reenka: (Default)
[personal profile] reenka
Thinking about [livejournal.com profile] anitaray's post about the ridiculous holes in the plot of DH and another comment in reaction to it saying it comes as no surprise to 'regular readers' 'cause plot isn't JKR's strong-point, I got to thinking about just how true it is that we all evaluate and form responses to books on quite different axes, generally without spelling out or even realizing what those are.


I mean, even saying 'I value complex/believable characterization over plot', it's quite likely I may value different aspects of it than someone else. In any case, it would be most correct to say that I vary what qualities I look for depending on the strengths of a given work. If a book is really strong in original or complex plotting or world-building, I'll probably enjoy that. If it's strong in magic or science fictional ideas, that's what I focus on. If it's got a central character I love, that's it for me, and of course if it's got a unique and beautiful style or flow, that gives me a lot of pleasure.

I probably have a more rigid/fixed list of pet peeves than any central focus in what I look for in fiction, based on the sorts of things my own mind is naturally drawn to and excels at noticing. Like, I always naturally note details of style, so I can empathize with a criticism of DH like 'I sat there and marked up her sentences with an imaginary red pen', because I've made a conscious decision to not do that with JKR's work. But I just breeze by most plot holes because my mind isn't naturally analytical in quite that way, I guess. Even if you tell me, I don't really care because it doesn't affect my personal reading experience. Just as I may very well leave threads hanging in my own writing, it would take something really blatant to bother me in a story, and it'd probably have to be directly related to characterization (like, 'omg why didn't Harry grieve/fixate on Sirius' death more??!' and 'how did he just overlook casting the Sectumsempra so quickly?' and so on). There are probably great numbers of people whose response to those issues would be a heartfelt, 'so what?' And, y'know, that's a valid response too, I think, as far as it goes.

I think this sort of thinking goes a long way towards explaining why critically panned works can be so popular in the mainstream and why crappy Harry/Draco fanfic gets so many raving fangirl reviews.

Usually, when people write actual essays defending this, they say stuff that gets on my tits before it gets up my nose, like 'ICness doesn't matter' and 'writing believably is for sissies and Mudbloods, so leave my wankfic alone you meanies!' (...or... not. you know, artistic license is important). It's not that it's not important, it's that we all read what are effectively different stories, such is the difference a change in focus makes.

Often enough, I find I cannot recognize the HP I love in people's critical responses, even though I don't actually think they're wrong in the particulars, for instance. It's like... we all see the same trees on some level, but the nature of human perception is such that this isn't as important as the subjective 'forest' we make by noticing some trees as 'foreground' and the rest as 'background shrubbery'.

A lot of it's that I think there are different truths; and in some ways, I value the way someone sees something with the eyes of love more than the way someone deconstructs that same things rationally, though this is a subjective preference for equally subjective response. I still think realizing the halfway objective 'true outline' prevents any writer or critic from putting their foot in their mouth and being completely stupid (mmm, yummy foot), but this, to me, is in service to the ultimately personal nature of reader's response. I think knowing why people love something can be as enlightening as knowing why that something doesn't work on a rational level, though these two things are useful for different purposes. I wish people were more aware of and specific about what their purposes were, too, futile as that may be.

There's a danger to taking either 'side' too seriously; the rationalist readers have a way of acting like the objective analysis is 'superior' and 'the only truth' by implication even at best, and the emotive readers have a way of getting defensive and proprietary about their idea of-- or more accurately, feeling about the text, as if it is 'theirs' and any cold/prickly analysis or deconstruction is an assault not only on it, but on them personally. And while I am most naturally of the second type, I've been on the former type's side often enough to know it's no fun beating your head against either part of the brick wall. :>

I think you can't really understand the whole of a text (canon or fanfic), especially in the fannish context, without bringing the readers' emotional responses and context into it. If you're a rationalist, without understanding the emotional impact of and intuitive reasoning behind the stuff you're critiquing, you're going to talk past most of the actual fans and only reach the part of fandom that's disenfranchised and not emotionally invested in the fandom/canon to begin with, so just like with [livejournal.com profile] anitaray's post, a bunch of people 'me too' with no real discussion or new meaning generated in fandom. It becomes a bit ridiculous, to the point where it's like, 'if it's this bad, why are we here? what the hell is going on? are all these fangirls just complete idiots?' And in fact I do think the fangirls think that's the implied message-- that they're idiots as much as JKR, for being drawn in, right, for caring.

Conversely, just as I said in the recent post about how if you're not a canon!whore to some extent, or at least if you don't care about the nitty-gritty believability issues in relation to actual canon, your fic is going to suck. This sort of statement on my part is mostly addressed at the second type of fan, the emotive reader; this is because that's the reasoning I use on myself. "Reena," I said to myself once. "Reena, if you don't actually read the books, no one is going to take anything you say seriously. You realize this, right. Just checking." And lo, a lightbulb went on in my head. :P

It's fun to coast along, doing whatever the fuck you want and 'to hell with canon', until you crash-land on an alien planet filled with purple spotted wildebeests raping Harry's mom while eating cotton candy, and you ask yourself-- you ask yourself, 'what have I done? who the fuck are these people? and where, oh where are my PANTS??!' and so on. It's just not good for one's sense of sanity & grasp on reality, you know. It's good to have a few logical boundaries act as a filter both to one's writerly desires and even one's imagination. Otherwise, no one will know what you're talking about, basically, unless they too dream of purple wildebeests on Mars raping Harry's mum.

Which. I don't know, it gets a bit lonely out there, really, spewing stuff that no one understands 'cause it's too self-referential, too divorced from its 'actual' context, too stylized, too convoluted and just too damn weird. Ahem. But maybe that's just me.

~~

ETA: I regret my misguided terminology. All I can say is that it depends on you just 'knowing what I mean'. -.- I'll try to never generalize about people thoughtlessly in the future.

Date: 2007-09-16 07:44 am (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
Man, somehow I always come away from these posts feeling vaguely insulted. ;)

Date: 2007-09-16 07:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
But generally I like the rationalists moooore. ;____; I was trying to play both sides against the middle, though, 'tis true :>

Date: 2007-09-16 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
By 'these' posts, do you mean 'of mine' or in general? I mean, I know I repeat myself, but..... ^^;

Date: 2007-09-16 07:51 am (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
LOL, yours. Whenever you talk about what "rationals do."

And I did say vaguely insulted - I'm not like, steaming mad or anything. But the problem is that what is the 'best' approach is always going to be subjective. And I pretty much disagree that a balance is better than an objective extreme, which I guess makes me exactly the kind of rational you're talking about. Which is fine, actually? Except that I think what could be considered the 'best' approach is always going to be subjective with everyone tending to favor whichever approach they, personally, use. Like, I don't have much use for emotional reactions, so obviously I'm not going to think that analysis is improved by indulging them?

