AW: Magic as advanced technology

Belben Philip Philip.Belben at
Thu Sep 16 07:51:37 EDT 2004

Beck, quoting various people:

> Minnow said:
>> An awful lot of people in fiction have a wonderful way of being able 
>> to read not just facial expressions but the *eyes* of those with whom 
>> they are conversing. [...]
> and Jordan said:
>> I've noticed that too in tons of books too! Eyes seem to "dance" or 
>> "sparkle" or anything like that a lot. I've looked for it in real life 
>> but I havent figured out the difference between dull and bright eyes 
>> yet. Hmmm
> Ah yes! So it's not that you're borderline autistic, Minnow: people in
> books aren't extra perceptive, they're extra demonstrative. A line from
> Noel Streatfeild's 'The Painted Garden' (how nice not to have to apologise
> for quoting a *children's* book!) springs to mind - "All their eyes were
> shining, but nobody's eyes shone quite so shiningly as Jane's". I suppose
> in moments of high emotion your eyes might fill with tears and this might
> make them more reflective? But that soft of emotion isn't quite what NS
> seems to be describing. 

Hmm.  For an obDWJ, Vierran (in the person of Ann) ponders this when the
Castle crowd attack the shops, and concludes that Hugon's, or Gary
Stavely's, eyes did actually glisten "wetly".  This, however, does seem to
be merely extra moisture showing strong emotion.

I would agree that most of the other emotion is shown by parts of the face
around the eyes, rather than the eyeballs themselves.  I think the main
exception is that when you look at someone you like, your pupils dilate.
But this _doesn't_ extend to the sort of stuff that goes on in Larry Niven's
"A Present from Earth"!

Another way the eyeballs show emotion (thinking at the keyboard, here,
always dangerous!) is that people flick their vision briefly in other
directions.  The direction, frequency and angle of flick probably contain a
lot of clues.  ISTR reading somewhere, I think a work of fiction, in which a
character flicked his eyes upwards when telling the truth and downwards when
lying.  Or something.

Philip. (now thinking of Martha's thumbs in HMC)

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