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Most Overrated Animated Features - The Game


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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:22:06 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
[[[ Asserting intentional fallacy is a splendid excuse to impose whatever meaning one's ingenuity may tease from a text--valid or not.]]]

And asserting intention to begin with is a splendid excuse not to have to think for one's self, to simply say "well, the author intended this, so everything that's here must be expressing that, and nothing outside that." That, I think, is patently false as evidenced by the fact that these works continue to mean things to people unaffected by the socio-historical contexts that they were written in. Humanity goes deeper than any single socio-historical context, and if art is to last and continue to matter, it has to tap into that something deeper.

[[[ But to assume that the passage in which St. Peter condemns corrupt clergy refers to anything except the clergy is simply untenable... To extend the passage to be some blanket condemnation of corruption completely vitiates its plain sense and historical meaning.]]]

Untenable to you, maybe, because you refuse to see into the realm of possible meanings of texts and prefer to lock everything down to one correct meaning, treating art like a math problem to be solved. I find that attitude runs counter to the reason why art exists at all. What's more, to extend the passage to being a blanket condemnation of corruption is what artists invite when they speak in allegorical terms. It's unavoidable. It also doesn't vitiate any historical meaning because the historical meaning can still be read into it. Again, as I said before, none of the New Critics are saying that we should eliminate such historical meaning, but merely that we don't have to limit ourselves to that. You can't seem to allow for multiple readings to coincide with each other and be equally "correct" and relevant. To me, that just speaks to your critical limitations rather than the limitations of any other approaches.

[[[In particular, to assume "blind mouths" speaks of poetry makes no sense at all.]]]

I've tried to explain this several times, so either I'm failing to explain it clearly or you're failing to understand, I'm not sure which. I'm not saying the blind mouths refer to poetry, I'm saying that Milton is trying to paint a picture where the governing powers (who are called "blind mouths") are as far removed from their "flock" and from the "herdsman's trade" as possible. One way in which he's able to present that is by showing their ineptitude at poetry, since the herdsman of pastoral poetry are accomplished poets. I'm not saying that the "blind mouths" itself is a reference to poetry.

[[[ "Blind mouths", as Ruskin notes, is a telling metaphor for corrupt clergy--as pastors, or shepherds, they are responsible to watch and feed their flocks (compare John 21:15).]]]

You quote Ruskin, but seemed to have missed his most salient etymological note, that "pastor" means "to feed," and "bishop" means "to see," so the most un-pastoral quality is to want to be fed, be a mouth, and the most un-bishoply quality is to be blind.

[[[As to symbolic language: it's clear that you don't fully grasp how symbolic language in medieval and Renaissance poetry works.]]]

You don't seem to get that I'm agreeing with you that everyone in those times would understand whom and what the references were too, but what you seem to be missing is my point about why that symbolic language exists to begin with. Likewise, your appeal to tradition regarding Henry V doesn't do anything to question my point about caring whether or not the audience can imagine themselves in the setting.

[[[No narrative rhythm in Milton?]]]

You seem to keep misunderstanding me: I said if he was meticulously working out every line as he went along I don't think he could develop a narrative rhythm. If he dictated it and then went back and revised it, then, sure, he could maintain a narrative rhythm.

[[[You seem to be following a critical direction with a strongly Freudian tinge--one which denies intent and exalts the accidental. Writing is a profoundly rational activity for far more writers than not.]]]

What does "exalts the accidental" even mean? If by "accidental" you mean "intuitive" then I'd agree. Intent only gets you so far, and if you allow no room for inspirational accidents, you allow no room for any dynamic life force. Writing CAN be a profoundly rational activity, but much more so when one is engaging in analysis, criticism, or anything related to the sciences more so than creative writing.

[[[Can you honestly say that reading Davies, Austen, or Trollope is an emotive experience like reading, say, Richardson or Dickens?]]]

It seems to me like you're equating emotion with sentiment. Dickens is sentimental, Austen is not; they're both emotional. I dare you to question a Janeite on whether or not they think Austen is emotionless. Even going back to Donne, who many have criticized for being far too intellectual and unemotional, even he engages what one critic called "feeling thought," where there's a kind of emotional rush in the discovery of an intellectual idea, even if it's a sophistic one.

