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Personality -- Do You Like Your Own Personality Better?

Posted by Jenny Maloney on February 25, 2013 at 1:55 PM

A couple weeks ago, I talked about introversion and extroversion in writers' personality types. Since then, I've been curious:


Do we gravitate towards stories/writers with personalities that match our own? Or maybe even the opposite: the stories/writers are so similar that we can't stand having our own flaws so blatantly on display?


I have no way to figure this out, because I lack the ambition to launch any kind of sociological research. So I thought I'd explore my own reactions to writers who have been labeled with my personality type. (ENFP)


According to Celebrity Types, the following writers are ENFPs. My reaction to their work included:


1. Hunter S. Thompson: I actually haven't read anything by Hunter S Thompson.


2. Mark Twain: I really enjoyed The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -- even moreso than The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck Finn definitely is the more 'literature' of the two, but I really like the interplay between Tom and Huck in both books more than anything else.


Twain himself is freaking hilarious. I appreciate his literary criticism the most -- I worship his essay on the sins of James Fenimore Cooper...because I'm in 100% agreement with Twain.


3. Oscar Wilde: LOVE. This guy is the man. "True friends stab you in the front."


4. Aldous Huxley: I have not successfully navigated Brave New World yet. Somehow I always get distracted.


5. Umberto Eco: Again, I haven't read him all the way through. But, I really liked the movie version of Name of the Rose.


6. Salman Rushdie: Haven't read him. Love his Twitter feed.


7. Anne Frank: This girl is fantastic. She's so honest, it's refreshing. And catty. Awesome teenager, tragic circumstances. Her story is incredibly inspiring to me -- and, not only do we share a personality, we also share a birthday. It's strange how connected I feel to Anne Frank. It's really hard for me to not to say "If only..." when it comes to her.


8. Kurt Vonnegut: Brilliant. Though I do have a hard time getting through some of his stuff. I think I don't quite make the 'leaps' I need to.


9. Joseph Campbell: Yes! Just...Yes!


10. Anais Nin: Haven't read her.


11. Louisa May Alcott: I really, really, really don't like Little Women. I find it overly sentimental and somewhat irritating. However, I just watched a documentary on Alcott and it gave her real life story...and while there are a lot of parallels between her life and the March family, it turns out she thought of Little Women in much the same way I do.


Quite frankly, as I was watching the story of her life, I felt like I was watching myself and my attitudes...just a hundred or so years earlier. Seriously, the actors in the documentary read from her diaries and I swear to God, I've had the exact same thoughts. It was weird and disorienting.


12. Stephenie Meyer: Okay, being honest? I actually really like Twilight. I see the criticism of it, and I understand it. But I still really liked it. What can you do?


13. Bill Bryson: Well, if I were going to write non-fiction, I'd love to do what he does.


Conclusion? It seems that I do like writers with my personality type. Hmmm. It also seems that I have a few authors to add to my reading list.


Categories: Patterns

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Reply Debbie Meldrum
3:25 PM on February 25, 2013 
I went to check other INFPs. They include:

Neil Gaiman - love
Sylvia Plath - never read
Ray Bradbury - like
Shakespeare - love
James Joyce - really like
Nabokov - like
HP Lovecraft - don't like/not my thing
JD Salinger - loved, but haven't read since my 20s
Harper Lee - love
Poe - like
AA Milne - who doesn't like Winnie the Pooh?
Bill Watterson - love
JK Rowling - LOVE, except her grown-up book
Virginia Woolf - like what I've read, which isn't much
George Orwell - like
Albert Camus - never read, but have always wanted to

From your list, I like Twain, Wilde (love), Eco, Frank, Vonnegut (may have changed my life), Campbell (ditto), Alcott (who I read for the first time at 10 so was the best target age for the book).

Couldn't find Atwood on the site.
Reply Marie Duplantis-Webb
12:15 AM on February 27, 2013 
Isaac Asimov- Read a little many years ago. Admire what I know.
Ayn Rand- Can't stand but I did read Fountainhead
Jane Austen- Yeah! Big fan.
Not many fiction writers. A lot of philosophers and Communists (ok- the big 2- Marx and Lenin) That's a little weird. and John Adams. I read his biography and I must say I identified with his way of thinking. I also identify with Jane Austen's. I think we're looking at observers of systems or cultures (Jane Austen). Maybe I should stick with that- makes sense.

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