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GluontheFerengi
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PostSubject: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptyThu Apr 28, 2011 8:31 pm

Whenever I have seen lists of 'famous introverts', many of the people listed are hollywood celebrities. Maybe some of these people are actually introverts, but they're invariably examples of introverts who managed to find a place in the top levels of the extrovert reality.

A true list of introvert role models ought to introverts who upheld and exemplified the introverted, Subtle ethic.
So far I have written about:

-Thoreau
-Tolkien

Who else stands out to readers as introvert heroes?
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GyzmyK



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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptySat Apr 30, 2011 1:00 am

I suppose your typical introvert hero avoids the light. Wasn't Tolkien known for scoffing at the dubious blessings of fame?

They play in underground metal bands, or start hacker forums, or sit reading in a spot that they know no one passes by. Becoming a hero in surface culture means making noise, but making a name underground means making your own culture, breathing and eating and drinking it, forging an identity in the dark. Anyone can reach down from the surface and latch onto that identity when a socially accepted niche develops, saying, "I am a metalhead/hacker/bookworm," but the introvert hero is someone that pioneers it all, that is not swayed by any label, genre, or trend, that finds substance in himself rather than in the cytoplasmic goop of a single-celled society.

The introverted heroes that come to my mind are those that exist in fiction, where they occupy a niche as quiet, often tormented protagonists. Sure, you have two-dimensional characters who walk away in slow motion as an explosion goes off behind them, all products of the loud imagination. Sometimes the role of hero is contradictory to introvert nature. You will often find them listed as antiheroes instead.
Look at Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino or L of Deathnote.
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GluontheFerengi
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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptySat Apr 30, 2011 6:08 am

Tolkien's distaste for fame is one of the reasons I saw him as a famous true introvert.

You have a good point that most of our proper role models will never make their way into the popular culture as Tolkien did.
Still, I will continue to ask who else searchable on wikipedia is a hero of Subtelty?

Ah, Eru.
A very likeable character. I love how he adopts an awkward crouching position to increase his thinking powers by a precise percentage.
He's awkward and eccentric while Raito is personable and popular.

Eastwood's Gran Torino character is grouchy on the outside but kind on the inside. As abrasive as he seems, he's there to back you up when it counts. He's all about substance before style. That's a good one.

As for fiction:
Possibly:
-Holden Caulfield (Catcher in the Rye)

One of my favorites:
-Raskolnikov (Crime and Punishment)
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estrangement



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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptySun May 01, 2011 8:42 am

I should like to add the 19th-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer to the list. He lived alone as a bachelor for a large part of his life, toiling away in quiet on volumes of philosophical works, most of which never saw him fame during his lifetime. He was able to do this because he supported himself on the fortune of his deceased father, who had been a merchant. Of course he lived with a series of pet poodles for company. H

His entire life story (from his generally pessimistic and pragmatic worldview, to his solitary habits) seems to resonate so well with me, and I find it fascinating. In present days such a lifestyle and its associated behaviours would no doubt be seen as evidence of mental defectiveness, which really is such a shame.

Something further interesting was his aversion to loud noise. He even wrote a treatise on it aptly titled "On Noise". He mentions that "banging and hammering and general noise-making has been a daily torment" to him all his life. "There are people," he says, "who are insensitive to noise, but these are the same people who are insensitive to argument, ideas, to poetry and works of art, in short to intellectual impressions of every kind" because of their "tough constitution" and the "firm texture" of their brain.

In saying this, he seems to be describing the difference between the introverted and the extroverted.




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GluontheFerengi
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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptySun May 01, 2011 2:14 pm

Rascals are always sociable, more's the pity! and the chief sign that a man has any nobility in his character is the little pleasure he takes in others' company.
-Schopenhauer

Journalists are like dogs, when ever anything moves they begin to bark.
-Schopenhauer

Schopenhauer sounds like the sort of person we're looking for. He's got the right kind of attitude.

Living alone as a bachelor on someone else's money for the sake of a goal beyond economic aspiration is not something that would be well understood within the anglosphere.

Especially not in America. American society is still young. As of yet, there's pretty much zero tradition of spirit or contemplation.

Actually, the 19th century in America seems to have had its share of contemplative, almost mystical figures such as Thoreau, Emerson, or Walt Whitman.

Perhaps the big issue for a country like the US is having only a couple of centuries to grow roots before industrialization. I imagine Canada, Australia, New Zealand are probably similar.