[[[And can you honestly say that you have never admired a novel or poem for the clarity of its discourse and the elegance of its thought?]]]

No, of course I admire these things, but I think at this point you're setting up a false dichotomy between these things and emotion where I don't think there is one. My initial point was not against clarity of discourse or elegance of thought, but against the abstraction of pure intellectual themes, as if these things don't have to be embedded in the fiction or the drama or the form of whatever medium it's being expressed in. Put it another way, I could take what knowledge I have of the mathematics behind poker and express it in a very clear language. But I if I try to present that as a poem it will have no force, because as pure numbers or explication it's science and not art. If, however, I manage to work that into the human drama behind a game of poker, maybe with interesting characters and the psychological tactics behind the game, THEN I might have something approaching art (be it drama, novel, epic, or lyric).

[[[And, frankly, your attitude does no credit to Jane. Of course she is acutely aware of social structure and mores, but not as critic, but objective observer.... And you seem to find little comedy in austen--perhaps her greatest attribute.]]]

How in the world did you jump to what I said about Austen exploring her characters' delusive subjectivity to me thinking there's no comedy in her novels? I don't know what gave you that idea... anyway, Austen was certainly a very clear-headed observer, but if she had simply wrote down her observations from her perspective, without dramatizing them in the form of characters that represented that milieu, it would not have been remotely the same experience. The fact that women today read her novels and get something out of them that has nothing to do with that milieu, but everything to do with the feeling with which she expressed the dilemmas facing women (historical contexts change, but many things remain the same).

[[[You are quite incorrect in assuming that I have any emotional reaction to anime--and please note that my scorn was directed towards Miyazawi's witless little attempts at allegory.]]]

Hmmm, I seem to recall you taking shots at NGE as well; was I mistaken?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2012 5:45:09 PM PDT
Anne says:
After C.J.,

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 6
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 20
The Incredibles - 9
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 25
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 32
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 4
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- Grave of the Fireflies
++ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Posted on Apr 17, 2012 6:11:04 PM PDT
after GS

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 6
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 20
The Incredibles - 11
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 25
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 32
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 2
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

--Snow
++ Incredible

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 12:05:44 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
After Cilantron,

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 6
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 21
The Incredibles - 11
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 32
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 1
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 11
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- The Triplets Seven Dwarfsville
++ How to Train the Lion King

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 12:06:42 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 18, 2012 12:07:10 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 12:07:45 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2012 12:09:36 AM PDT
Post JPB

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 6
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 21
The Incredibles - 11
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 30
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 3
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 11
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

Shrek (--) (just to give it less time)

Snow White (++) (just to give it more time)

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 4:36:05 AM PDT
Movie Mania says:
After cobaltspectre

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 6
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 7
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 21
The Incredibles - 11
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 30
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs - 1
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 11
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

Plus Fire
Minus Snow

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 5:40:27 AM PDT
What in the devil is "How to Train Your Dragon" even doing on this list. In my opinion it was severely under-rated as it had probably one of the better screenplays I'd seen that year in any film.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 6:04:03 AM PDT
after MM

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 5
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 7
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 21
The Incredibles - 12
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 30
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-Snow and out
-Nemo
+Incredibles
+ Triplets

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 6:07:58 AM PDT
You see, you're assuming this thread IS what it is titled. The thread isn't really "Most Overrated animated features" (in which case the logical thing to do is to downvote movies that are not overrated) but it is rather "Movies epicgordon doesn't like, mixed in with other movies other people don't like" (in which case logic goes out the window, and you downvote movies you like, and plus vote movies you don't like, or which have sex and nudity, or to spite other voters, or just to make the game last forever).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 7:56:54 AM PDT
After Cilantron

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 7
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 7
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 21
The Incredibles - 10
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 30
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

+ 2 Nemo
-2 Incredibles

JNS: If you object to a film on the list--vote it off.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 8:51:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 18, 2012 9:14:57 AM PDT
Suzanne: Let's clear one minor issue at the beginning: of course Milton revised. Extensively. No one in their right mind would think otherwise--in fact, it's pretty clear that he revised with lapidary precision.