Date: 2007-09-16 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I don't mean to be insulting... though mostly that may be the problem. Um. I... er... meant that for certain given purposes (of impacting fandom, reaching the 'other side', understanding fandom and/or the reactions of others to a given work), a balanced approach would work better. I suppose it's the same way that sociology is a 'soft science' and has different measurements than biology... or psychology vs psychiatry... but it's just that they have different uses. Well, you know what I mean, right? I wasn't saying a balance was 'objectively' better, in any case, though perhaps my message was confused in my effort to give everyone their slice of pie, or something. ^^; So I agree that a 'best approach' is necessarily subjective; I'm not sure where I said it wasn't, though knowing me I probably inadvertently implied it somewhere without meaning to. ><;;

Like, for your purposes, the objective 'one truth' approach works for the sort of truth you want, and I totally respect that. I think it's like, indulging & understanding are two different things, too. From a pov of someone who's interested in reader response theory in the first place (which is where I was coming from), people's emotional reactions are just... interesting to observe and they allow a necessary window into understanding both fan behavior and the interaction between canon text and fan text. If you're only interested in canon analysis and not in reader response as such, of course it's irrelevant :D

Date: 2007-09-16 08:16 am (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
Yeah, I get it. The thing is, I think there's also a difference between understanding on a theoretical level and understanding on an empathic level. Like, when I say I don't understand X thing that fans do, usually I understand the... psychological mechanics involved, its just that because I am me, I will never understand why they think thats a good thing and go with it instead of trying to stamp it out like the biasing vermin it is. (To me.)

But yeah, in terms of understand both sides, in a fandom context, obviously knowing a bit of each would be beneficial. I think... rationals often understand the mechanics of emotive thinking, they just also think emotive thinking sucks. On the other hand emotive thinkers often really literally don't believe that rational thinkers are actually differently thinking. And that can get kinda annoying and yeah I know you didn't say that. ;P

Anyway, I actually do find people's emotional responses fascinating - that's why I'm into social sciences. ;) It's just that I guess I view those responses from a kind of disconnected place where I like to pick them apart and see what they're reacting to and why? And I can usually say, "Well I see where this is coming from,' but it doesn't stop me from thinking it's silly, I guess, which is where all the I DONT GET IT stuff comes from.

Honestly, though? I think being of a fan mindset (and I include myself in this) warps the perception of the source material. fans by their nature tend to get very invested in specific things that poke them in the button spots, and in their head they come to overemphasize the importance of those things, which I think is why fans so often read things differently than the creators intended (and I mean, this isn't going into authorial intent really? I just mean that, in my experience, casual fans tend to see things very close to the intent of a fairly competent creator whereas FAN!fans often don't?) and also why so many fans find endings unsatisfying (unfulfilled expectations regarding whatever they were focused on) whereas casual fans are often easier to please.

This is really wandering far afield at this point but its 4am so um, that's how it goes.

Date: 2007-09-16 09:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I suppose I make it a point not to be jugdmental about people's subjective responses especially? And probably fail (human nature), but I do think I have an instinctive leeway where I'm like, 'well, this is fascinating and explains a lot... okay now I empathize more'. But just because I empathize more isn't like, a call for empathy. Is it? OR HAVE YOU SEEN THROUGH ME?? hahahahaha. You know, on some level it is; on the same level as the stuff you say could be a call for 'some hard logic already, you morons' :D :D You know, you don't really believe that's useful but you can't help just being sort of stumped by how people don't function in a way you consider most cool & useful and ideal in a general sense, so. Me too. I'm like that too :)) I mean, I'd never try arguing 'empathy is ideal! dammit, conform!!!!' because... that's not me, plus that'd be weird, whereas by its nature logic is sort of going to want to dominate or rather eliminate/replace... uh, non-logic. Exterminate, I believe you said? :D Ah, no, 'stamp out' :D :D :D Whereas empathy isn't so much with the stamping method. Unless people get self-righteous, defensive, delusional and moralistic, but I like to pretend those people aren't like me at all & in fact are doing something else entirely. *cough* :D

Anyway, given that the emotives aren't claiming objective truth, why does it have to suck? They're just sitting there reading something-- a private act, no?-- so what got up all those rationals' butts, anyway? Unless the emotives go all preachy & prescriptive about the merits of badfic, in which case someone should spank them. :D I'll start :D :D But yeah, I think emotives can't understand the rationals more oftent than vice versa ('cause they're not thinking); however, the rationals often can't have the basic courtesy of letting the others 'live & let live' a little because they're 'just incorrect', so they don't know how to play nice enough to get the emotives to listen. It's an age-old stalemate ^^;; However, I like to view people's emotions from a disconnected place too... I mean, I'm not always just empathizing and feeling the lurve & joining in the circle of life. :> Though. I do do that too when I'm trying to be less annoyed with everyone, but that's just me & my coping skillz. :>

I agree the fan mindset warps the perception of the source, totally. That's one of the biggest critiques people who're anti-fanfic have, and they tend to be quite militant about it, too, like that statement is an OFFENSE against THE HEAVENS, OH NO!!!! :D It's an interesting and often creative warp, though, I think, but that's 'cause there are no holy cows. Sometimes it's just a stupid and deluded super-buttonized warp, but that's people for ya :> I also think casual fans miss some things more devoted fans wouldn't, merely 'cause I think loving something can make you pay attention more at best just as it may make you deluded at worst-- it's like, there's a range, y'know. Some Star Wars fans seem to know every frame of the films better than George Lucas probably does, but they're also a bit self-righteous & often so proprietary about the series that they start thinking they 'know better' than the creator to the point where they refuse to accept some things that are 'wrong' in their view. Which the casual fan wouldn't do. But the casual fan also just plain wouldn't notice a lot of stuff, too, so it's a trade-off as usual :>

Date: 2007-09-16 04:43 pm (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
You know, you don't really believe that's useful but you can't help just being sort of stumped by how people don't function in a way you consider most cool & useful and ideal in a general sense, so. Me too. I'm like that too :))

Oh yeah. Well, everyone's like that, I think. Or most people, at least. I do think it's interesting that I've met a lot of emotive people who admire rational thinking and absolutely no rational thinkers that admire emotive thinking, but I think that has more to do with, as you said, a tendency for NT types to have sort of a superiority complex, which I TOTALLY HAVE and struggle with constantly because I don't want to be that person, you know?

