This month's topic:
How do you feel about fictional characters who are obviously closely based on the author? Is this an example of authorial superego? Or just a natural extension of the "write what you know" advice?
This topic has oft been pondered by readers and I think is a common misconception of fans who aren't artists themselves. You can read about self-insertion (intentional or not) here and author surrogacy here.
As I reader, I can tell you it's so easy to correlate the author and their characters that it's almost a reflexive response, just like we some times are unable to separate great actors from their roles. It's not impossible to get past this perspective by the more one develops critical thinking and analytic skills.
A great author or artist's job is to create something so universal and genuine that it resonates with everyone irregardless of time, place and space. This only leads one to believe it must have happened or be in some way true otherwise this person could not have created something so real. Yet as a poet/writer, I can tell you that I have written things from many angles and other's experiences, true ones or fanciful ones created on a whim.
At the same time, everything I write, conceive or create will always reflect my bias, my experiences, my culture and time. As hard as anyone might try to be objective, an artist's lens is solely theirs.
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