Tag: Literary Theory

Semantic Polarities – Ugazio, Parks

“Valeria Ugazio’s book Semantic Polarities and Psychopathologies in the Family: Permitted and Forbidden Stories proved particularly useful. Ugazio considers the construction of identity in terms of a number of “semantic polarities” (fear/courage, good/evil, success/failure, belonging/exclusion) and suggests that in each family of origin one criterion of value will tend to be hierarchically more important than others in the way people talk about and assess each other. As a result, it becomes a matter of urgency for each individual in the group to find a stable and comfortable position in relation to this dominant polarity. Is it, for example, more important in this family to be seen as independent and courageous, or as pure and good, or as a winner? Wherever and for whatever reason an individual is unable to find a stable position—perhaps he or she wishes to be good but simultaneously yearns for transgression, or desires intensely to belong but then feels diminished by inclusion in the peer group—this can lead to the kind of conflicts and oscillations we associate with mental illnesses, or again with the tensions and ambiguities we find in creative art.”

Parks, Tim. Life and Work: Writers, Readers, and the Conversations between Them 

I hate when I am picturing an area and the author describes something that contradicts what I envision – Reddit

I hate when I am picturing an area and the author describes something that contradicts what I envision from books

I just keep my imagination’s version.

Haha yes, I’m always thinking “You may be God of this world but I am God of mine”

A book is a two way street

I do that most of the time, but when the change affects the plot, I burn the book and start doing drugs have to make a compromise.

New Historicism

When I was in college, at the end of the last century, the prevailing school of literary interpretation was called “New Historicism.” The foundational assumption of this approach was that artworks were primarily of value insofar as they could offer us insight into the context and conditions of their historical production. The point of literary scholarship was to “unmask” these conditions—to show, for instance, how Mark Twain had unwittingly reinscribed the racist assumptions of his time, even as he attempted to expose them. It went without saying, on this theory, that literature was a conduit neither of timeless truths nor of trustworthy passions. Indeed our professors made it clear that, the more powerful of an imaginative experience a work delivered, the more important it was to learn to view it with skepticism and detachment. At best, and with the correct theoretical tools, what had been valorized as the height of literary culture in the past might offer us an unintended insight into what really mattered: politics, history, the shadow life of power.

Jon Baskin, On the Hatred of Literature, The Point

Andrew Stanton: The clues to a great story

I’m really blessed to be a parent, and watching my children grow, I really firmly believe that you’re born with a temperament and you’re wired a certain way, and you don’t have any say about it, and there’s no changing it. All you can do is learn to recognize it and own it. And some of us are born with temperaments that are positive, some are negative. But a major threshold is passed when you mature enough to acknowledge what drives you and to take the wheel and steer it. As parents, you’re always learning who your children are. They’re learning who they are. And you’re still learning who you are. So we’re all learning all the time. And that’s why change is fundamental in story. If things go static, stories die, because life is never static.

Nancy Drew’s Moral Universe

From the “Series Bible” for Nancy Drew, a syndicated television program based on the Nancy Drew mystery novels. The show, which premiered this fall, is being produced by New Line Cinema, Nelvana Limited, and Marathon. The guide, which is used by the Nancy Drew staff, describes the show’s characters, themes, and tone; the section excerpted below is titled “Style.”

Nancy has a unique ability to make clear choices. She lives in a moral universe that is simple and straightforward. When we are in her world, those values will be reflected. It is something she cannot escape from, nor would she want to-it is her quintessential “Drewness.” This quality is expressed in her wardrobe. She chooses clear, saturated colors that reflect her moral certainty. When Nancy wears green, it’s not olive or sea foam or celadon. It’s green. And the design is always deceptively simple, regardless of how au courant the particular outfit may be.

Even at her young age, Nancy brings order to chaos. The objects in her apartment radiate a feeling of security; they have a timeless quality that is impossible to date. This creates a sense of heightened reality: a sofa is a sofa, not art deco or faux country or Seventies chrome and leather. It has a pure design that reflects a sofa’s essence, its truth. Visually, Nancy’s world will make sense.

The world outside her apartment will have a very different look. It is the world’ of unsolved mysteries, a place filled with cold, glaring light and turbulent disorder, where colors are always garish or muddy. It is a world expressed in harsh angles and exaggerated perspectives, because it is totally lacking in moral certainty. Basically, it can best be described as a world without Drewness.


Fabula and Syuzhet

Fabula  and Syuzhet are terms originating in  Russian Formalism and employed in narratology that describe narrative construction. Syuzhet is an employment of narrative and Fabula is the chronological order of the events contained in the story. They were first used in this sense by Vladimir Propp and Viktor Shklovsky.

The fabula is “the raw material of a story”, and syuzhet is “the way a story is organized”. Since Aristotle’s Poetics, narrative plots are supposed to have a beginning, middle and end. This is often achieved in film and novels via flashbacks or flashforwards. For example, the film Citizen Kane starts with the death of the main character, and then tells his life through flashbacks interspersed with a journalist’s present-time investigation of Kane’s life. The FABULA of the film is the actual story of Kane’s life the way it happened in chronological order, while the SYUZHET is the way the story is told throughout the movie, including flashbacks.Memento_Timeline

via Wikipedia