That said, when I said the stamp out thing I didn't mean that i get the drive to stamp out emotional thinkers? More that I get the drive to stamp out my own emotional biases and responses, and I don't understand why other people have sort of a "yay, bias, embrace the subjective!" response instead of trying to eliminate as much of that as possible. And I mean, I know you can't eliminate it all, but it's weird because I've always assumed that objectivity is a positive - school emphasized it, law emphasizes it, my parents emphasize it. It wasn't until fandom that I met a slew of people who rejected it.

Anyway, given that the emotives aren't claiming objective truth, why does it have to suck? They're just sitting there reading something-- a private act, no?-- so what got up all those rationals' butts, anyway?

Eh, I can't speak for other NT types, but what sticks in mine is the tendency to support reader response in the sense that they feel entitled to their view of the source regardless of what creators or such and such say (which is fine), but at the same time tend to be the most vehement denouncers of OTHER PEOPLE'S subjective responses. Or, as I was saying to Rae the other day, so many people claim to champion subjectivity but in actuality are championing the idea that there IS a One Truth, and they have it but no one else does.

And again, I understand what's happening there, but I still think it sucks.

however, the rationals often can't have the basic courtesy of letting the others 'live & let live' a little because they're 'just incorrect', so they don't know how to play nice enough to get the emotives to listen.

I've actually seen more of that from the emotive people, although I suppose that might be because I'm in QAF fandom which is clearly BATSHIT INSANE. Most of the people I know who are me-like are too tired of all the crazy to bother trying to reach other types.

That's one of the biggest critiques people who're anti-fanfic have, and they tend to be quite militant about it, too, like that statement is an OFFENSE against THE HEAVENS, OH NO!!!! :D

Canon interpretation: SERIOUS BUSINESS. lol

Yeah, I do think it's an interesting and creative warp although it's kinda like farther and farther from reality the farther you get to the edges of this dome thing. Now I'm thinking in three-dimensional shapes. :/ Anyway.

I also think casual fans miss some things more devoted fans wouldn't, merely 'cause I think loving something can make you pay attention more at best just as it may make you deluded at worst

Hmm, well here's what I think. I think devoted fans pay more attention and read more things into it, and sometimes that turns out to be right and sometimes it turns out to be wrong. And sometimes their devotion fills up their eyes and they start reading everything through a lens of their assumption which makes them MISS more things instead of SEEING more things. But it depends on the subject and the person. But that's on an interpretational/predictive level, I guess, because yeah I do totally agree that a devoted fan often knows more details than the casual.

Date: 2007-09-16 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Eh, I can't speak for other NT types, but what sticks in mine is the tendency to support reader response in the sense that they feel entitled to their view of the source regardless of what creators or such and such say (which is fine), but at the same time tend to be the most vehement denouncers of OTHER PEOPLE'S subjective responses. Or, as I was saying to Rae the other day, so many people claim to champion subjectivity but in actuality are championing the idea that there IS a One Truth, and they have it but no one else does.

Hi, this caught my eyes! I'm on the reader response end of the reading spectrum and don't think that all readings are created equal, so I'm going to try to explain. Emotional responses are all valid simply because they are, they're all emotionally true, and they're all interesting. At any given point what someone is experiencing when reading is true to them. But doing a reading isn't the same as sharing the emotional response: it's an attempt to explain what's going on in the text. Not by an "everything goes" standard either, but by using the text as standard. Saying "when Harry met Draco Malfoy the first time and Draco told him "I want to be your friend but I can't because my father is evil" we identify him as the anti-hero of the story" is an inaccurate reading because Draco never said it, but saying "I like him and cheer for him" is true, because it's an emotion and not a statement. Reader response is not irrational, but it's anti-authority and anti-norm. The truth of the text is in the dialogue between various reading and not determined by external authorities. When you criticise someone else's reading and do your own, supposedly they then will do the same to yours.

That said I agree that reader response gets appropriated the way you're describing, much like feminism gets appropriated to both shield specific female characters from criticism and to encourage bashing because the characters are poor representations of womanhood. But that doesn't mean that all feminism critique is in bad-faith, and reader response being appropriated doesn't mean reader response is in bad faith itself.

I think in a way this could be discussed in the context of the rational/emotional distinction, because I feel that reader response is based in the kind of (chaotic? post-modern?) rationality that gets dismissed as irrational by hardcore rationalists.

Date: 2007-09-16 06:45 pm (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
I get that, and that's probably why whenever I actually read the texts of the people cited by reader response types, I am far less annoyed at the theorists than I am at the people in fandom quoting them, HAHA. I'm pretty much pro-external authority all the way, but I do recognize the validity of other ways of thinking even though I'll probably never understand the attraction of them. Which is fair enough, as reader response advocates are routinely confounded by why anyone cares what the author has to say so I guess we're all even in our mutual confusion.

So yes, it's less the theory than the place it often goes, which I think has to do with fandom's investment tendency? Which is to say, the more emotionally invested in one reading or another a person is the more likely they are to go batshit when people disagree, at least in my experience. I don't think reader response is necessarily linked to emotive thinking (because we have intellectual and experiential POV leanings as much as we have like/dislike biases, etc) but I do think it often gets used to avoid admitting they just got it wrong.

Which is probably how this conversation has gotten muddled? Because there's a mixing of different variables at work: authorial intent vs. reader response, emotional reactions vs. intellectual observations, emotional investment vs. emotional detachment and emotional expression vs. rationalized expression, and you can't really equate any of them with another.

And as for the second reply, I generally have issues with anyone claiming their reading is absolute, even people like myself who basically bow to the author's word, just because even authorial intent adherents can't know exactly what the author was doing - all they can really do is try to get as close as they can. But I admit to being considerably harsher on people who claim they know the Absolute Truth while also claiming the right to disagree with the author because they perceived the work differently than intended. Just because it's kind of ridiculous to claim on one hand that their reactions/perceptions are valid regardless of whether anyone else agrees and on the other hand also claim that everyone else's perceptions/reactions are only valid insomuch as they agree.

Date: 2007-09-17 08:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
Yeah, I think to an extent everyone's appropriating ideas to support their own agenda, and in a highly politicized (politicized about interpretations of the text, because of investment) place like fandom it's normalized... which is probably why I have doubts a conversation about rationality of fandom, in fandom, about fandom would go on smoothly without being hijacked & derailed... but maybe I'm just be paranoid. Maybe picking a minuscule obscure fandom as your example would fit. Actually imagining one would be even better. And it would be fun to build it.

authorial intent vs. reader response, emotional reactions vs. intellectual observations, emotional investment vs. emotional detachment and emotional expression vs. rationalized expression

That's a good breakdown! We just need to see what happens when the variables align. I would be on a spectrum on most of these depending on another variable, except for always being for reader response. I'm never completely emotionally detached unless I'm completely uninterested... which is not likely? Because then I'd find a way to relate it to something I care about.