Another item: you are oversimplifying Ruskin's etymological points. For instance (I am here using the Online Etymological Dictionary, so I don't have to type out from the OED), the etymology for pastor is: mid-13c., "shepherd," also "spiritual guide, shepherd of souls" (late 14c.), from O.Fr. pastur "herdsman, shepherd" (12c.), from L. pastorem (nom. pastor) "shepherd," from pastus, pp. of pascere "to lead to pasture, graze," from PIE root *pa- "to tend, keep, pasture, feed, guard" , The sense of "feed" is one step removed from the nominative sense. This is a typical strategy for Milton, to use words with reference to their original Classical roots. Hence we get the layered senses of shepherd=pastor (L. noun)=spiritual guide (E. post-14th century usage=one who feeds (L. verb root for "pastorem") as a secondary sense, transformed in an antonymic sense to "mouth". The same is true with "bishop"--the nominative sense in Greek goes back one sense to the verb "to watch". And need I point out that the only way bishops creep in is in symbolic language--the "Miter'd Locks"?

That gets us to the interesting issue. You assert the "intentional fallacy" as if it had the force of law. Of course it doesn't--it's an hypothesis advanced in an article by Wimsatt and Beardsley. Which in turns leads us right into critical theory. And any theory must be tested on objective grounds. New Criticism implicitly hypothesizes that in the creative process the work becomes a kind of ding-an-sicht, detached from any details about the circumstances of its creation. It separates "literary criticism" from "literary biography".

Does that make any sense at all?

One can see New Criticism in a historical sense--it tries to detach itself, in particular, from the Germanic, philological tradition in literary studies on the one hand, and tries on the other to create a theoretical justification on the other for an extension of the belles-lettres tradition. It would also distance itself from a psychoanalytical point of view--although, in my view, it still retains a kind of degenerate Freudianism. Another motivation, I think, was present--an attempt to exalt the act of interpretation into a co-creative act with the work itself. It also frees the critic from the inconveniences of biographical and historical research and the study of intellectual history and iconography, and allows the critic to range freely in imagination, like Proust in the cork-lined roof.

But any theory has to be grounded in reality. Keats looked at Greek vases--that's a biographical detail we cannot ignore. Trollope put hunting scenes into virtually every one of his novels--because he loved to hunt. Any metaphoric sense (one could certain derive one for a scene in Phineas Finn) arises from that biographical detail. Milton quite consciously and with intent uses words in the senses of their roots. Lycidas would be quite a different poem if Edward King had not been about to enter the clergy. Without King, Lycidas would not have been written.

The underlying tenets of New Criticism are unsustainable logically and psychologically. The primary reason that it has endured and morphed into even more untenable forms, I believe, is that it provides a sense of ego gratification to its practitioners. It is, in fact, a rather degenerate aestheticism, scorning the world in which we live in favor of a kind of hermetic ritual.

Your analogy about poker is false. The mathematics are simple. The psychology (also science) is not; and the interplay of the two is not. The interplay, in fact, constitutes an art form in itself. And to assume that science and mathematics are not art is the most grievous of false dichotomies. Elegance is as significant a concept in science and mathematics as it is in the arts. Maxwell's equations (governing the behavior of electromagnic fields) are beautiful in any sense of the world.

I won't even bother to comment on the reflexive feminism of your penultimate comment.

To push reason out of creativity, as a reductio ad absurdam, reduces everything to automatic writing. And not even the surrealists got much of interest out of that.

Psychologically, "intuition" is a very rational process--it's pattern recognition.

And then we get to "emotion". A word with so many potential meanings that one hesitates to use it. In one sense (William James), it's an epiphenomenon proceeding from physical states--and hence something with no independent reality of its own. But let's consider it in another sense, and here I will return to Wordsworth--"emotion recollected in tranquility". To translate an emotion into words is a process that implicitlt requires a degree of analysis--a very high degree, I would argue. For a writer consciously to evoke an emotion is an equally calculated process--in many cases, a process of cynical calculation (particularly in film).