Every enduring civilization in the world, especially repressive ones, seem to have some kind of outlet, however limited, for 'non-productive', 'head in the clouds' types.
For example, I see Russians as having a lot in common with Americans despite a tradition of geo-political rivalry.
Both are traditionally agricultural peoples who look to a vast frontier subject to manifest destiny.
Both pride themselves on a no-nonsense, commonsensical, pragmatic world view.
Sentiment and ideas mean little next to having bread on the table. Surviving and working are the purposes of life.
Both are warrior cultures with a sink or swim attitude towards individuals.

Russia, however, has a strong mystical tradition. Somehow, a few stubborn people, both peasants and aristocrats, have always managed to escape from the grind and gained tenure as official outsiders with the time and space to think.
I suspect Orthodoxy instead of Protestantism has a lot to do with it. Protestant cultures seem to be typically austere, pragmatic, material in nature. Just look at the Dutch vs. the Flemish, the Prussians vs. the Bavarians, the Scottish vs. the Irish.
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Svenson
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PostSubject: Kraftwerk   Introvert Heroes EmptyTue May 03, 2011 3:05 pm

Try Kraftwerk. They didn't like fame. You want a picture with some of the band members? Well why don't you go pose with those mannequins that look just like them.

They hated the telephone. They had one in the studio, but it had no ringer. So you'd have to make an appointment, and someone would know to pick it up at the right time, even though no ringing was ever heard.

Even the act of performing live was somewhat weird when it came to them. During their live concerts they had a song called 'The Robots" where they're not even on the stage. Instead, a bunch of robots with their faces doing tai-chi to a pre-recorded track. And this song gets the loudest applause. The final song involves the band members leaving the stage one by one, and the song playing to an end by itself.

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PostSubject: Introverts thrust into prominence.   Introvert Heroes EmptyWed May 04, 2011 8:45 pm

Another source of introvert heroes are those who have fame or celebrity thrust upon them through no choice of their own. An example would be King George VI of England. (I should add that I didn't see "The King's Speech.")
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GluontheFerengi
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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptyFri May 06, 2011 12:18 pm

I have seen the King's Speech and I loved it.

Though George VI is a heroic figure, he is a rather tragic hero when examined as
an introvert.

He died in his fifties. The stress of being forced into his situation had more than a little to do with it.

Rather than affirming his introvert identity, George VI suppressed it and ultimately sacrificed himself so he could fulfill the responsibilities his more gregarious brother cast aside.
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estrangement



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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptyTue May 10, 2011 12:20 am

I too enjoyed The King's Speech. It is interesting to see to the extent he shunned the limelight. The received view is because he did it on account of his stuttering. I believe that the stuttering was a convenience (although unfortunate), and that the deeper reason was that he was highly introverted.
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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptyTue May 10, 2011 5:04 am

I would like to suggest Immanuel Kant. Like Schopenhauer, he lived alone. He was a professor of philosophy and anthropology, and made his living as a private tutor. He seems the classic deep thinking introvert who puts emphasis on achieving something great, beneath the view of the world, driven solely by the love of knowledge:

Quote :
Although fond of company and conversation with others, Kant isolated himself. He resisted friends' attempts to bring him out of his isolation. In 1778, in response to one of these offers by a former pupil, Kant wrote

"Any change makes me apprehensive, even if it offers the greatest promise of improving my condition, and I am persuaded by this natural instinct of mine that I must take heed if I wish that the threads which the Fates spin so thin and weak in my case to be spun to any length. My great thanks, to my well-wishers and friends, who think so kindly of me as to undertake my welfare, but at the same time a most humble request to protect me in my current condition from any disturbance."

He only came out of his isolation when his magnum opus Critique of Pure Reason was published. This is interesting, in that it has analogues to Schopenhauer's practice. There is certainly a connexion in behaviour between the two.


Quote :
He imposed upon himself a rigid daily routine. According to an anecdote, Kant's life habits were so regular, that people would to set their clocks by him as the philosopher passed their houses on his daily walk--the only time when the schedule changed was when Kant read Jean-Jacques Rousseau's Emile, and forgot the walk.

What is most interesting is that Kant never left his home town to see the world outside his study. He believed in his own rational thinking, and did not consider travelling necessary to solve the problems of philosophy. So important was the expounding of his philosophy that he organised his life in the most efficient way possible to make the most of every waking moment:

Quote :
"The life story of Immanuel Kant is hard to describe, for he had neither a life nor a story", writes the poet Heinrich Heine. In some respects this observation bears out. Throughout his life Kant stayed in Königsberg, the city where he was born. Never straying more than a few miles from town, he devoted himself to the pursuit of philosophical truths in complex and extensive writings, a task so monumental that he had to organize his days rigorously to secure the necessary time. In contrast, Kant was largely silent about himself. He kept no journal; the details about his life are sparse and must be gleaned from what he accidentally let slip through. Most stories of Kant come only from people who knew him or observed him directly. Of the few daily activities Kant engaged in, his walks have been imbued with the most significance.