You're v. right about the mutual confusion between reader response people and authorial intent people. I actually am interested not so much in the debate but in hearing the reasons without value judgment attached, from both ends. I think for me the starting point is that when I read a story or watched a movie as a kid, I actually didn't think someone had written it.

Date: 2007-09-16 06:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
An easier way to say this... if I find fault with someone's reading, it's more that I am skeptical of their reading than sure of my own. Or even more often, I feel they are presenting their reading as absolute.

Date: 2007-09-16 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
PS: perhaps there's something inherently 'vaguely insulting' about different types talking about each other without 100% understanding, even without meaning to offend...??

Like, I was thinking that saying 'don't have much user for emotional reactions' can theoretically be taken personally as well :)) lkjfaslkjfasljka But I'm more mature and enlightened than that. *nodnod* And also I know that's just a matter-of-fact observation of your own character. ^^; So that's probably how it is for me-- I wind up talking more personally and it sounds like I'm disapproving of others who're different in some sense...?

Date: 2007-09-16 08:27 am (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
PS: perhaps there's something inherently 'vaguely insulting' about different types talking about each other without 100% understanding, even without meaning to offend...??

Probably!

Okay, the thing is, I didn't... take it PERSONALLY? And I don't even disagree with the analysis that rationals tend to think objectivity is superior and emotive thinkers tend to be prickly and defensive - I think that's true? What it really was, I guess, was that as stated it sounded like you were trying to say there was something wrong with being a rational or an emotive thinker? Like, I recognize where my statement could be taken poorly, but just prior to that I'd just gotten through saying that whichever view people are inclined to is going to be the one they considered coolest and that's just subjective. So there's no like, real way to reasonably think that I'm saying that all emotions are useless to everyone ever.

I actually think, though, that it might be the emotive vs. rational thing in play RIGHT NOW. Because I tend to take statements as literal/objective unless disclaimed, because I am naturally inclined toward thinking in objective terms, whereas you probably figured it was a given that if you're talking it's your subjective statement about whatever subject you're thinking about at the time?

Date: 2007-09-16 08:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Yeah, it's pretty humbling to realize just how many implied subjective axioms I insert into anything I when a rational/deconstructive critique ignores them and I'm like, 'um... but where did I say this?' and then I realize I'm always expecting people not to take me literally, sort of as a courtesy especially if they know me personally, hahaha. Sometimes I think (or they tell me) I'm good at expressing myself, and then I realize that this is mere illusion that logic can put 1001 holes though. ><;;

Anyway, yeah... I can see how it'd seem I meant rationals and emotives are both problematic, 'cause I was talking about their problematic aspects in communication without disclaiming myself. But since I'm mostly emotive myself and I admire rational types so much, I can't possibly be meaning to say we all suck, right. ^^;;; I was focusing on the problems more specifically so as better to highlight/contrast the conflicts.

Though rather than assuming everything I say is subjective feeling, it'd be more correct to say it's merely undecided-- a hypothesis that needs more build-up to become either a feeling or a claim of fact. I'm generally just intuitively spewing out ideas that may or may not actually work, and I'm not sure yet if they do or not until the end, where I may or may not arrive at a conclusion one way or another, haha. :>

Date: 2007-09-16 08:51 am (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
But since I'm mostly emotive myself and I admire rational types so much, I can't possibly be meaning to say we all suck, right. ^^;;;

Suuuuure you can, I say it all the time, HAHAHA.

Anyway, I don't think you're bad at expressing yourself, LOL! I think I just think very differently than you and it takes a while to ... I guess it's like what you were saying about not thinking about the plot holes in HP. It literally just doesn't even occur to me to take it as anything other than ... statements, hahaha, because that's just how my brain works and if someone doesn't tell me I'll never think about it.

So, like I said, I suck. :D

Date: 2007-09-16 08:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] notrafficlights.livejournal.com
There's a danger to taking either 'side' too seriously; the rationalist readers have a way of acting like the objective analysis is 'superior' and 'the only truth' by implication even at best, and the emotive readers have a way of getting defensive and proprietary about their idea of-- or more accurately, feeling about the text, as if it is 'theirs' and any cold/prickly analysis or deconstruction is an assault not only on it, but on them personally.

And then there's those of us who are awesome and can be analytical and emotive at the same time, and who just bait whichever side they feel like at the time. :D Let's face it: Where's the fun in fandom if you can't give a Snape-nutcase an inch and watch them take a mile in batshit territory?

Date: 2007-09-16 08:46 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Hehe, I think I (and most people I enjoy the analysis of) are both at different times, because most of us aren't quite so stereotypical as all that... though people tend to have pronounced preferences one way or another. Though I tend to try to mix things continuously in an effort to achieve balance rather than picking sides in order to better get on people's tits, but that's 'cause I'm more frustrated than amused with up-close in-my-face and interactive wank. People are silly though, and I enjoy seeing the sillier ones picked on >:D

Date: 2007-09-16 09:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] worldserpent.livejournal.com
Hey, what about passionate emotional dislike? Frankly, I think most of the people who are down on HP within the HP fandom are of those sorts. Those who dislike the books as readers rather than fans are by definition not in the fandom. As I am not. A truly rational person would say that HP sucks, so why don't we talk about something we actually care about?

Also, I don't believe in rationality v. emotion, but in different values in fiction, and degrees of explanation. They are two sides of the same coin and you can express the same objection "why it didn't work for me" in either way. The difference is, if you express it in an analytical fashion, then you can make it intelligible to those who are not like you. "Rational analysis" (whatever the heck that is... ) is not necessarily negative, IMHO.

People can write reasoned analyses why "book A is great" and "why book A sucks ass" and both can fall under the category of "analysis," just as people can write emotional rants and raves saying book A is great/sucky. So in other words, it's not only a so called "rationalist" who must understand the different standpoints of other readers. I don't think either group has a monopoly on not understanding other viewpoints. In fact, to my point of view, many of the gaps in fandoms cannot be explained as 'reason/emotion,' because in the same group, I often see some people making emotional appeals and others writing reasoned responses, and they're both on the same side.

I think many of these gaps you're talking about can really be expressed as fanon v. canon, and the pro-fanon, extreme-reader-response one can be a rationalist one.

Date: 2007-09-16 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I forgot about that, haha, though that's what causes the wank rather than the 'me toos' that post got (then again, it was too cute to wank, I guess). There's both the people who're just into the fanfic/fandom/subversion in a 'fuck canon! long live the queens!' and people who just like hatin'... though I think that post-book-6 and to some extent book 7, people became disillusioned, so you get fans who're just emotionally distant and disappointed yet still rational rather than passionately invested anymore. However, most people who don't get being in a fandom just for the fanon say that too ('why the hell would they bother if they were rational about it?' though they don't put it like that). Honestly, I myself wouldn't bother with fandoms where I really didn't like the canon, though I think fanon can help the 'meh' type canon grow on me, whereas if I love a canon source too much, personally I'm probably going to be too touchy & protective of it to get into the Wild West anything-goes vibe of fandom in general.