Let me give you an example of a great theatrical moment that is great precisely because it relies on a highly rational and intellectual understanding of the content--and furthermore, is as calculated as anything can be. In Stoppard's Arcadia (perhaps the finest play of the last 25 years), a tutor sets a Latin passage for translation by one of his students. As she translates the passage, it becomes more and more evident that it's abit of a trick--the Latin is in fact a translation of one of the purplest things in Shakespeare, the passage in Anthony and Cleopatra beginning "The barge she sat in, like a burnished throne, burned on the water..." That is a moment of pure, calculated, intellectual pleasure--and I might add, a great coup de theatre.

In short--I reject New Criticism because it is based on a series of unverifiable (at best) assumptions which are (to the commonsensical mind) completely illogical, particularly from a psychological way. It does, however, generate a little industry of its own--of very dubious value for the study of literature.

I count myself fortunate in that my study of literature was not impeded by votaries of this method.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 18, 2012 3:08:08 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
After Will I Am S Mi t-to-the-h

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 7
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 14
How to Train Your Dragon - 21
The Incredibles - 10
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 30
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- Grave of the Fireflies
++ Heavy Metal

Posted on Apr 18, 2012 4:11:19 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
[[[ of course Milton revised. Extensively. No one in their right mind would think otherwise]]]

And my only point from the beginning was that a lot of the intricacies and complexities that you value in poetry and literature are not the result of the initial writing/creative process itself, but the result of revision, sometimes extensive revision. So that goes to my point that the initial creativity is something that's intuitive, spontaneous, dynamic, etc. and whatever complexities there are usually not the result of that, but the result of whatever the writer goes back and decides to polish up and work on. But if what they'd created was crappy from the start, they probably wouldn't care to polish it up at all.

[[[ you are oversimplifying Ruskin's etymological points.]]]

I was quoting from the commentary here: Milton's 'Lycidas.' Edited to Serve as an Introduction to Criticism so if there is any oversimplifying it's due to the editors of that book.

[[[ You assert the "intentional fallacy" as if it had the force of law. Of course it doesn't--it's an hypothesis advanced in an article by Wimsatt and Beardsley. Which in turns leads us right into critical theory. And any theory must be tested on objective grounds.]]]

I assert the intentional fallacy because it's a "hypothesis" I happen to strongly agree with for numerous reasons, many of which I've given, and most of which you've decided not to address for one reason or another. Plus, you're still treating criticism as if it were science: "any theory must be tested on objective grounds." Yeah, maybe if we're talking about a scientific theory that's attempting to explain natural phenomena, but not when we're talking about literary theory whose reason for existing at all has to do with the subjective desires of readers of literature. Literary theory only reflects a desire for objective knowledge in some of its fields, historicism and biography being two of them, but these are most literally studies about contingencies to the works themselves. IE, a poem is contingent on the poet and the society/culture the poet is a part of, but these contingencies only reach so far into the work itself.

To exalt them above, eg, close reading and reader response is to basically claim that texts have absolutely no autonomy, that language and poetic form can never have meaning or force or effect on its own terms. I utterly reject that claim on the same objective grounds that you think are so important, but MY objective grounds are the ability of these works to continue to move and provoke people even when they're divorced from their historical and biographical context. If they continue to have power then we need a theory to explain that power that isn't tied to things like historicism and biography which modern readers may be unaware of. To me, close reading (and reader response to a lesser extent; but that's another conversation) is far and away the best theory that explains how art can move people even when the audience is separated from the historical and biographical context in which the art was created.

[[[ Keats looked at Greek vases--that's a biographical detail we cannot ignore. Trollope put hunting scenes into virtually every one of his novels--because he loved to hunt.]]]

But these biographical details have nothing to do with whether these subjects are rendered well in the art that contains them. That's like saying a detective would automatically be a better writer of detective stories than Raymond Chandler. Of course, you may assert that someone like Hammett actually did work as a detective, but that just goes to show that some writers can only write well what they know, and others can write well what they only imagine. Given the sheer diversity of Shakespeare's plays we can't assume that he had any intimate knowledge of every subject and lifestyle that he portrayed, so would it suddenly make him a better or worse writer if we found out that he worked or didn't work in a law office?

