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Discussion Starter #1
When you read a novel, why do you identify -

1. The fictional character(s) with the author?
2. The fictional character(s) with yourself?

Or, if you are like me, do neither. But just read, then absorb or forget it all? Why do you do that?

:)
 

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When the author is able to make me think like his main character does, when I am getting part of the book so to say, then I think it's a good one.

Another aspect that gets me hooked to a novel is when the thoughts, the philosophy portrayed there are my own, but I wasn't able to put them into words myself before.

Generally I'd say when writing is able to make me think or to distract my thoughts from reality for a while that's what I consider a good piece of work.

And finally, to get back to Bonita's question: When I read a book I don't do neither, identifying the character with myself or the author. Because in the end it's fiction and if it's good fiction it moves you, makes you reconsider and adds different aspects to your way of thinking. But it should never become your reality, at the best it broadens your mind.
 

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Depends.

For trashy romances, I am drawn, first of all, to the names of the protagonists. If it's a name I like, then I would pick the book up and read.

For others, the plot would be more of an appeal factor, though I generally don't read specific genres like sci-fi, fantasy or political stuff. Sometimes, if I like a particular author's books, I'll wait for his other works & continue from there. For example, I have some of Wilbur Smith's books, & some of Daniel Easterman's. But with regard to Wilbur Smith's books, I only liked the Courtneys of Africa, so I didn't read much of his other works.

Great topic, Bon, :)
 

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It really depends. If it is a great and well written book, I don't identify the characters with anybody because I get so absorbed in the story that I don't even think theses thoughts. Of course it also depends if there is an "I" person, which is supposed to make you identify with the main character.
 

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When I read a book I don't do neither, identifying the character with myself or the author. I only think about wether the actions and thoughts of the characters are realistic. If someone somewhere would do or think in that way.
 
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when i read "lolita" from nabokov, i must say that i asked myself about the personnality of nabokov, cause it's so well wrote, the charactere of humbert is so screaming of true, you are so deeply in his mind, that it's very disturbing.
 

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I don't know.

I think the style of the book has a lot to do with it - in some books, the authors themselves deliberately identify a particular character with themselves as a form of escapism perhaps, this character is the author as he/her would like to be, in another life.

Other times, a character is so well written that you can't help but identify with them, or perhaps, its just coincidence that this particular character reminds you of facets of your own personality, and so again you find yourself identifying with them.

So, back to my stock answer - it depends on the book, author or character;)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The first time a book *got* to me was reading "The Red and The Black" in highschool. Halfway through, it dawned on me that there was a living, breathing [well, he did for 59 years :rolleyes: ] human being who shared my thoughts. Although we lived in different centuries and continents, I was grateful there was once an author named Stendhal.

Now, from the *other side,* I muse everytime a reader identifies a fictional character with the author. Two years ago, when a novella I wrote [about an aged senior officer of a prominent corporation who was rehearsing a downsizing report before appearing in front of his shareholders] was published, I received messages from readers who were stunned that I was only 23 and female.

When one writes in the first person singular, one has to be equipped with a first-aid kit. :)
 

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Bonita said:
When you read a novel, why do you identify -

1. The fictional character(s) with the author?
2. The fictional character(s) with yourself?

Or, if you are like me, do neither. But just read, then absorb or forget it all? Why do you do that?

:)
I am surprised by the lack of respone on this topic, I find it interesting. Personally I often do in some ways identify myself with the characters or moreso I see myself in their position. I think of what I would have done, how interesting and sometimes even wonderful it would have been to be in those situations.
 
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