Anyway, I didn't mean to say that 'rational analysis' is necessarily negative at all (because it'd make no sense if I did say that)... though, umm, what I meant was that a lot of times even though it's not meant like that, it -feels- negative to emotionally invested fans. Also, I didn't mean to set up rationality & emotion as complete opposites which have nothing in common in each other-- I was saying I noticed a trend in type of reader response, and I was sort of carelessly naming/labelling it as 'rational' vs 'emotive' in a quick 'n dirty way, but I wasn't using those terms as directly & fully tied to their normal meanings, if that makes sense. The duality is just artificial for examination purposes.

I agree that they're both the same sides of the same coin... though at the same time, I unmistakably tend to get -predominantly- either one or the other approach in discussion with a given fan, just... informally speaking, my own impressions. I also think that while you're right and it's just a style of expressing 'why it worked/didn't work', I think there's a difference in the reader's preferred focus/subject-matter as well. I also agree that an analytical approach is generally more widely intelligible (which is where I was going with the 'purple wildebeests' analogy), but I also have noticed through experience that certain widely-held subjective opinions have certain short-hands in expression within fandom (squeeing about certain topics), and you don't need to be too clear if you fit into those categories of squee. A more complex point needs more rational elaboration to be understood by a wider audience (as I tried to say), but then most people don't actually have complex points to make in their responses, anyway. Though yeah... the reason I was talking about balance and critiquing both approaches to start with is because to understand one another, we need a common language of some sort.

Re: 'different values', maybe I don't know what you mean, but I was actually talking about that, wasn't I, when I was referring to different qualities one focuses on based on preference, like how I ignore plot holes but fixate on style elements, etc. Anyway, 'rational analysis' is probably something that's just natural and obvious to someone who uses it a lot and mostly visible through contrast? I see (...and do) a lot of intuitive/subjective-response driven writing about stories, all about 'this is how X made me feel' and 'this is what X inspired' and 'I feel like X is going on with these characters and Y should be going on but....'. It's when you project yourself onto the text (which leads to some cracked out and/or Mary Suish behavior) or coversely incorporate the text into your own mental landscape. It's true that reasoned analyses are the way they are regardless of whether they're about a thing's positives or negatives... I don't think I ever said otherwise, because... that would be silly :D

Date: 2007-09-16 10:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] worldserpent.livejournal.com
I actually don't characterize most of those people as "rational." Why does disappointed=rational? Most of the reasons people get disappointed with HP strike me as emotional ones, IMHO. If they were really "rational" why would they get disappointed in it?

So what are you actually talking about, if not the actual things that these words usually refer to? IMHO I don't find either to be an "approach to a text," I find the so called rationality to be simply how someone explains themselves. Ultimately, you have an emotional response. You can explain it any way you want to. You can rationally explain the squee categories, but they are just not going to make sense unless you inherently get it, therefore you can't communicate.

But I think you can rationally say that you do not value plot holes, and prefer style, and this is not necessarily "emotional." I value plot when I read, but I don't think it is because I am irrational/rational/whatever. I just value plot because I love plot. There, I have an emotional reason, and I think all people in fandom feel X about some things or at times think that X is going on when Y should be going on. To think that strikes me as actually a rational analysis, that the author is screwing up and not effectively portraying Y. I think what it is is that, in post-modernism ultimately everything is (vast oversimplification) subjective in a way, especially in art and language. In other words, see the post on robots not being AU.

Date: 2007-09-16 11:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I think the reason I associate some 'disappointed' with rational (not the Harmonian kind) is because, depending on what they're disappointed about, JKR really did mess up the plot/books/stuff she herself set up, so it's almost like what happened in the books was actually illogical on some level, or perhaps 'too simplistic'. Some casual fans say stuff like 'I didn't think Snape's motivations would be this simplistic' even though they thought the possibility was there from the start. I think one pitfall of 'rational' type response is, I guess, overthinking things or expecting the author to think in the same way or to the same degree you do. Of course, this is not to be confused with people who're just emotionally invested in a particular outcome & then it didn't happen so they're disappointed and upset. Those former people tend to get quite tetchy if you confuse the two types, in my experience.

Well, like I said, currently I feel muddled about what I meant; I don't think it's like I reinvented the words randomly to suit myself or anything, it's just that I didn't define exactly what I did mean enough. Perhaps subjectively-driven and objectively-driven would be better ways to talk about it, because I'm talking about preference rather than either side being the exclusive incarnation of either feeling or reason; hopefully, any halfway intelligent person has both aspects in their personalities. :> It's just that people definitely seem to have differences I can track in how they relate to stories, and it's not just a canon-preference vs fanon-preference (because you can be a rationalist and still have a fanon/subversive preference, to borrow an example you'd mentioned). Some people tend to fixate more on or just-- prefer the objective 'truth' and 'this is how it is' type statements, and others are more commonly found defending their emotive stance (I love X! I hate Y! Stop trying to oppress me and my right to enjoy porn/love Sirius/hate Sirius/write Sirius in/out of existence! *cue rationalization and really bad pretend-logic*) These emotive types seem to be equally likely to be wanking or squeeing about either questionable canon or questionable fanon. It's not as if you can really break fans into two distinct types and that's it. It's just there are at least two different/opposing approaches to text in fandom that I was naming a bit carelessly. Everyone has an emotional response, 'tis true; some people seem more attached and driven by theirs than others, though. So yeah, it is just how you explain yourself/a style of engagement... but at the same time the type of post [livejournal.com profile] anitaray had was representative of a 'rationalist' approach... I mean, whether or not you find any given label useful for understanding is inherently somewhat subjective, though. It's not just modes of self-expression, it's that taken together with a given fan's values/focus areas.

Anyway, I definitely wasn't conflating valuing plot (or not, or preferring style) with rationality or the lack thereof; to the contrary, I mentioned that to promote an actual -lack- of hierarchy, as a commentary on how subjective are the building blocks of what we eventually use to explain why a story sucks or is awesome, and to show why some really horrid fics may be popular.

Date: 2007-09-16 11:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] worldserpent.livejournal.com
Mmm, but to say "too simplistic" is rational? I don't think is is necessarily. Anyone can misinterpret the text or misjudge where the direction of the text is. I don't see that as subjective/objective, because frequently both "rational" and "emotional" fans engage in "expecting the author to think in the same way or to the same degree you do." In fact, I associate the latter with the so called "emotional" fans.