[[[The underlying tenets of New Criticism are unsustainable logically and psychologically. The primary reason that it has endured and morphed into even more untenable forms, I believe, is that it provides a sense of ego gratification to its practitioners. It is, in fact, a rather degenerate aestheticism, scorning the world in which we live in favor of a kind of hermetic ritual.]]]

Maybe, but can you prove any of this OBJECTIVELY?

[[[Your analogy about poker is false. The mathematics are simple. The psychology (also science) is not; and the interplay of the two is not. The interplay, in fact, constitutes an art form in itself. And to assume that science and mathematics are not art is the most grievous of false dichotomies.]]]

There's a long string of propositions here... firstly, the mathematics of poker are not simple to the vast majority of the population, and even to most professionals who have to try and approximate them in their head at the table in the middle of the hand. Trying to calculate one's equity at an early stage in the hand where future actions are unknown requires an ability to deal intuitively with algebra and probabilities, which is something the vast majority of the population (and even a lot, if not most, poker pros) is not even remotely good at. The math becomes simpler when you sit down to work it out afterwards, but even that requires a lot of educated guesswork (what percentage of the time will my opponent take X action with Y range?). The psychology, actually, is probably simpler than the math. It's why when speaking of the math players often assume a few basic types of players and assign numbers based on what typical players of that type does. Of course, this is already assuming the interplay of math and psychology, but, still, splitting them apart, I think the psychology is by far the simpler of the two fields.

But, really, all of that is incidental to my point. If I sit down to work on a poker problem someone has presented me with, and I work out the math based on all the information at hand and present them with what I feel is the best course of action, this would not be considered a work of art on any level. I can even link you to some articles discussing various situations and the best courses to take. I don't think you'll find them very poetic. Why? Because the objective of such articles is not to recreate the experience or the drama or the underlying philosophy or psychology that may be gleaned from such a situation, but rather to solve a problem. It's completely utilitarian, and there are no aesthetic or creative/imaginative aesthetics involved. But, still, sometimes the math is quite complex, and I'm guessing it's far more complex than any numerological symbolism in Spenser or any other poetry. So, to go back to my point, the kind of complexity you seem to appreciate in art seems to have little bearing on why that art exists in the first place, or why people continue to care about it. It's not that one cannot appreciate these things, but merely that the existence of complexity doesn't equate to great artistry. If that is the case, then Finnegans Wake is the greatest novel ever written by default.

[[[I won't even bother to comment on the reflexive feminism of your penultimate comment.]]]

*sigh* Why do you feel the need to label every point I make under some kind of "ism"? The feminism behind that comment hardly invalidates the point I'm making, which is hardly limited to feminist criticism.

[[[To push reason out of creativity, as a reductio ad absurdam, reduces everything to automatic writing.]]]

I'm not attempting to do that, I'm merely attempting to show that reason is by no means the be-all, end-all of creativity and is, in fact, probably only a relatively minor consideration in the grand scheme of things.

[[[Psychologically, "intuition" is a very rational process--it's pattern recognition. ]]]

Firstly, there's more to intuition than pattern recognition. I believe the classic, philosophical definition is that it's knowledge gained neither by observation or reason. So while there may be an underlying logic (reason) why intuition happens, this doesn't mean that the intuitive process is, itself, rational. If intuition is the same as reason then we have no need for both words. Second, I think Jung had a great take on intuition as being the process by which we immediately fill in the gaps of our knowledge. He gave one example of a fire breaking out and our intuition telling us that it would eventually burn down our house, even if it hadn't gotten there yet. I think Shakespeare had a good idea of what intuition was when he wrote the "Lovers and madmen have such seething brains" monologue in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Apprehending a joy and comprehending a bringer of that joy is intuitive, or imagining that a bush is a bear when in fear is intuitive. When I speak of intuition in the creative sense I'm talking about how a poet may, eg, immediately choose one possible word over another because, in the moment, without any theory or logical reflection, it seems to fit what they're feeling the best.

