Not signed in (Sign In)
    • CommentAuthorkmcleod
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
    I knew I shouldn't have clicked on to this. Who cares?
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
    @Finagle: That's a pretty subjective question. It comes down to what school of literary criticism you subscribe to. New Criticism (not really so new anymore) views works as self-contained pieces art and disregards things like historical context and authorial intent. New Historicism, on the other hand, analyzes literature as a product/in the context of its time, authorial bias and all. And so on and so forth, it depends on the critical style you adopt, which can reveal different things about a work.

    Personally, I think it's difficult to completely disregard the author when considering a work. After 9-11 Frank Miller either felt free to give voice to a hatred that was already there or was frightened to such an extreme that he feels he needs to use his public platform to warn us all about The Muslim Terrorist threat in hyper-macho style. Both possibilities potentially color his earlier works, though the latter certainly makes Miller's shift more interesting, albeit a little sad.
  1.  (10347.63)
    Frank Miller's post certainly makes me want to re-evaluate some of his work, because I had always assumed that the fascistic ideas in, say, The Dark Knight Returns were at least partly ironic, since they were presented in such a blunt and silly way. In fact, when I read his blog post, I seriously suspected the whole thing was an ironic joke. I mean, the reason I loved Sin City was because I thought it pushed all the dodgy assumptions embedded in noir and made them extremely brash, rude and in-your-face. But perhaps Miller isn't as distant to those dodgy assumptions as I am. I don't think that should really affect my enjoyment of Sin City tho. It's about whether I think it's silly, not Frank Miller.

    (It's late and I'm pretty tired, so apologies for the rambling)
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
    Moody's also correct, in his way.

    I guess. I just found his way about as appealing as Miller's.

    I knew I shouldn't have clicked on to this. Who cares?

    Yeah, it's a stupid thing to get het up about, you're right... I thought I was done with it until I read Moody's article, and it'sjust as worthy of being completely ignored as Miller's blog.

    It's about whether I think it's silly, not Frank Miller.

    I agree. I'm certainly not going to let Miller's personal opinions put me off the bits of his work I enjoy. I don't think propaganda in comics or movies ever puts me off them, unless it's done badly. It's certainly never as appealing as really high-concept ideas like Transmet or Invisibles or V, but it's up to the audience to interpret it. I find propaganda in journalism a much more frightening proposition, like the conservative agenda and attitudes behind a lot of Vice Magazine pieces.
  2.  (10347.65)
    I knew I shouldn't have clicked on to this. Who cares?

    3.5 pages worth of people?

    I'll admit, I'm over it and I'm the one who posted the thread, but it's still a conversation that's wandered to some interesting places. Haven't you been here long enough to know that thread-shitting is heavily frowned on?
    • CommentTimeNov 25th 2011
    Now that it's a sinker, may I?

      CommentAuthorcity creed
    • CommentTimeNov 26th 2011
    As a reader, I think my understanding of who the author is and my experience of their other work shapes the way in which I read the work at hand. At its best, this relationship adds another dimension to the story:
    "Think for yourself and question authority. And if you can think for yourself, what do you need authority for?"
    "To make a world worth living in."
    Like that.

    Moody, by his earnest, ignorant effort to engage with Miller's flamboyantly awful rhetoric, is in some danger of legitimising an otherwise easily laughed off bed-shitting episode.
    • CommentAuthorMercer Finn
    • CommentTimeNov 27th 2011 edited
    I realise this thread is in the sink, but @Finagle's question -- does an author's life and beliefs and informal writings have a bearing on critically interpreting their fiction? -- is an interesting one.

    Made me think about the way the Twilight novels and films have been interpreted solely through the knowledge that the author is a Mormon, which doesn't answer why the series is such a phenomenon. (I have been guilty of this as well). Obviously, Stephenie Meyer's readers can't ALL be socially conservative Christians, there must be something else in the work which makes it vital for them. I think commentators haven't been paying enough attention to the reader-response part of @J.Brennan's New Criticism / New Historicist outline (v. helpful, thanks!)

    I think I generally lean Historicist, just because privileging every reading equally, while obv nice and democratic, just gets unmanageable and a bit boring. Sure every reading is of some worth, but some are more interesting than others -- either identifying ideas and emotions that are more meaningful to you, or able to bring in relevant contexts that can shed light on the way the work was produced or received. The latter can be a platform to explore broader historical questions -- where does the work fit into the discourses of its time etc. Of course, that should be contexts plural, so you don't just narrow it down to the range of influences and motives of the author, but recognize that studying the way the work moves through society and history is equally important.

    To bring it back to Frank Miller, a work (like for example) The Dark Knight Returns can stand on its own, with the reader free to interpret its ironies in any way they want. That has some value, at the very least to the individual involved, perhaps to others with whom the interpretation holds some kind of resonance. But there is also value in looking at it in the context of Miller's other work, his influences, and piecing together stylistic and thematic constants or shifts. And there is also value in looking at what impact the work had, how others interpreted it, and what that says about the form (comics, literature) or the discourse (superheroes etc.), when it came out and now. All three are worthwhile endeavours, and I tend to admire commentators that can do all of them -- although it can be a lot of work!
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeNov 28th 2011

    Can I get a second helping of that?
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeDec 1st 2011
    A sinker.Dead.Crap.A waste of time.Pointless.Silly.BORING.

    A great big pile of steaming chimp shit used as wank material for people that want to die.

    Am i wrong?