The Ultimate Brokeback Forum

Author Topic: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method  (Read 9843 times)

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2012, 03:32:55 AM »
b) Who determines that the “thought or approach” has clearly “undeniable merit?”
-I'd say, rational people who process thoughts and approaches reasonably, prudently and efficiently...

(Well,  you asked, didn't ya..?!  :D )
I guess that excludes irrational people who process thoughts and approaches unreasonably, imprudently and inefficiently, then.

I’ll take it further: does one know whether one is an apple, or an orange?   ???

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #31 on: February 11, 2012, 03:35:14 AM »
http://www.rci.rutgers.edu/~cfs/472_html/Planning/PlanRecog.html
Quote
Plan recognition is a term used to refer to the task of inferring the plan or plans of an intelligent agent from observations of the agent's actions or the effects of those actions. It involves a mapping from a temporal sequence of actions and their effects to an organization of these actions and their effects into some plan representation that identifies the goal of the plan together with the relation between the components of the plan...

     ...another consideration may affect the nature of the plan recognition process. Most plans that we carry out are executed in the context of other agents. Sometimes our plan depends on the assumption that the actions of other agents will have no effect on our plan.
This is as far as I got, and I loved it.   :)



Apologies for the seven-in-a row, all.
I thought that that was better than one BIG one.  ;D

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2012, 06:31:21 AM »
>:D  -Would that really be necessary??  Well, if you’re going to use generalisations, I think you should support your claims with evidence.  ::)

The interviewer, in the case of the Thatcher example I used, was unable to identify who "the people in the street" were.

So, he was bested.  ;D
-Fallaciously so.  If the interviewer was unable or unwilling to reveal his sources, then the sources don't exist.

 File that under 'Convenient legal fictions.' :D

 


"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #33 on: February 11, 2012, 06:46:27 AM »
Quote from: AZ.bbm
BTW, who says what it is we should know, and defines just who it is that has a "need to know" ..? -- If everything we needed to know was contained in the SS 'scriptures' whole threads of this forum would never have been started.
What has this to do with the thread topic?

Basically, Ennis and Jack are each “offstage” for those two time periods. And, as they are, there’s nothing to discuss, because all that we need to know is presented by the Narrator.

-You brought it up, very authoritatively, I might add...  :)
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #34 on: February 11, 2012, 06:57:18 AM »
Serious response: I refer again to my earlier comment/s, that the characters are offstage, and that whatever it is that they do is unimportant. 
Hmm...That might be the case in plays and movies where the action is served up, directly to the audience's eyes and ears; but I don't think it's entirely the case when dealing with written stories which are brought to life inside the mind of the reader*...Wouldn't ignoring the plan (the subtext?), and the entire range of unseen events it conjures up, serve to diminish the totality of the experience?

(*I'm arguing in favor of the written word, for a change, so, yes, I am on thin ice, here.)



« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 07:12:36 AM by AZ.bbm »
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

  • Proulx 101
  • Global Moderator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 6830
  • resist the corporate Taliban
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #35 on: February 11, 2012, 10:48:17 AM »
What has this to do with the thread topic?




I am beginning to worry about this myself.

We have an entire forum to discuss various aspects of BBM.  This thread isn't meant to be a re-hash of discussions in other threads.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #36 on: February 11, 2012, 04:05:57 PM »
Q. How do literary critics determine which aspects of a work are too minor, extraneous or unimportant to consider, discuss or wonder about..?

For that matter how do authors decide which elements are necessary and which aren't?

 
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline Tony_

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 1738
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #37 on: February 11, 2012, 07:06:20 PM »

Q. How do literary critics determine which aspects of a work are too minor, extraneous or unimportant to consider, discuss or wonder about..?


 On this first question, Stan, I think it depends on the LC school they have adopted.  They tend to focus there, and then quibble with adherents of other schools.  I did get stuck with a social marxist critic,as a professor, and had to read all that crap.  Though they are essentially non-political (and were therefore hated by the commies), they saw everything through the emerging bourgeois tastes of the "consumer" in art and lit.
  To my sadness, there was all too much of proveable influence there.

