Words, sounds, pictures

Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk
Mon Nov 12 12:09:20 EST 2001

Rebecca, quoting Christian, quoting Ven, quoting...

>>>From: "Ven" 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
> Ferricide (I should get around to calling you Christian, shouldn't I)
>>i would say that the way i process a book is that i read the words, and then
>>get a 'sense' of what's going on. i really don't have specific concrete
>>images of the characters or places in my books... although, if i think back
>>on them, they're there -- hazy, but there. i definitely don't even
>>necessarily get faces for characters. i like the texture and style of
>>writing as much as the content, which is probably why i'm such a fan of
>>banana yoshimoto, who relies entirely on style and mood to communicate her
> I agree on some books, but most well written books I get distinct pictures.
> Maybe not faces, i'm always bad at seeing faces, and in that way I
> defintely agree with you -- I can't see Hermione in my head, but I could
> describe my problems with the actress.
> But other things -- I could probably draw a more clear picture of Polly's
> Granny's house, complete with colors, and smells (I would use smelly
> crayons!) than I could of most of my friends houses/dorm rooms.  I have a


> map n my head of her city more clearly than I do of Madison, and definetly
> better than the one of Oberlin.  I usually get a clear sense for clothing,
> so I'm very likely to respond to clothing issues based on a cover pic, or
> movie.  I do _hear_ words sometimes, usually dialogue, and usually a
> variation of a voice I know (My AP English teacher seems very popular with
> fictional characters.)

Interesting.  I tend to hear books in variants of my own voice.  I don't even
hear characters' accents very well unless I make a conscious effort.

I get pictures too, but not as detailed as Rebecca.  I mean, I have a few
snapshots of street scenes in Middleton - outside the school, the old cross by
the station, the gate of Hunsdon House - but I couldn't draw Granny's house, for
example.  But these tend to be much the same every time I read a book, and it's
very difficult to modify them even if I find they'r wrong on re-reading.

That said, reading is primarily auditory for me.


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