[[[To translate an emotion into words is a process that implicitlt requires a degree of analysis--a very high degree, I would argue. For a writer consciously to evoke an emotion is an equally calculated process--in many cases, a process of cynical calculation (particularly in film).]]]

In my experience, most of the devices that are used to provoke emotions in the arts are apprehended intuitively first (meaning by artists just throwing stuff out there and seeing what works) and consciously later. By the time they become conscious to the point everyone is aware of them, they often begin to lose their effect and become clichéd or tacky or cheap or whatever words you might use. A good example of this transformation would be the usage of music in cinema. Early sound cinema drew very much from operatic tradition with the use of leitmotifs and things like what became to be known as "Mickey Mousing" (following characters actions with musical sound effects). Once audiences became aware of these things these kind of melodramatic soundtracks started to lose their effect and became dated. That's one thing that keeps art evolving: once audiences catch onto the tricks of the trade, artists, like magicians, have to come up with new tricks.

[[[Let me give you an example of a great theatrical moment that is great precisely because it relies on a highly rational and intellectual understanding of the content--and furthermore, is as calculated as anything can be....]]]

Again, I'm not denying the existence of these intellectual pleasures, what I'm denying is that they dominate over all other considerations.

[[[I reject New Criticism because it is based on a series of unverifiable (at best) assumptions which are (to the commonsensical mind) completely illogical, particularly from a psychological way.]]]

Frankly, I don't think you've argued this conclusion very well. Mainly because your conclusion is founded on two premises I think are verifiably false: One being that New Criticism innately rejects historicism and biography from all critical processes (it doesn't), and secondly that criticism is built on the desire to discovery objective truths about art (it's not).
Your reply to Suzanne's post:
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
 

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 12:38:14 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
After me nizzle Suzedizzle,

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 16
Finding Nemo - 7
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 10
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 30
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- Heavy Metal
++ How to Train Your Dragon

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 5:09:23 AM PDT
Post JPB:

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 12
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 7
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 10
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

Shrek (--) ("Doing it all day")

Ferngully (++) (Just don't like it)

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 5:14:10 AM PDT
Movie Mania says:
After cobaltspectre

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 7
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 7
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 10
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 12
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

Plus Grave
Minus Bambi

Posted on Apr 19, 2012 5:55:00 AM PDT
after MM

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 5
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 6
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 7
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 11
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 13
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-Fox
-Nemo
+Incredibles
+Triplets

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 8:07:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2012 8:34:59 AM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 8:18:50 AM PDT
After Cilantron

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 5
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 8
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 7
Heavy Metal - 12
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 9
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 13
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

Incredibles -2
Nemo +2

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 3:34:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 19, 2012 3:35:49 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
[[[ if you don't see Jung's example as reflecting an underlying, thoroughly logical process, then you are misunderstanding what Jung means about intuition.]]]

Once again we're misunderstanding each other. I actually had an in-depth debate on this subject on another message board, and, believe it or not, I was taking up your position. I don't think we're really disagreeing here, so let me try and explain where our seeming difference is using the example that was presented on that board. Let's imagine that someone falls in love. They fall in love and they start doing all kinds of things that seem crazy to those around them. I don't think I need to list 1000 examples as people doing insane things for love is a really common occurrence. Now, when they're doing these things, they are not using logic themselves. They are not considering each scenario and using refined reason and logic to figure out what the best course of action to take is that will be beneficial over the long run. Now, this isn't to say that their actions can't be explained logically. EG, we can say that the logic of love is that it's a biological process that tells an individual that another individual is crucial to their survival and happiness, so they do everything possible to protect that connection, whether or not doing so is ACTUALLY beneficial for them. So we can say that there's a logical process underlying love, even when the person in love isn't using logic themselves. That's the difference here.