Other schools would each have their own point of view.  Semiotics tried to have a Grand Unification Theory.  Yeah, right.

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2012, 03:34:01 AM »
If the interviewer was unable or unwilling to reveal his sources, then the sources don't exist.
Which was the point Maggie made, to the interviewer's chagrin (on national TV, as well). :D


...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #39 on: February 12, 2012, 04:00:40 AM »
Q. How do literary critics determine which aspects of a work are too minor, extraneous or unimportant to consider, discuss or wonder about..?
A good critic, literary or otherwise (film, music, visual/performance arts) would surely not discard any aspects of the work being criticially appraised.

Unfortunately there aren’t many of those around, and the lesser ones always bring in the escape clause, either implicitly or overtly, of “personal opinion.”

IMHO.  ;D


Quote from: AZ.bbm
For that matter how do authors decide which elements are necessary and which aren't?
In the visual arts it'd be like asking why a painter applied a dab of chrome yellow, rather than one of gamboge, where he did.

Possible answers could range from I felt like it, It was needed, No idea, It was an intuitive choice, My colour balance required it and It was essential to fully convey my intentions.

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #40 on: February 12, 2012, 07:17:15 AM »
-Fallaciously so.  If the interviewer was unable or unwilling to reveal his sources, then the sources don't exist[?].
Which was the point [UK Prime Minister] Maggie [Thatcher] made, to the interviewer's chagrin ... :D
-Probably 'chagrined' by the idea that Mrs. Thatcher would commit not one but two fallacious appeals?!*  :P :D


(*'argumentum ex silentio,' and 'argumentum ad ignorantium')
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #41 on: February 12, 2012, 07:23:03 AM »
On this first question, Stan, I think(1) it depends on the LC school they have adopted.  They tend to focus there, and then quibble with adherents of other schools.  I did get stuck with a social marxist critic,as a professor, and had to read all that crap.  Though they are essentially non-political (and were therefore hated by the commies), they saw everything through the emerging bourgeois tastes of the "consumer" in art and lit.
  To my sadness, (2) there was all too much of proveable influence there.

Other schools would each have their own point of view.  Semiotics tried to have a Grand Unification Theory.  Yeah, right.
Haha! Marxist ideology, semiotics, and the bourgeoisie! -Memories come flooding back! ;D

1. That make sense -- Pardon my ignorance, I didn't realize that there were different 'schools' of literary criticism (I should have guessed).

2.  I totally know what you mean:  I once had an ethics professor who taught his entire 'Ethics and Jurisprudence' course directly from his own thesis!  :P  
I ended up retaking the course later with a different instructor.



« Last Edit: February 12, 2012, 08:00:31 AM by AZ.bbm »
"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline AZ.bbm

  • Way Back Machine
  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 5763
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #42 on: February 12, 2012, 08:08:55 AM »
A good critic, literary or otherwise (film, music, visual/performance arts) would surely not discard any aspects of the work being critically appraised.
Unfortunately there aren't many of those around, and the lesser ones always bring in the escape clause, either implicitly or overtly, of “personal opinion.”

 (1)IMHO;D

(2) In the visual arts it'd be like asking why a painter applied a dab of chrome yellow, rather than one of gamboge, where he did.

(1) IMHO - right! :D

(2) Yes, I understand the creative process from a musical standpoint;  jazz performance shares the same mental processes, improv  and elaboration over a structure, etc.

I guess the better question would be, why do authors choose to OMIT certain elements from a story?

For instance,  in the case of the SS, we know that AP chose to omit (important) information about her ranch leads' formative sexuality, and yet she  included copious descriptions of the most mundane things, including a whole paragraph specifically enumerating all seventeen mountain ranges that the two had visited together..   