Interestingly enough, Kant also realised the importance of frugality. In this case, it can be equated to your notion of the subsistence of the soul:

Quote :
Years of living frugally, increases in his salary, and honoraria for his publications enabled Kant in 1783 to buy a house on Prinzessinstra and to hire a cook. (A few years previous he had employed as his footman Martin Lampe, a retired Prussian soldier remembered for his dullness). At this time Kant reorganized his daily routine, which changed little for the rest of his life. He subjected himself to the severest regimen to maintain his health, for he was a small, frail man with a delicate constitution.

Interestingly enough, he may have not used much of his house at all, preferring to occupy only a fraction of the total space, being his room. I can attest to this personally, as I tend to spend most of my time in only one room of the house, rarely visiting anything other than the bathroom and kitchen:

Quote :
Unlike the rest of the house, the bedroom was never heated, even during frigid weather. The window was never opened, and he refused to keep a candle in the room; if he had to get up during the night he felt his way along a rope running from the bed to the door.


Another philosopher I would like to bring attention to is Baruch Spinoza. Spinoza lived a quiet life as a lens grinder, turning down rewards and honours throughout his life, including prestigious teaching positions, and gave his family inheritance to his sister. The pious public did not like him in the least, on account of his "heretical" views. Meanwhile, beneath the radar, he toiled on his seminal work Ethics.
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GluontheFerengi
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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptySun Jul 03, 2011 2:39 am

I've thought of another one: Harper Lee, author of "To Kill a Mockingbird".

Atticus Finch is noble, just, and understated, never bragging about all his accomplishments and capabilities.
The Loud see his restraint as weakness and as a consequence they end up underestimating him.

Boo Radley: A recluse who is drawn out of hiding and risks himself in physical confrontation when others need his help. He is the mockingbird of the story, the bird that any decent person would leave alone, and if left alone freely chooses to contribute to human society.

In my mind, Boo Radley is a literary refutation of the self-righteous socialite who talks of good deeds, joins and becomes president of all the associations that talk about good deeds, but seldom actually acts.

Harper Lee herself shunned fame and never left her quiet small town life.

She didn't go on to write a series of bestselling sequels. She wrote what needed to be written and that was that.
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ra-ma-si



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PostSubject: Re: Introvert Heroes   Introvert Heroes EmptyFri Aug 31, 2012 12:52 am

Is it perhaps the truth that the author is the real 'hero'?

Sherlock Holmes has always been ... eh... how to put it? I want to say something like "my good friend". I always felt like I understood him better than anyone I knew in real life. I first read his adventures when I was 12 or 13, and I still read and collect them as an adult - and I daresay they mean more to me now than they did then.
Hero: Arthur Conan Doyle (didn't actually want to be knighted, you know?)

L for me too. ( <3 ) Although I didn't meet him until college. Or maybe because of... our ages would have been too far apart earlier.
(Well, I should say that L is the character I identified most with naturally, and it actually took me a couple readings [and book 13] to realize that Ryuk was supposed to be the one the audience 'understood' the best - the watcher role, the narrator. If it were a prose novel, a literature class could have a field day with that one character.)
Heroes: Ohba and Obata (have worked together since then, and their most recent bit about the manga-writing kids is also quite a study into different types of introversion)

Have you ever read Hex by Rhiannon Lassiter? Raven was one of the first people I ever met who actually impressed me. I mean, I was 14 at the time, but the fact that a girl could possibly be like that... Pretending to be her was one of my favorite things to do at the time.
Hero: Rhiannon Lassiter (has a very unique name, too. Unique names tend to be exceptionally unique people, I think... or at any rate, tend to be people who know there's no point in pretending to be just another Tom, Dick, or Mary.)

(btw, Bombadil - Tom Bombadil - was hands-down my favorite character in the trilogy ever. EVERYONE forgets him!!!)

EDIT: How could I forget? For all his speaking to people, there is a strong argument for Jesus being an introvert. He only had 12 close friends, and He would often escape from them to be by Himself, praying (or possibly just meditating and thinking, old language translation, especially common phrases and idioms, can be a little fluid) and enjoying the night air.

EDIT: Oh, yeah, that bit about the concealing of divergent interests... well, at least someone else likes L, right? And was that, over there, a possible allusion to 1337 culture? But then I don't actually have to survive here for long if the situation is uncomfortable. I have the option of escaping. IRL there is no such luck.
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