I wish Chris would engage more with me, because I think he and I have a lot to gain from these exchanges. I think it’s dumb & dishonest to politely ignore the inherent ponzi scheme/infectious nature of art and artmaking as a vocation. Find books write a love story”). & not “what Wimsatt meant”. Criticism–even effect-in-metaphor; even telling you that X really means ‘A’–never “replace[s]”. An artwork is autotelic, and that’s why it’s unnecessary to inquire about it’s intentions. We can talk about “operating structures” and I really want to clarify this point. I’m not fond of the myth of the idiot savant either. That may be so. (Empiricism/positivism), 2. I find that infuriating. I still need to read those texts you recommended…. You and I could debate who the greatest Marvel superhero is? Formalism can have many different ends. She was against the Avant Garde movement pioneered by T.S.Eliot and Ezra Pound. Changing tacks anyway…]. I thought someone had spelled the gist of that out in this comment thread, but now I can’t see that response? But then he also says they should do whatever they want with them (including burn them). 0 comments. any criticism which considers the meaning of the I don’t think all criticism need be done that way but I’m obliged to follow the practices and methods I subscribe to. Against Interpretation was Susan Sontag's first collection of essays and is a modern classic. so. I haven’t read Bordwell and Thompson (I’m kinda Ha! Two months ago I wrote an analysis of Susan Sontag’s “Against Interpretation”where I argued that, rather than being opposed to all interpretation, as some believe, Sontag was […], […] Sontag famously wrote about the need to break away from the traditional impulse to interpret works of art as if they were […], […] HTMLGIANT dissekerar en av Sontags mer kända essäer: 25 Points: Susan Sontag’s ‘Against Interpretation’ […], 25 Points: Susan Sontags Against Interpretation | HTMLGIANT, Brent DiCrescenzo’s 2000 Pitchfork review of Radiohead’s, Wimsatt and Beardsley’s affective fallacy, as well as minutes 6:50–9:40 in this clip, Two Problems with a Neuroaesthetic Theory of Interpretation, A bit more on Susan Sontag and “Against Interpretation” | HTMLGIANT, A bit more on Susan Sontag and “Against Interpretation” | GIANT READER, The Case for Writers to Play Video Games | Full Stop, Susan Sontag skrev 17198 mejl och Benjamin Moser har läst dem | bearbooks. What use is a thorough evaluation of a work’s form if there is no subsequent mention or consideration of the results of the artist’s efforts: the effect the art has upon the audience, by way of its form? . Whether you (or I, or Chris) like it or not, Wimsatt and Beardsley are taken very seriously by a great many people, and were hardly doofuses—I mean, you can’t just dismiss them that way and have any effect. The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation. The academic essay is always written with a definite purpose in mind: to convince people about a specific point. Then say I turn to a schoolboy next to me, and strangle him. This seems rather curious to me. How to reconcile this in Barthes himself? —i.e., he does anything besides actually describe the book. I never met Susan Sontag. Here, I would argue that Sontag is contradicting herself. The most celebrated and influential modern doctrines, those of Marx and Freud, actually amount to elaborate systems of hermeneutics, aggressive and impious theories of interpretation. Sontag was among the first critics to write about the intersection between 'high' and 'low' art forms, and to give them equal value as valid topics, shown here in her epoch-making pieces 'Notes on Camp' and 'Against Interpretation'. I like how in your first paragraph, you followed these sentences: Okay, what I meant when I wrote “Authorial Intention” is that a specific human being (Author) had a specific purpose (intention) with the artifact he made. I read that as his realization that a critical response somehow needs to be grounded in the artwork, and that some things are in fact artworks while other things are not. If you change words in a poem, it becomes a different poem. But it created too long a digression for my current purposes, and ultimately proved, I think, irrelevant—see below for why. Speaking of which, one can certainly invent those. (Peter Rabinowicz’s “authorial reader” vs. “actual reader”). forming experience. (My thinking here is very influenced by David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s historical approach to formalism.). Human knowledge/experience is limited. I’m Adam! intentions so necessary? But significance is different from meaning. But at the end of the day, I’m mainly interested in writing fiction and poetry. (And I wish Chris would play too!). Jesus. I take Sontag’s argument to be anti-personal (the meaning of the text is clear and exists outside of the reader), while Barthes is pro-personal (the meaning of the text comes from the readers active analysis — the meaning of the text requires a reader). (It’s debatable how strongly he endorsed this position, though, since his own writing contradicts it at times. Wimsatt and Monroe Beardsley? Also, Chris and I are both PhD students in the same field, and this is a lot of what PhD students do. And I don’t think Chris does, either—although he’s somewhat confusing on this issue—but then he goes on to condemn critical interpretation.). And this is the gist of Barthes’s The Death of the Author too. This, I might argue, is the contemporary form of metaphorical criticism, the kind of writing Susan Sontag wanted to blast from the Earth. He’s not collegial at all )pretending to be nice when one is really being passive-aggressive is not an example of collegiality). Even though we can’t look into someone’s mind (yet! The possibility of meaning is in fact infinite, but it’s a smaller infinity, like Natural numbers is a smaller set than the Real numbers, or a ray is a smaller infinity than the plane it’s contained on. Here we have the start of a few arguments that Sontag will maintain throughout the essay: Still, what does she mean by interpretation? Sontag goes on to call for “a vocabulary” that allows critics to describe forms—to ignore the distinction between form and content, or to realize that those two things are one and the same: The best criticism, and it is uncommon, is of this sort that dissolves considerations of content into those of form. Since we now understand what Sontag means by “interpreted,” we can see that what she’s really saying is that it doesn’t matter whether or not artists design their artworks to be symbolic/allegorical—critics should resist interpreting them. |, Analysis Of Against Interpretation By Susan Sontag. There has been a long tradition of interpretation, in all occupations. There will always be conventions the author is unaware of using. But one must look to see what it means in terms of the artwork. What * sorts * of things this might be interested in symbols myself than I am in motifs those. That in the new text rarely as neat as they claim, you must first assume the. 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