April 2nd, 2012

literary, reading, research


The problem with reading dragon-centric fiction is that I enjoy it at the time, but it tends to have bad effects on my mental state thereafter. It's rare that this focuses on the world of the book, mind you; traditional dragon-centric fiction is a violent thing I'd prefer not to be part of. Emphasizing the very sincere sense that I am the wrong species is not the primary issue, either, since that's a perpetual motif in my mind anyway, and reading does little to shape that one way or the other.

It's incidental things that tend to get distressing. Maybe it's because they're less constant from novel to novel, and I have less of a cognitive defense to them? In any case, the details vary. The Eragon series, for example (which I just finished; I agree with the criticisms of the first two books, but then Christopher Paolini became a much better author and reinterpreted flaws in his ability to develop sane and well-rounded characters when he was 16 into very real and, often, severe weaknesses in his characters, which makes the series dramatically better for the third and fourth), has rampant telepathy and I wind up feeling very lonely and isolated inside my own head. Another one that comes up (most notably from the Temeraire series) is missing flight; you'd think that'd be common to dragon fiction, but enough authors (having, presumably, not flown under their own power recently) completely miss the mark enough that it evidently fails to affect me, except when it doesn't.

I like dragon-centric fiction, but I'm not sure it's actually good for me. It does, in a roundabout way, remind me that I really need to pursue my own spirituality more than I do, so it does at least have some merit.

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