ANON IS THIS CHRISTMAS????
i use the tag as a catchall for what is my biggest driving thematic interest re: relationships in fiction, something i called “being and having" (from andre aciman’s gorgeous call me by your name) until in my last year of uni a prof referenced “identification/desire” in passing and after class i staggered up to him and was like “GIVE ME MORE????!!!!!” sadly there isn’t much academic study of it, at least in english lit so the only time i got to talk about it in school was an annotated bibliography i did on erotic triangles.
as the tag suggests i feel like i’ll spend my life working out what exactly it is about identification/desire that does it for me and i’m sure the right academic mentor/partner could help me refine it but basically: people are obsessed with themselves and are attracted to parts of themselves they see in others. when one one or many traits are perceived as shared aka the character “sees their self” in the other, the entire self is projected. the resulting “another me,” “two halves of a whole,” “my perfect mirror,” blurring of identity is deeply interesting and satisfying to me for reasons i’m not even sure of!!!
the way this manifests/the effect it has on the other varies depending on the character obviously, but often these characters are deeply lonely and have difficulty connecting, they feel completely Other themselves. sometimes they project on the other in a desire to escape the parts of their self they dislike, and sometimes it’s about a narcissist remaking the other in his image. twins often end up being a narrative/visual shorthand for this, for obvious reasons. i’ve also scratched the surface of the inversion of it, “identification/repulsion, ig which would be someone with deep self-loathing who rejects/loathes the other based on perceived shared qualities. that’s even more unformed for me than i/d obviously lol.
the best/fullest example of this recently is of course, The Only Movie in the World, Stoker even if it’s still ultimately about like… the nascence of Evil. the movie that inspired it, Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt is about an unusually close uncle and niece (both called Charlie no less) and Hitchcock does NOT fuck around with the visual mirroring. ISTG if i ever seen the guy from prison break in the street were are gonna have the LONGEST AND MOST IN DEPTH CONVO EVER.
Formative examples from my adolescence: Wuthering Heights, The Dreamers, Fight Club, The Basic Eight,
there are just people out there that are the embodiment of the sun like the things they say and do light up the world and make you feel warm they are human sunshine
i feel like ‘restaurant’ shouldnt be spelled like that
les anglophones volent des mots à d’autres langues puis chialent parce qu’ils ne sont pas orthographiés comme ils le voudraient
IM GONNA REBLOG THIS POST UNTIL I DIE IM CRYING