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23940Re: [mythsoc] Re: RPG fiction

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  • David Bratman
    Dec 20, 2012
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      <davise@...> wrote:

      >> > If they're fans of the _work_ rather than fans of the _author_, then
      >> > the
      >> > author's preferences matter less.
      >> Hairsplitting. Redefinitions to produce the desired result.
      > I don't think so. The respect that needs to be paid to an author's
      > preferences as opposed to the work of art, like the respect that needs to
      > be paid to the intentions of the framers of Constitution as opposed to its
      > text, is a significant question on which opinions differ.

      Ah, but which position in regard to the Constitution is which? You could
      argue it either way.

      It's not a very closes parallel, because the concern here isn't over legal
      interpretations, but over the respect to be paid to a work of art. I see
      devout fans of fiction applying their professions of respect not just to the
      work, but to the author's creativity in creating it. Fans of GRR Martin
      wouldn't be badgering him over spending his time watching football on TV
      instead of slaving away at the computer 24/7 if they were only interested in
      the work he'd done. They crave his continuing imagination, too, and they
      act as if they feel they own it. It's a profession of respect for the
      author, not just the work, but it's a very odd way of showing it.

      There is this, also, though it is clearly a matter of taste: Some fiction
      seems to me to invite and welcome reader participation in expanding and
      extending it. Other fiction seems to me to repel it: any attempt to make
      additions to it would be like scrawling graffiti over a perfect work of art.

      The former type of fiction tends to be sketchy, "popular" stuff - not a
      criticism, just a description - and to be written mostly by authors who
      welcome fan fiction. The latter type tends to be more complex, finished,
      and pretentious (again, not a criticism, just a description), and to be
      written by authors who abhor fan fiction of their own work.

      >> Have you noticed that the literarily prestigious examples of this, at
      >> least
      >> in English literature, all date from before the mid-17th century?
      > I'm not sure how that affects the aesthetic question. In any case there
      > are many many excellent modern movie/TV series/operas/plays that closely
      > follow modern sources

      Those are open adaptations to the dramatic medium. Not retellings in the
      medieval/Renaissance sense. (So, for that matter, is most of Shakespeare.)

      The point in a general sense is that, since the mid-17th century,
      originality has been prized in literature, and to find evidence that it is
      not prized, you need to go back to an earlier era that took a very different
      view, that all the stories had been told, essentially, and that all writers
      could do was retell them.

      > There are even cases where the source and the copy are within the same
      > form: e.g. The Threepenny Opera follows the Beggars' Opera (admittedly not
      > in English literature, but not sure why that distinction would matter.)

      Not really prized for literary prestigiousness, but for the music (which is
      entirely original). And I specified English literature because I'm not
      entirely certain how far my rule applies outside of it.

      > There are several cases of modern novels and poems that follow older
      > sources fairly closely e.g.
      > The Once and Future King, T.H. White (follows Mallory quite closely in
      > long sections)

      Not really. Quite a reinvention - and of a traditional story that long
      predates Malory. Expansions into novel form of something told in a more
      condensed earlier form are not really the same thing.

      > So my point is: There is nothing inherently wrong with Jackson closely
      > following LotR; on the contrary, he should have followed it more closely.
      > The problem with Jackson is that he should have done a better job of it.

      But you've changed the subject. First you were talking about great art.
      Now you're talking about Peter Jackson.
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