10-31-2008 06:35 PM
Hello to those of you who are just joining us. Don't worry aboutbeing "behind" the discussion -- there's plenty still to come so jump right in, and let me know if you have any questions!
11-16-2008 10:21 AM
Zoe-Heller wrote: I don't place a very high premium on presenting admirable or exemplary characters. The truth is, I have a problem with the demand for nice people in fiction.
I understand what you are saying, and agree that often it's the not so nice people who are more interesting, in fiction as in life. (Who do we gossip about, who makes the pages of People magazine, who do we read biographies of? Not the nice people!)
But I will argue that along with the interesting not-nice people, there is a benefit in books to having some nice people we (who are, of course, all nice people ourselves) can relate to. A friend, as it were, inside the book who we can share little asides with, who we can cheer for when good things happen (who cares whether something nice happens to Audrey?).
For myself, I like a book better when there are a mix of characters, a sort of literary sweet-and-sour-pork meal. A sour-and-sour-pork meal isn't really very appetizing, is it?
How about Sweet & Sour Chicken....more universal appeal.
I saw Jean as the nice peoson in this book. Although she was rather eccentric herself I felt she had a good heart. Jo
11-18-2008 01:13 AM
I saw Jean as the nice peoson in this book. Although she was rather eccentric herself I felt she had a good heart.
LOL re: the Sweet & Sour Chicken!
Jean WAS the nice person of this book. I would have said the same about Khaled, but he knew Karla was married and still persued her...so he lost some of his brownie points with me. But Jean, I think, was a SAINT for putting up with Audrey. I began to wonder why and wonder at her motivation for continuing the friendship. The only conclusions I've come to is that she is a truly a saint, or she felt the friendship was productive -- for a charity standpoint -- so she chose to overlook the difficulty that was Audrey for the sake of the good works they were able to accomplish together.
11-18-2008 09:56 AM
11-18-2008 10:24 AM
The danger with having people who are not nice in fiction is that it sometimes says that its okay to be a not nice those person in real life. For instance, the character of Audrey is really drawn too close to real life. There are many people like her who make life miserable for those around them. She doesn't get any "just rewards" in this book, in fact she can almost look like a winner. So, while this type of character might be fun to write about, I don't think that I could ever relate to her.