Words, sounds, pictures

Ven ven at vvcrane.fsnet.co.uk
Sat Nov 10 22:35:19 EST 2001

I've digging about in the recarts sf archives and came up with the 
following from Lois MacMasters Bujold:

"I am and always have been a "picture reader"; the words go 
straight to my brain and make a movie there. When I remember a 
book, I (largely) remember pictures and events, not words. it feels 
sort of like mental telepathy.

The news that some people stop and look at those "words" 
cluttering up the page came as some surprise to me. I suspect an 
almost biological separation of reading protocols here, like the 
alcoholics who were discovered to have different enzymatic 
processes for breaking down alcohol."

Bujold wrote this as part of an intense debate about the merits or 
not of her writing style. The original poster criticised her on the 
word level (where I too can certainly see some faults) and among 
the lively defenses were several which said "but she's so good on 
the macro level of paragraph, character and plot". And Lois wrote 
the above which had me boggling at the idea of anyone not only not 
noticing the words but regarding them as clutter.

Pamela Dean came into the debate at this point (prompted by 
Bujold) to say that she doesn't so much "look" at the words as 
"hear" them. Now, me, I think I hear the words and receive 
sensory, not just visual, impressions, but its hard to watch yourself 



The truth will make ye fret

Terry Pratchett, The Truth.
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