Eh, but aren't you saying that the so called subjective fans are not truly subjective, in that they don't acknowledge that there are other valid viewpoints? I think even the so called "objective" people acknowledge that they are other viewpoints. Isn't defending your emotive stance (or whatever) saying "this is how it is!"? And in some ways, can't "this is how it is" be an emotive stance? Or do you mean that some people don't separate their emotive response from what they think the text is saying?

Yeah, but if you say that it's arbitrary what kind of values they're associated with, then it does devolve to a mode of self-expression. In other words, maybe what you want to say is "critical" approach, or "approaching as a text"? However, in many ways, it should be possible to both love something and acknowledge its flaws. A work can have both good points and bad points. There are precious few works that don't have large flaws, so why be shokku when people point them out?

Date: 2007-09-16 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Oh you're right-- it's unlikely you'd project expectations or beliefs onto the text if you're not emotionally invested; I guess it's just that I keep getting muddled between 'typical mode of engagement' and 'personality type', whereas I really meant the former. It's not that 'emotive/subjective' fan response is 'irrational', really... or that saying a plot twist is 'too simplistic' is all that logical from an objective pov.... perhaps it really is just a phrasing thing, but my point is that there are a lot of predictable sorts of misunderstandings anyway, even if people in fandom aren't that different. Saying 'we're so different' was kind of the opposite of what I meant, so inevitably there's bleed-through on both sides, not to mention hypocritical behavior, which makes a rigid duality totally impossible to defend. I never meant to defend it, and I think trying to just sort of confuses me about what I meant to say (if anything).

Even though disappointment is most misused by 'emotional' and obvious invested fans, and the rational types are more likely to 'just accept the facts', generally there are rationalizations involved if for some reason they don't attain quite the high standard of fact acceptance to be expected. Sometimes it's because canon really is irregular; sometimes it's because, like with HP in book 7, threads get dropped and 'revelations' don't make sense on some level that takes all former data into account. I guess I'd say that sometimes a story can be said to fail itself in some way, rationally enough. Usually it's a function of being too subjectively invested, though, yeah.

Hahah well, my first instinct is to surrender unconditionally if you confront me with logical loopholes, mostly 'cause I write in terms of intuitive leaps, hypotheses and hunches/feelings/etc so I wasn't trying to make a real argument to start with, but okay... already tried that. :> Um... however, I do believe you're right-- it doesn't make sense on the logical level that the subjective/emotive types are actually more fixed and 'faux-objective' in their opinions, 'cause at least the objectivity-driven tend to respond to new data. And it's true that 'this is how it is' may be an emotive stance (or at least, one's personality, which is.... if not illogical per se, then at least axiomatic). Perhaps I should say both kinds of approaches may be stubborn/closed-off or open to new data, though generally they'd go about parsing/filtering for that new data differently (ie, rationally you'd need actual events that change things or arguments that build up logically, emotionally you'd just need something that 'reaches' you). There are more 'evolved' subjective-oriented people who fully acknowledge the limitations of their own beliefs, but most people aren't so self-aware or reasonable, even if it's most logical to be so given their personality basis, I guess. I do mean some people can't separate their emotive response from what they think the text is saying, or conversely from what they want the fanfic to be saying from its actual quality. The emotiveness as I meant it lies in this basic type of value assessment, I guess, rather than... um, the subjectivity level of one's immediate preferences. It's what you do with the immediate response, rather. Maybe. I'm still muddled, really. ^^;

Date: 2007-09-16 12:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] worldserpent.livejournal.com
Yeah, that's what I'm saying, it's not necessarily "irrational" in that you can say that all emotional responses are irrational, and generally fiction is supposed to primarily engender an emotional response anyhow, and logistically, I agree that it's really a subjective thing whether a plot twist is too simplistic. Although, is a story failing for a reader an emotional or rational thing? Subjective or objective? I would say that it simply depends on the situation, but ultimately storytelling rests on subjective and emotional grounds, but that there is enough commonality between people culturally for this to take on the appearance of objectivity if certain standards are accepted, yet the acceptance of these standards may in itself be seen as subjective.

I agree that all kinds of people may be close-minded. Actually, I think the opposite of love love squee is actually hate hate denunciation.

Hmm, what do you mean people can't be logical/reasonable and true to life? Just because someone's actions aren't reasonable doesn't mean that they can't be explained, I think. The explanation might be wrong or right, but it's actually, IMHO, not that difficult to explain why people are defensive squeers. We've seen it a dozen times on fandom wank. /shrug

Date: 2007-09-16 12:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Well... taking the objectivity level of lit-crit and the standards employed within it... I think that's really the central issue, actually. There are people who think you can talk about books and take these (subjective) standards as rules and then view eventual canon deviations from the quality standards as disappointing or 'wrong', or you can defer to the author and primarily 'enjoy what's there' happily, etc, even if you can write subjective/rational essays on those feelings. That person would still be coming from a different place to start with. A bunch of people are insistent about the 'rules of engagement' inherent in storytelling. And a bunch of other people are more lax and focused on their (subjective) preferences/beliefs rather than external (objective) truths/untruths as they see them, at least. Difference in focus moreso than a totality of nature, basically.

What I meant isn't that people's specific actions are difficult to explain (especially not in general)-- perhaps I should be more clear, in that I'm normally talking about myself unless I clearly state I'm making a global (rational?) statement :> I meant I was having a hard time because of various muddling factors present, mostly to do with working with objections that were true yet incomplete. The difficulty is more to do with untangling either misunderstandings or instances where I couldn't express my thoughts well enough. It's not just about wrong vs right when the person can't necessarily state their opinion fully and completely, nor even decide exactly where their opinion finally rests (since they're in the process of forming it). In my defense, though, I was referring to a more complex and wide-ranging subject than the detail about 'why people are defensive squeers', which I already mentioned in my post briefly :>

Ah well. Perhaps I'll be more lucid in the morning.

Date: 2007-09-16 12:38 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] worldserpent.livejournal.com
Well, I think in some ways, the authors also buy into these standards, and appear to be taking them as part of the rules. But then they become inconsistent to themselves, and that especially is when readers get annoyed. I think it also is that there is not necessarily one set of rules, there are several, and they differ on their preferences.

Date: 2007-09-16 11:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
So yeah, the values themselves are arbitrary, and it does devolve into a mode of self-expression (bear with me, I've just gotten more confused. oh man.) I think that it's definitely possible both to love & to acknowledge flaws, though it's more likely to actually exist in actuality in 'rationalist' or critical types. Though as you said, rationalist isn't the same as critical in the negative sense and so on. It's difficult explaining the logic of why people are illogical, y'know :)

The reason people get defensive about flaws being pointed out even when they know they're there-- tends to be because they're defensive and miscommunication in opposing styles has occurred. A 'rationalist' approach isn't necessarily negative, but it's more open to the negative aspects; perhaps I can separate it into 'love-love squeers' vs... their opposite, but that's just another thorny tangle. The biggest issue is that you can't really make people sound both logical/reasonable and be true to life, so any explanation I come up with sounds cracked-out while your objections/suggestions sound like the obvious thing. :> It's not that 'critics' don't love, anyway... it's definitely about expression as a filter at least partly.

