[DWJ] characters losing their memories

Allison Marles Gryski apm at alumni.uwaterloo.ca
Wed Jan 16 13:23:06 EST 2008


On Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 05:53:57PM +0000, Chris Dollin wrote:
> On Tuesday 15 January 2008 16:59, Roger Burton West wrote:
> > On Tue, Jan 15, 2008 at 02:01:00PM +0000, Joe wrote:
> > 
> > >Oh, I don't know. Just because something's made up, doesn't mean it isn't true 
> > >- so why should it be any less true just because there are two layers of 
> > >made-upness?
> > 
> > I'm trying to pin it down.
> > 
> > I think it's that the work explicitly identifies the primary story as
> > fictional (by labelling it fictional within the context of the frame
> > story), thereby rubbing one's nose in the synthetic nature of the story
> > in a way that mere impossibility does not.
> 
> The entity where it bites for me is the later Buffy episode where
> the possibility arises that everything that's happened up to that
> point might be mad Buffy's hallucinations.
> 
> It would have made a brilliantly horrible, or horribly brilliant, season
> closer. I /have/ to believe it isn't madness, otherwise everything
> they've done becomes pointless -- even though it's all fictional.

That episode bothered me too, but I decided to choose to believe that
the hallucination was the bit in the mental institution, not the rest of
the show.

I think one of the major problems with these types of storylines is that
it takes a world that the viewer or reader has become emotionally
invested in and directly says that it is an illusion. Essentially, you
become like the character, having to wrestle with the fact that what you
believe to be true isn't, even though it's in the context of something
you know to overall be untrue.  It breaks your willing suspension of
disbelief, which for me, results in a sense of betrayal by the writer.

Allison



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