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Old 01-23-2005, 08:30 PM   #62
Late Istar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,150
Aiwendil has been trapped in the Barrow!
littlemanpoet wrote:
. Significantly, the portrayal may not be the sum of the character as sub-created in the mind of the author. Thus far we have not even considered the reader's interaction with the story! (Nor will I for now; I think that discussion belongs to the Canonicity thread.) So, does the nature of the character reside in the mind of the author, or in the written narrative? When that author dies, what then?
Ah, but already we are in Canonicity territory. Not all would agree that the mind of the author is of prime importance here. I think that if we pressed the issue here, we would find exactly the same party lines drawn: those for whom the "canon" has to do with the author, those for whom it is the text, and those the reader.

Still, I don't think that it's necessary to enter into that again. You say:

Regarding the second, I would distinguish between the techniques and portrayal.
And, despite my purely text-based approach to canon, I think I agree with you. Frodo could be portrayed this way or that, and yet remain the same character - just as a director may shoot a scene from one angle or another without altering the supposed facts of the situation.

But that brings us to a problem with your definition of a "visible soul" character. Your criteria are:

1. A minimum of internal psychological processing by the character(s), whether in terms of thoughts, feelings, or dreams.

2. Character(s) appear as real, three-dimensional beings, almost always expressed through speech and behavior alone.

3. Internal attributes are evoked mythically according to the laws that govern the mythic setting
These sound more like techniques of portrayal than characteristics of the characters themselves. And in fact, they sound very much like the "external characterization" discussed in the psychological depth thread among others.
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