Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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Literature and Reality

I recently finished listening to the unabridged compact disc version of Ted Bell's book "Pirate". One of Bell's gifts is to write the firsthand experiences of some very disturbing villain types. Anyway, I enjoyed the 14 disc, 17 hour listen.

The book reminded me of life in several ways. Bell put a lot of effort into fleshing out and giving voice to his bad guys. He also killed them off without any 'feedback' from the same. One chapter the villains were plotting and planning in extreme detail, the next chapter they were dead without any first person feedback. I found this to be an interesting writing method because it reminded me of life. We have people in our lives that are present to an extreme. We get to know these people, their habits, their fears and their joys. It is almost as if we're inside their heads. Then life happens, and people move away from us. The people that were so present seem to vanish without a whimper.

Another device Bell used was having his heroes escape from rather dangerous situations without a lot of explanation of how. We take a lot of stuff for granted in life. Other's difficult situations will be overcome without our attentions. Things will work out. In novels we tend to want to know all the hows. In life we tend to let this go. My explanation is that books are terribly focused. Authors create an illusion of a large world, but the book realities are really quite small, with a limited number of characters and locations. This affords authors the possibility of explaining all, sometimes to a level of detail that no single character is aware of. Our 'real' lives are not so. There are an infinite number of places to put our attention. The capacity of the human sense and mind are not equal to the possibilities. We are forced to shrink our attention to something manageable, with the rest of the world taking care of itself.

Ruminations of literature and reality...
Tags: life

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