’s easier to keep up with an action book when it takes 2-4 weeks to read it. OYOH, I still reread Jane Austen, Sinclair Lewis for their beautiful language, and Ann Radcliffe for the mental pictures she paints.

_________________
Charlie
Whorfin whistles -- sample 1 -- sample 2
Don't blame me, I voted for Cthulhu


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.534s | 13 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)