Sunday, September 11, 2011

What does Toy Story have to do with Urban Fantasy anyway?

So, in a much needed break from studying, I decided to have some fun blogging.

In urban fantasy, and certainly other fantasy and science fiction novels (and novels in general), I always find myself searching not for a particular character's motivation, but the author's motivation for a character. I am especially interested in ways that particular characters reflect on society and human psychology.

In one of my classes, each week we had an had an exercise in ekphrasis, which we posted to a collaborative blog along with the image we were using that week. A classmate referenced Toy Story in one of her blog posts, and how "the objects humans use are only inanimate [and personified according to the present human desire] in the presence of a human, but have these dialogues and complex lives and scenarios when they are not being viewed and/or used by people." In a lot of ways, I feel that fantasy novels operate in a similar fashion. Where inanimate objects are personified based on present human desires and are involved in elaborate plots hidden outside (or below?) human interaction, in fantasy novels, humans and non-human's are imbued with exaggerated human characteristics and operate (typically) "below" normal human perception (e.g. London Below).

What truly resonates for me, however, as I mentioned before, is how these humans (e.g. Door, Richard, etc.) and non-humans (e.g. vampires, werewolves, etc.) represents that desire for humans. That these feelings and thoughts we endow our characters with actually have lives of their own, and that then lends some credibility to the ways in which we need them to have value so we can also. Simply, I find that the ways in which we represent our characters in novels an interesting mechanism to validate some of our own thought processes.

And rather than back this up with any examples, I'll leave that to your imagination (fantastic!), or save that for another post.

Good night!

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