[LMB] Paladin discussion questions?

BlueRose stacey at xtra.co.nz
Sat May 12 07:43:28 BST 2012

On 11/05/2012 1:44 a.m., beatrice_otter at haugensgalleri.com wrote:
> "BlueRose"<stacey at xtra.co.nz>  wrote:
> *snip*
> This is where I am coming unstuck, while I agree that self learning is
> never a bad thing, to me this feels like "book club = group therapy".*snip*
> A couple of things, here.  First, I don't understand why you can't have
> *both* entertainment/escapism/magic *and* self learning from the same
> book.  You speak as if only one or the other is possible, and in my case
> they are almost never separate.  That is, I don't always read with an eye
> to pure escapism, but I often do (at least the first time through a book).
>   However, a book that doesn't have enough substance that I can analyze it
> like that *later* after I've read it once or twice usually doesn't have
> enough substance to it that I would bother finishing it, unless I was
> really bored.  *snip*
> *snip* If you identify with a character, you can look
> at their actions and thoughts and go, I might do (or have done) something
> like that in similar circumstances.  Is that *why* I would do that?  And
> it might be and it might not, but either way it helps you consider your
> own actions and motivations from a new light.  It has nothing to do with
> "I like this character so I want to be just like them!" which is how it
> feels like you may be interpreting this.  It has to do with "I am a little
> like this character, what does that mean and in what ways am I similar and
> different?"
Thankyou for an indepth response to my questions, its appreciated, and I 
can see clearly that we have very different approaches to reading.  I 
have summarised above your response to my main question, and what it 
appears to boil down to is that you have a completely different way of 
reading and enjoying your books.  For you analysing the actions and 
motivations of the characters within the book is an intrinsic part of 
your reading process.

However I never do this. Ever.  In fact until we had this conversation 
it never even occured to me that people might do this.  I read a book, 
enjoying it for what it is, and I put it down and go on to the next 
one.  Same with movies.  Your identification with the characters and 
consideration of their actions/thoughts in relation to your own 
actions/thoughts , it is a  foreign concept to me that you would 
*conciously* make this assement and judgement.

Beatrice also says:

For me, analysis is a component of the enjoyment of a book
or movie or television show.  It's like, you go to a movie with friends.
If it's a movie you like, you often come out talking about all the things
you liked and didn't like, right?  For me, that's what the basis of all
analysis is.

And I agree about the like and dislike in the analysis. But my analysis is of things like - how well the plot was constructed, how plausible were the characters actions, was the world building believable, did the special affects enhance or overpower the story.  I only care about the characters actions and motives in relation to the story and was it believable, or overly contrived by the author.  Did the world and the story work, was I drawn into the magic, or not.

Thats pretty much the sum total of my analysis.  The concept that you would make a specific and concious effort to gain moral guidance from fictional text?  My brain hurts just thinking about it.  I totally allow that you can absorb it subconciously, and for all those who replied to my comment "how can you NOT learn", yes you can and almost certainly do learn but as far as I am concerned, for the vast majority of people, its by osmosis, not a deliberate choice.

For example, religious people deliberately read their religous text to learn and receive guidance from.  Another example is self help books :)

Fiction books offer opportunities to learn, especially social dynamics and relationship stuffs, as well as good vs bad etc.  But reading fiction to deliberately analyse it for these things and specifically compare them to your choices? This is a WTF situation for me :)


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