Similarly, when a person is using intuition they are not using logic as the two are completely opposed. Using Shakespeare's example, if I'm laying awake at night and am afraid, and I suddenly intuit that that a bush is a bear, I'm not being logical, I'm reacting to my fear (and assuming that there are things out there trying to kill you was probably beneficial to early man's survival). If I was logical I would say "well, I see something over there, and I can't quite make out what it is. It could be a bear, but how many bears are there around these parts? Likewise, it could be a bush, but how many bushes are there around these parts? Well, there are far more bushes than bears, so it's much more probably a bush rather than a bear." Now, we can say that the logic behind me assuming it's a bear is that evolution has programmed our intuition to assume the thing that has the best chance of keeping us alive, even if while I'm intuiting that I'm not being logical myself. So, if we transport this to art, when I'm intuitively creating something I'm not being conscious of every decision I make. I'm not saying to myself "this word will have this effect due to this aesthetic theory," even if my intuition is tuned to unconsciously recognize many of these affects without me thinking about it. So, when I say artists are primarily being intuitive and not rational, I mean they are not consciously theorizing about what affect every choice they make will have, they're just choosing what seems to work best in the moment. While I accept that there is a logic underlying this intuitive creativity, the person using it are not aware of the logic and are not using logic themselves.

[[[You keep denying the possibility of objective truth about art. It's a philosophical point. I disagree.]]]

I'm not doing this either. There are, of course, objective truths about art. Historicism and biography are all about being as objective and truthful as possible. Positing intention is about trying to be objectively truthful. But most people's interest in art is not limited to or even dominated by these areas of criticism. Most people care about art because it moves them, and they care about qualitative judgments and trying to interpret why they're affected or not. This process is NOT objectively truthful. At best, it's relative.

[[[ Milton's intent in any of his great poems is dead clear, and that limits the universe of possible interpretations. Intent and context serve to define what falls into legitimate interpretation, and what does not. To assume otherwise is overweening arrogance.]]]

Well, we may just have to agree to disagree on this point. Milton did not intend for Satan to be seen as the hero of Paradise Lost, but many people have interpreted him as being so. Blake himself had an entire aesthetic theory that explained why Milton had a radically different approach to writing God VS writing Satan that makes complete sense to me.

[[[ New Criticism as practiced is inconsistent. First of all--Wimsatt, at least, rejects all biographical detail under the absurd assertion of a intentional and biographical fallacy.]]]

One thing to consider is that New Criticism was never really an official movement where a group of people got together and laid down the tenants of their approach. The name itself comes from John Crowe Ransom's book on the subject, and his outlook doesn't always agree with Wimstatt, Empson, Brooks, et al. The only consistent in New Criticism was the emphasis placed on the affect that form had on content and de-emphasis of historical, biographical, etc. details. However, many since that have taken up the New Criticism approach to criticism have not ignored these things. If you had read, eg, Vendler's book on Keats' Odes you'd say that, even though she places a huge emphasis on the text itself, she is not shy about citing details from Keats' life, his other works, and poetry that likely inspired him. Ricks typically doesn't shy away from such things either.

It seems to me what you're objecting to isn't necessarily the basis of New Criticism, that of analyzing the affect of the text through form and content, but the especially stringent form of New Criticism that states that all biographical and historical details must be excluded. That's not even something all of the original New Critics agreed with. Brooks himself said in The Well Wrought-Urn that his intention wasn't to eliminate biographical or historical criticism, but merely to see what insights could be gleaned without them. To me, I find the insights offered by such an approach infinitely more enlightening than biographical or historical criticism-maybe because I'm a poet myself whose creative method has always been focused on how to translate ideas into content, and how to enhance that through form. I think when you look at the aesthetic philosophies of most poets they were all concerned with form to a great extent; even those that rejected established forms (Whitman, Blake) attempted to find new forms to replace them that would enhance their writing.

[[[ But then, how do you separate what you can bring in from the outside?]]]

This depends on what we mean by "outside". Language itself is hardly completely inside and autonomous. I said pages ago that knowing, eg, the symbolic cache that poets drew on in their time is no different than knowing what meaning the words they used have. You mention Milton's knowledge of Greek and Latin, but why do we need to assert that Milton knew these things to analyze the Greek and Latin forms of his words? If he utilizes words that seem to have deeper etymological meanings, then it's there whether he knew about it or not. I don't know Greek and Latin, yet I frequently look up the etymologies of words and choose them based on that. A good example is my using the word "opportune" once in a poem that had both music and ships/water as a motif because "opportune" literally means "towards port/harbor," as well as suggesting "tune," even though that's not part of the word's origin, besides having the usual, every day meaning. You don't need to know if I studied language at all to point that out. I actually just stumbled across it and decided to go back and insert it into the piece. Another one of those "complexities/intricacies through revision and not initial creation."

