I once had a philo teacher who said books are we have the closest to necromancy, because we can talk with the dead and exist after our physical departure. Do you agree with this metaphor ?
Its a curse, desu.
I have an unfinished story about a vampire whose blood drinking habit allows him live through the most memorable memories of the person he sucks.
And in the end I'll have him starve dry because he discovered reading.
>Do you agree with this metaphor ?
Yes, but only *as* a metaphor. Seneca said something similar, that by reading books he got to converse with his dead heros.
But literally speaking, the authors don't actually exist via their writings; ideally, the author's text can allow the reader to think up for him/herself concepts that are indistinguishable from the concepts the author had when the author stamped those concepts in written words. But the concepts in the author's mind are not numerically identical with the concepts in the reader's mind - they're separate minds, and the author's concepts died along with the activity of his/her mind.
And most if not all of the time, the reader can't even be sure that he/she is interpreting the author in precisely the way the author meant to be interpreted - so the reader can't be sure that he/she is thinking of the concepts that would match exactly with the concepts the author was thinking while writing.
I would say it's closer to paleontology than necromancy; through the reconstruction of an animal's physiology, you can create a conjecture of what it would act like--the same can be be applied to literature, as we can ask what Jesus or Socrates would do faced with a certain situation, from what we read about them.
Sure - I don't see how we could ever know without question that we are thinking of the exact concepts that our conversation partner intends for us to think; we can never compare his/her concepts with our concepts side by side to check for exact similarity.
But of course OP's metaphor doesn't apply to a living, breathing conversation partner.
No. People are putting their ideas in the book when they read them. It's a communication in the sense that it is the thoughts of the person.
But you can't ask them how and why they wrote this here or there or what idea they had when they said this or that. So it's a half butchered one way communication.