Date: 2007-09-16 03:31 pm (UTC)
ext_6866: (Hmmmm..)
From: [identity profile] sistermagpie.livejournal.com
I think the reason I associate some 'disappointed' with rational (not the Harmonian kind) is because, depending on what they're disappointed about, JKR really did mess up the plot/books/stuff she herself set up, so it's almost like what happened in the books was actually illogical on some level, or perhaps 'too simplistic'. Some casual fans say stuff like 'I didn't think Snape's motivations would be this simplistic' even though they thought the possibility was there from the start. I think one pitfall of 'rational' type response is, I guess, overthinking things or expecting the author to think in the same way or to the same degree you do. Of course, this is not to be confused with people who're just emotionally invested in a particular outcome & then it didn't happen so they're disappointed and upset. Those former people tend to get quite tetchy if you confuse the two types, in my experience.

I think reactions to fictions are always a combination of both, and one side can just outweigh the other. For instance, the fact that Dumbledore's plan was really stupid didn't have to destroy the book--Voldemort's plan in GoF is supremely stupid and I both love saying that and love Barty's revelation of himself. (And I do disagree with anybody who says plot isn't a strong point of JKR just because she has these kinds of holes--a plot can be engaging without being completely logical.) If the story didn't grab me, then the plot holes are just one more thing that's stupid. DH for me fell flat on so many levels, I'm not angry that Dumbledore's plan wasn't brilliant or Snape wasn't a genius superspy with a complex story--I never expected either of those things. I just don't have anything else carrying me away past those things.

Date: 2007-09-17 12:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Hahaha man, my nice duality is so completely destroyed by now I feel it's been heartily stomped on, but yeah, it's not like I really seriously believe in those to start with-- my intuitive feeling is that clearly everything bleeds into each other :D I agree that plot doesn't have to be logical to be engaging, though... um, I think if you're a rationalist type person who thinks in straight lines, maybe it does :D Like I was saying in the post, though, I go with whatever grabbed me in that particular story (plot, style, characters, whatever), and then get carried past that-- or if I don't like it, I think I'd focus on my pet-peeves first and plot-holes last 'cause I probably wouldn't notice those. Woe for me and my swiss-cheese brain. :(

Date: 2007-09-16 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
I mean, I 'rationally explain the squee' all the time, and so do many others, so I know it's possible; if anything, that's what I do 95% of the time on this lj. :> Basically, my only real point was really that-- what you focus on in critique is driven by what you personally like/dislike/habitually notice, so one person's scathing criticism is another person's 'eh? so?' Then I just went on a tangent about how people misunderstand each other and should try to see where others are coming from more because of this natural subjectivity of focus :> Or something. Who the hell knows what I mean; certainly not me. ^^;

This is the trouble with setting up dualities; it's so easy to poke holes and show they don't exist for one, and yet will always get offended somehow as well (like [livejournal.com profile] theredwepainted above). Well, I would just delete the whole post but that seems lame, so instead I'll say I wasn't meaning to associate either rationality or emotionality with value judgments; the whole thing was a bit too much of a piss-take on fandom stereotypes mixed muddled ramblings of the less sarcastic sort, so no wonder I ended up being confusing and inadvertently offensive, I guess. ^^; Sorry, I keep getting long-winded. ><;;

Date: 2007-09-16 04:59 pm (UTC)
theredwepainted: (Default)
From: [personal profile] theredwepainted
Not to barge in or anything, but here's my impression of the axes you were talking about:

1. Rational vs. Emotional responses to text:

a. The reader who maintains a certain distance from the source while consuming it and is, on some level, taking it apart (for good or ill) in their head as they go (noting plot holes, or the lack thereof; forming predictions based on narrative theory, etc.)

vs.

b. The reader who gets absorbed into the world of the source and goes on a ride with it, being concerned more about whether they like it or not than whether it's making sense (often missing plotholes, but having a transcendent emotional experience, or a really bad one. Forgiving plotholes if they enjoy the work. Forming predictions based on what feels right to them.)

and then,

1. Fan expression

a. The fan who presents their case in non-emotive terms (bulleted lists of plot holes, comparisons of work to various archetypal plots, essay to the effect of A + B = C, as seen on page 452.)

vs.

b. The fan who expresses their opinion in emotive terms (this sucked, this was amazing, it's not fair that WriterX did BadThingY to CharacterZ, etc.)

And I think that you can be a type 1B in reading and a type 2A in expression, which I think is why people are getting confused maybe? Because they're thinking about Axes 2 instead off Axes 1+2 (I was actually the opposite - I was thinking entirely of Axes 1) whereas I think you're sort of equating the two, like if you're 1A then you're also 2A (which is... often but not always the case) and if you're 1B then you're 2B (which is, I think, not as reliable.)

I ALSO think that a lot of people who are 1Bs express themselves as 2Bs when they're loving it and 2As when they're not, because their positive emotional reaction helps them ignore problematic things as long as they are generally enjoying the work, but when they no longer like it, the hammer comes down on the bad stuff.

OR MAYBE I'M CONFUSED, TOO. Happens all the time.

Date: 2007-09-17 01:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
NOOooo YOU ARE NOT CONFUSED, U R SMRT! UNLIKE ME! Lfjkaslkfjasljkfasf I particularly like Axis 1, 'cause that's mostly what I started off talking about specifically (I... think) & I really like how you put it :D :D I wasn't really meaning to get into 'fan expression' (I think you meant Axis 2?) directly, it just sort of... drizzled in because it is sometimes associated in my mind & in my experience, though I wasn't meaning to get all 'this is my theory' about it. The problem is that by saying something like 'rationalist', I guess it sounds more like I'm talking about personality & therefore expression(?). I was sloppy in the sense that I figure it's obvious there isn't a direct & constant correlation there, but more seriously in that I didn't realize leaving it hanging messed up and/or muddled anything I said about Axis 1. Maybe.

I wasn't really equating them, anyway; it's only when [livejournal.com profile] worldserpent brought up those points that I got muddled because I wasn't sure what I was talking about myself (this happens to me a lot, especially when faced with logical consequences I didn't already count on... unsurprising, as I rarely do count on most). I think you're totally right about the 1Bs expressing themselves as 2Bs 'while they're loving it'-- that's an awesome observation, it totally fits with my experience and partly with my actual personality too, hahaha. I'm still not sure if the second axis is useful/necessary (to make a real grid and be more reflective of fandom/readers' response in practice) or if it's just too confusing. It helps to label thinks 2b and 1a and such, though :D :D Mmm, numbers....

