The Magus The Magus question


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In real life do people actually analyse others the way Nicholas does?
Kasim Kasim Nov 24, 2013 06:29AM
Throughout the book Nicholas constantly analyses the way people speak and their expressions.

Is this analysis something that people actually do in real life?



I kind of felt close to Nicolas, exactly because of the way he perceives reality. Therefore the way he analyses people. I would moreover, ask, and entertain myself with the thought,n are people like Conchis for real?


They may not carry on the analysis to such depth all of the time but it is something that some people do some of the time. I can only support this with my personal experience as a compulsive analyser of other people. You should also remember that the analysis is not necessarily accurate. As a previous poster said working with people develops this skill; especially if you are required to make judgments or predictions about them.


Absolutely. The reason that the novel was such a cult classic in the 1960's and 1970's is that it depicts an intellectual Everyman (Urfe=Earth) coming of age and encountering the mysteries of the world. It had, I think, a particular attraction to college-age guys. Fowles is also an outstanding storyteller, and the novel presents a sort of cook's tour of the frequently horrific 20th century that was very much in keeping with the common narratives people were encountering in college at that time. That sort of analysis that Nicholas does was taken as an expected attitude of mind of an educated western person at that time.


ch (last edited Nov 24, 2013 08:51AM ) Nov 24, 2013 07:53AM   0 votes
I think so, in widely varying degrees.

It's a powerful skill to read people. Some people are naturally good at it. People learn the skill too, such as law enforcement.

I think that habitually and skilled "reading" of people can be dangerous, not only to the person being read but to the reader because it penetrates the persona of one or more of people in the interaction and can damage power-sharing essential to constructive relationships - one has more power or a different agenda than the other, or if both are analyzing, they are constrained by their assessments.

I think in this case, "reading people" is one of the personality defects in these characters that make this story possible.


Renee E (last edited Jul 03, 2014 08:14AM ) Jul 03, 2014 08:13AM   0 votes
Yes. Sometimes it's a survival skill. It's all in what you do with it . . . use your powers for good or for evil.

Or to enhance your writing ;-)


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