Sunday, June 7, 2009

Character identification

Henry Miller's works often delve into a stream of consciousness type detour from the story. I find this is the place you find the real gems in fabulous quotes on how he sees the world.
How do you relate to the characters in your book? Do you feel like you know them better in that they are real experiences being described rather than ficticious events (whether you are reading it as a work of fiction or not)?


Hettie Betty said...

For example, I found myself thinking about Holden Caulfield when I was reading Henry Miller, because of their internal monologues and I guess because of their feelings of being different to the rest of humanity. However, Henry's experiences are more authentic and more 'raw' I guess than Holden's- even though I tried to read the book as a work of fiction. It seems like Henry really has more literary freedom and truly writes from the heart than an author who might try to filter their feelings through a ficticious character.

爱书 said...

Having finished On the Road I have to say that I don't know the characters any better at the end than I did at the start

They are unknowable to my mind and their manic natures and eratic actions mean you just scrabble across the top of them trying for purchase but failing to understand who they are or what they are doing

The power of the text is that this is a frustration rather than something accepted and unremarked. If you didn't care about them you wouldn't be interested in knowing them better

爱书 said...

Oh and as for them being real experiences..Really?..Can they be?..Do people actually live like that?...Can you know that many people? fall into that many jobs?Meet, befriend and love that many strangers? Can you find people across continents and time like that with no problems? Can $1 buy the earth but $25 not get you a bus ticket?

I have a healthy suspicion that the whole of OTR was a drug induced rambling written in an attic by a man living a life in his head that suited himself and that satisfied a need in him that reality never could