[[[You can't have it both ways.]]]

Yes I can. :

[[[ the assertion of the primacy of what you call "emotion" in art. That, again, is an hypothesis, which is not verifiable.]]]

I think it's quite verifiable. Go ask anyone if their emotional love for art preceded their intellectual appreciation/love for art. That's how you could verify it. I don't think you'll find many people claiming they loved art intellectually first without ever caring about it emotionally. Even when we're talking Pre-Romantic, go look at the criticism of poetry and plays and see how many of them you see mentioning its quality in emotional rather than intellectual terms.

[[[ Your experience is characteristic of F type thinking; mine of T type thinking.]]]

You're just leaping to all kinds of judgments about me. What's funny is that if you asked any of the people that now me whether I was a T or F type, they'd unanimously say T type. I've been a critic longer than I've been anything else, and I've always been intent on taking things I love apart and figuring out how they work. But I did eventually have to realize that my desire to do so was preceded by my emotional connection to them. I'm sure if you asked any critic they'd say their initial emotional love for the art-form preceded their desire to understand it.

[[[Your analogy about music also fails to hold water.]]]

Sometimes I wonder if you really read what I'm saying or if you're just concerned about writing a rebuttal and showing off the breadth of your knowledge... What you said about Wagner's leitmotifs and the keys he used has nothing to do with my point about how such techniques fell out of favor in film scores because people became too aware of their intended affect. The central point is this: when audiences become aware of the techniques behind art that are being used to manipulate them emotionally, they usually go from being affective to being considered clichéd and obsolete, and that usually engenders artists coming up with a new system of devices (consciously or unconsciously) to evoke the desired emotion.

[[[ I never encountered anyone as fanatically devoted to New Criticism as you.]]]

LOL, I'm not "fanatically devoted" to New Criticism. I do actually read biographical and historical criticism frequently. I do care about that stuff. But the kind of textual analysis offered by New Critics (as well as what may be considered the modern equivalents like Vendler and Ricks) gets closest to addressing the reasons why I love poetry in the first place, as well as the things I think about when I write poetry (and the things most of the great poets admittedly thought about when they wrote it).

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 3:45:36 PM PDT
Suzanne says:
After Willie the Poo-Poo Head.

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 5
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 8
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 5
Heavy Metal - 14
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 9
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 13
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- Grave of the Fireflies
++ Heavy Metal

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 19, 2012 4:55:45 PM PDT
Anne says:
After Mr. Suze,

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 7
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 8
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 3
Heavy Metal - 14
How to Train Your Dragon - 23
The Incredibles - 9
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 13
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- Grave of the Fireflies
++ The Fantastic Mr. Fox

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2012 12:13:39 AM PDT
Jonathan says:
After Sandy Duncan,

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 18
Finding Nemo - 8
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 3
Heavy Metal - 13
How to Train Your Dragon - 25
The Incredibles - 9
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 28
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 13
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

-- The Fantastic Heavy Metal Fox
++ How to Train Your Dragon

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 20, 2012 12:59:30 AM PDT
Post JPB

Akira - 12
An American Tale - 17
Bambi - 10
The Fantastic Mr. Fox - 6
Ferngully: The Last Rainforest - 20
Finding Nemo - 8
Ghost in the Shell - 12
Grave of the Fireflies - 3
Heavy Metal - 13
How to Train Your Dragon - 25
The Incredibles - 9
The Land Before Time - 16
The Lion King - 26
Mulan - 20
Shrek - 26
Toy Story 3 - 13
The Triplets of Belleville - 13
Up - 12
Wall-E - 14
Yellow Submarine - 15

Shrek (--) "Repo Man's got al-l-l-l night, EVERY night."

Ferngully (++)
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
Participants:  36
Total posts:  856
Initial post:  Apr 4, 2012
Latest post:  Aug 31, 2012

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