Date: 2007-09-16 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com

Somehow things got convoluted? I also didn't mean to somehow fixate on how rationalists 'must understand' whereas the emotives are great and don't need changing...? I was talking about the possible pitfalls and shortcomings of these general approaches as observes in fandom kerfuffles, and of course these are only the extremes, and most people in fandom aren't so unreasonable. In other words, I never implied/meant to imply either group has a monopoly; quite the opposite. ^^; Anyway, it's true you can be pro-fanon or pro-canon whether or not you're writing a reasoned response... ahh, now I'm just confusing myself; I didn't mean to say most of those things, anyway. I was conflating emotion with subjectivity for my purposes... even though I use 'reason' for subjective purposes all the time :> You're definitely right that you can be rationalist pro-reader-response (ie, post-modern), and I know a number of people like that; my point was more... muddled, I think, by the way I labeled more than anything ^^;

*stamps 'muddled' on forehead & gives up* :>

Date: 2007-09-16 01:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
I regret that you regret this! I'm most interested in deconstructing both the dogmatic rationalist shtick and emotional fascism. We should look for new definitions together :>

Date: 2007-09-16 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Well........but [livejournal.com profile] worldserpent's objections seemed so... logical. Um. :>

Date: 2007-09-16 01:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
They were! I def. agree that negative response can be just as emotive as positive response, though I still think that criticism can be done rationally and that a rational response to dislike wouldn't necessarily be "let's go find something we like." Because then nobody would criticise or deconstruct anything. The problem I think is in the way "rational" is constructed -- for example I see it often conflated with objectivism and it's not. In this sense rationalism can fully embrace the reader response and value emotional response and keep critique of the text perfectly separated from say, analysis of its reception. Another question I have is: does an emotional motivation to deconstruct something imply that the criticism per se will be irrational? And thinking about the enjoyment of fantasy separated from its literary merit, isn't it important to know what kind of truth the work is meant to represent, how does it name itself? These are just some of the questions that immediately pop to mind.

Date: 2007-09-17 12:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Okay, the real reason I regretted it is because the subject makes my head hurt, all these definitions and redefinitions and conflation of this and that and poking holes in one definition while the other balloons out into the stratosphere.... Ahh. It is a problem in construction, though... I couldn't come up with a better way of saying it or explaining how I meant it so it all sort of fizzled out in my head. Like, I don't mean to conflate it with objectivism because they're two different things in theory, but in practice what I meant referring to 'rationalist' response types tend to value the objective and 'true to canon', etc. It's because I can't answer most questions while connecting it directly to what I meant that I sort of want to give up. -.-

I wasn't talking about motivations though-- rational or irrational motivations, either way it's a muddle even bringing them into the picture, because theoretically any motivation can express itself in any fashion, depending on the individual. So no, emotional motivation doesn't mean the criticism is 'irrational', but there's a difference between 'rational' in a normal sense and 'rationalist' the way I meant it. Just like [livejournal.com profile] worldserpent said, you can be subjectively rational (I am all the time, that's Fi in a nutshell).

The 'enjoyment of fantasy' separate from merit is the type of 'emotive response' I meant. I think. Maybe. It's the privileging of the 'enjoyment' over merit/truth or whatever.

I think having four variables may be too confusing 'cause they interact with each other and overlap, so what you have is a three-dimensional grid. Maybe it's like the dome [livejournal.com profile] theredwepainted was talking about above. o_0 That gives me an even bigger headache. And anyway, it doesn't matter what people claim either way, just how they behave. :>

Date: 2007-09-17 06:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
If it makes your head hurt we should drop it. I just think it's exciting. Obsolete definitions and errors in the descriptions are an excuse to find new meaning, and multiple answers let you also see different meanings, and how they can be all true, and the like. Lol though I think you're more on the absolutist end of the spectrum so this might not be pleasant for you.

I just want to register that bias aside (pro or against emotion, pro or against objectivism), I think emotive response as enjoyment is always okay if it names itself as such. It gets more problematic when it tries to be something else, and problematic squared when it's a mass delusion. But, as you said in the past, it might just be solved by separating in two moments if you need them, first you feel and then you back up with criticism.

I noted this down so I want to say, it may come across as random: one of the things you go up against with the system you're creating is the fact that analysis and criticism are two different things, so they are likely to use different tools even if they're both rational.

Date: 2007-09-16 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] discordiana.livejournal.com
So you'd have four variables and not two: rational/emotive and positive/negative. Also people can belong to emotive even while claiming they're being rational and viceversa (though the last I find is less common). Also emotional response in and off itself is good and valuable and gets a bad rep, but when emotional response is made into norm by group-thinking, it's not.

Date: 2007-09-16 02:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
Only semi relatedly, I miss you, god, nobody in my life talks about HP anymore and I miss it so much that I've started furtively reading awful H/D fic because it's all I can find.

Date: 2007-09-17 12:24 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] yourpoison.livejournal.com
Awwww. ♥♥♥. I've been so out of it and distracted and all over the place :( Hehehe furtively <3<3. I'm starting to be really serious about my fics again, though, so I WILL finish. *shakes fist* And I'll finish your fic. And I'll finish the BBB3 site. And I'll clean my room. And I'll get a job. YOU SEE, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE IF YOU BELIEVE! >:D Um.

I'm always here to talk about HP with, though! Or anything else! Maybe if you posted about it, it'd start something :> Or I can try posting about it too. Man, I really want to reread book 5 but it's like, I'm swamped with reading material and that thing's huge. But yeah, no one really talks about HP canon in an enjoyable way with me anymore either. :S Though, hahaha for me I think rereading badfic would just remind me why I hated the world :))

Date: 2007-09-17 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] amalin.livejournal.com
Ahh, Reena <3 <3 :((. That's how I feel right now! Really I am too busy with school and everything to write fic for real, but I have like four H/D fic ideas, I am ridiculous, why do I do this to myself. At least one falls directly into post-DH BBB3 category, too, though I doubt I'll go down that road anytime soon.

On what, wordpress?! No one I know even likes HP, you know, and everyone seems like they are moving on rather hurriedly, it's disorienting. I am sort of clinging to seventynine but it doesn't feel like HP as much as HP-related, god I'll just admit it, I REALLY MISS H/D AND NO ONE I KNOW CARES. Which is why I reward myself with old fics I never read (or read a lot) when I get home at the end of the day lskdfjs what am I turning into.

I miss July!

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