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Back Bay, I.3 - Solve et Coagula
Back Bay, I.3
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shamebear From: shamebear Date: June 24th, 2012 08:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Nice story! :-)
As an aside, which I only mention since it's on a topic of great interest to you, is a juxtaposition between your writing and an interview with the autist Michael Barton [1] I don't know his position along the spectrum, but he says he has severe problems with metaphors and figurative speech. I was at first curious to see how fiction without such techniques would read, but I quickly noticed that you do employ them. As in "spidery sepia", "slick with moonlight", "breaker of sadness" and "like the night killing the sun".

Is this something that influences your creative writing? Or do you juggle metaphors as effortlessly as a magister ludi?

[1] http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21657-mapping-the-language-minefield-for-kids-with-autism.html
intralimina From: intralimina Date: June 24th, 2012 08:25 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for the nice story note :-)

I think it's fair to say most of us have trouble with language pragmatics (use of language within a social context). However, that doesn't always manifest the same way for all people. I don't have trouble with literary metaphors (I find literary conventions fairly well-defined and easy to follow, way more-so than how people communicate in reality) but I'm perpetually stumped by the question "how are you." Being unable to cope with metaphor is true for some autists but is a faulty stereotype when employed across the board.

That said, a lot of the metaphors I use in my fiction are just how the images concretely come at me before I assign words to them. I see sadness as a fluid thing that smashes into someone and pins them, drowns them or washes them clean--quite literally that's the movie playing in my head. So I write down what I'm literally seeing. A breaker of sadness. It comes out as metaphor, but it was a bit more concrete in my imagination.

As yet another side note, I just finished doing a narrative analysis of autistic story-telling for a qualitative methods research class (did you know I've gone back to finish my systems science PhD?). The analysis showed no less rich or formal story-telling than the non-autistic narratives I compared it to. Hoping some day to have time to expand the analysis to a publishable size.
shamebear From: shamebear Date: June 25th, 2012 08:38 am (UTC) (Link)
I thought some of the metaphors may not actually be methaphores for you. :-) I recall once you accidentally described a matrix or a vector to someone the way you actually see them. (Which you also allude to here [1]) It could have made for a good scifi story, if only someone hadn't visualized the matrix on film already :-P

Could it also be (and here I'm brainstorming) that how you see the world more fragmented aids in developing metaphors? For instance, if you pick up the texture of handwriting independently from the letters, it would be easier to see that a particular line could just as well correspond to the leg of a spider as the leg of a letter.

Glad to hear you're still pursuing systems science. :-D I finished my AI PhD and is mostly doing project management these days, but I still get to play with AI concepts. Not to mention that the systems thinking I aquired during my master isn't half bad as baggage during project management.

[1] http://mathart.livejournal.com/6586.html
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