Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Disbelief: Abandoned.

"You love me. Real or not real."


I just finished reading The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. I feel the same way I felt after completing the His Dark Materials trilogy... spent. My heart hurts for fictional characters, dead in their storylines and subdued by the raging emotions in me. It's a vicious cycle: I am overwhelmed with all the sadness of the novels, then almost disgusted with myself by how emotional I am, which makes me upset, which continues in this terrible circle. Spiraling, you could say.

My old theater professor said for a play to work (a movie, a book, etc), we must willingly suspend our disbelief. I don't suspend so much as abandon mine; I become the story. It's why scary movies terrify me so thoroughly, why sad movies truly break my heart and why books with captivating stories and well-rounded characters, enthrall me.

So as not to spoil the hunger games trilogy for anyone, I'll talk about his dark materials because it's been out for so long by now, you asshats should have already read it. I will never, ever forget finishing the second book, The Subtle Knife and left with the worst cliff-hanger of an ending, not even knowing when the third and final book would be out. I consumed The Golden Compass & then The Subtle Knife only to be left turning the intentionally left-blank pages signalling the end of the novel. I re-read the last paragraph, then the last page, then the chapter, sure I missed something. No one ends a book like that! Maybe my copy was a misprint and the last part was left off? Nope. Phillip Pullman got one over on all of us. I was in 8th grade. I only had to wait a measly two years (compared to the decade + for some fantasy series...) for the last book to come out. And boy, I don't think I've ever cried so hard over fictional characters.

I think I keep seeing similarities between the two because they're both trilogies, both aimed towards young adults but can span generations of readers and have an amazing female protagonist. Who falls in love with an equally amazing male lead character. They're young and so full of passion and purity, it makes my heart to think about it.

Which is pretty silly; they aren't real.

But it leads me down so many thought-paths... There really are people in this world so full of passion, determination and drive to make this world good... How amazing are these wordsmiths to weave together letters which form the words to make complete human beings from nothing more than ink on paper?

I know these books will stay with me forever. I could describe for days, the scenes, the words, the lines that will remain etched in my memory because of how powerfully they moved me. The scenes or lines don't even have to be emotionally, just beautifully written, to the point I can taste the food the author describes, or catch myself speaking outloud the lines, to hear the cadence of the character's voice.

I will always remember Katniss lifting her arms, slowing spinning, her wedding dress burning up, Cinna transforming her into the Mockingjay.

I will always remember Lyra leaving Pantalaimon behind, tearing herself from herself as the boat moved away from the shore.

Absolutely brilliant writers. I gladly surrender all disbelief to submerge into their crafted worlds.