"'Democracy' is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch... 'Liberty' is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.'' -Benjamin Franklin

Offline Ellen (tellyouwhat)

  • Proulx 101
  • Global Moderator
  • Obsessed
  • ******
  • Posts: 6830
  • resist the corporate Taliban
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #43 on: February 12, 2012, 12:44:22 PM »

For instance,  in the case of the SS, we know that AP chose to omit (important) information about her ranch leads' formative sexuality, and yet she  included copious descriptions of the most mundane things, including a whole paragraph specifically enumerating all seventeen mountain ranges that the two had visited together..   




pointing out, this has been discussed at length in other threads, and is again bringing in the "were they gay" question, which has its own thread.

Of course there are many critics who consider Annie Proulx's language spare to the point of being problematic. (I wouldn't agree with them.)

To be on topic here, let's keep to literary criticism.

Also "literary" implies not just (y)our own perceptions as a consumer of entertainment, but a discussion related to a literary critic's philosophy or method.
sometimes I think life is just a rodeo the trick is to ride and make it 'til the bell --john fogerty

Offline Paul029

  • Obsessed
  • *****
  • Posts: 4575
Re: Literary Criticism: Purpose and Method
« Reply #44 on: February 13, 2012, 02:16:35 AM »
(2) Yes, I understand the creative process from a musical standpoint;  jazz performance shares the same mental processes, improv  and elaboration over a structure, etc.
Not quite the same, I think, as literature (or painting or sculpture and even film, in the sense that I mean, anyway—I’ll get back to this*).
Improvisation in jazz is equivalent to an author or painter considering, evaluating, and either discarding or retaining possible elements to be contained in the work once all has been resolved. (Whether this is done intuitively or rationally doesn’t matter.)

I understood your point about the involvement of “the same mental processes” in jazz improvisation, but if you’re talking about actual, live performance, rather than, say, a permanent recording (CD, video, etc) or even a printed score, then it isn’t really the same thing as literature.

In this case (and those of painting, sculpture and film) what’s presented to the reader (or viewer) is what the writer (et al) recorded—once and for all.
It’s not the creative act that’s presented, but its end result (unless we are to consider drafts, sketches, underpainting, maquettes or story boards).

It’s interesting to compare differing performance interpretations of a printed music score. The composer puts down the notes, indicates tempi and phrasing, includes annotations describing how each section should be played, yet no two performances sound the same. What we hear are differing conductor’s “interpretations” of what the composer meant. (It’s a bit like Proulx’s story, isn’t it? Her words are fixed in print, but readers’ interpretations differ, and often notably.)

Quote from: AZ.bbm
I guess the better question would be, why do authors choose to OMIT certain elements from a story?
That suggests a deficiency on the part of the author. What the writer (or artist or composer) created is what was deemed (by them) to be sufficient.

Considering what has been “left out” may be an interesting exercise, but it implies that an author was remiss, or deficient in some way—that there exists, somewhere, a “fuller version,” if you like, which the author ignored either through wilfulness or ignorance. (There’s another explanation, too, that it’s only a particular reader who wishes to be more informed...)

Engaging in “critical appraisal” of a work (to determine its merit/s) surely involves analysis of only what was presented, and the creator’s decision about that should be respected.
Otherwise “The centre cannot hold...”  ::)

At the start of the thread Ellen stated that we should discuss “works of literary criticism, preferably (but not limited to) criticism and analysis by authoritative voices in arts and letters...”
I don’t think I’m an authoritative voice, despite your mentioning earlier elsewhere that I was, but I would hope that my opinions, in discussing “works of literature” (and, perhaps peripherally, “arts”, unless we drift significantly OT) were understood to be my personal thoughts, and nobody is obliged to agree with them.

If my thoughts wandered a bit I apologise...

Sorry.  :'(


*I meant that while film exists (in celluloid), and occurs in time, as does music, and reading a book, a film and a book are "fixed" permanently—whereas performance of music isn't, unless we consider the printed score.
Does that make sense?

...there was no real scent, only the memory of it, the imagined power of Brokeback Mountain...