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Old 08-01-2012, 02:56 PM   #106
anamardoll
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Yes, I think it is those "Unfortunate Implications". I would have said that often you are not even criticising the text so much as the social mores reflected in that text - and I think that is a good and worthwhile thing. But the risk is that such criticism carries by implication to the text and author - and yet the author is writing a story, often intentionally reflecting current mores rather than trying to influence them. So when you speak of "Twilight imprinting on infants" (as one example) you are, it seems to me, criticising a book, and by extension* the author, for a level of influence the book has gained (although cause and effect here are open to question).

* It is difficult to separate the author from criticisms like these. There is an inherent accusation that the author should have presented a better example for the readers - as if they knew they were going to be held up as an example (most aren't).
I don't think there needs to be an "inherent accusation" of that. The whole point of Unfortunate Implications -- as I see them -- is that they can occur against the backdrop of a larger society, and that the author's intention doesn't automatically need to be impugned.

For example, the TV Trope picture for Unfortunate Implications. The picture itself would be much less problematic in a vacuum or in an entirely different Alternate Universe context; it's all the existing Real Life cultural context around it that really causes so much of the problem.

And, yes, sometimes authors/artists/what-have-you genuinely don't notice or know. The point of pointing out Unfortunate Implications isn't to critique the author, but rather society at large.

I suppose we could argue that the author "should have known better", but I would consider that a waste of time. One person's thoughts and actions are a curiosity at best; an entire culture's attitudes and reactions is something that affects us all.

In my humble opinion.

(Please also note that the "imprinting on infants" example is complicated. I was making a flip statement to Eileen, not an argument about it in general. I do believe that the author's intent was to provide an example of truly unconditional love, in whatever form it took. But, yes, since you mention it, there are seriously Unfortunate Implications of consent and creepy that surround the issue -- and which I doubt the author intended.)

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:44 PM   #107
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I don't think there needs to be an "inherent accusation" of that. The whole point of Unfortunate Implications -- as I see them -- is that they can occur against the backdrop of a larger society, and that the author's intention doesn't automatically need to be impugned.[...]
Yep. But my point was partly that such implications can apply as much to what the reviewer writes, as they can to the original work. Thus some comments supposedly critiquing the text will actually be read as a critique of the author - whatever the reviewer may have intended.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:31 PM   #108
anamardoll
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Yep. But my point was partly that such implications can apply as much to what the reviewer writes, as they can to the original work. Thus some comments supposedly critiquing the text will actually be read as a critique of the author - whatever the reviewer may have intended.
If I understand you to be saying that people will come away from both book AND reviews with their own personal and varied opinions, and that some of those opinions may not be what the author/reviewer intended and may in fact cast unfair aspersions on the author/reviewer, then I wholeheartedly agree.

But then, that happens to everyone all the time.
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Old 08-02-2012, 02:37 AM   #109
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If I understand you to be saying that people will come away from both book AND reviews with their own personal and varied opinions, and that some of those opinions may not be what the author/reviewer intended and may in fact cast unfair aspersions on the author/reviewer, then I wholeheartedly agree.

But then, that happens to everyone all the time.
I guess I mean it a bit more specifically than how you phrase it above. As in that TV Trope link you provided, sometimes it seems obvious to outsiders (or at least outsiders of a particular ideology), that something has been said or presented that is unfortunate and not exactly what the artist intended (perhaps).

I could bring in examples from your blog (which I do enjoy, for the most part) but that's probably taking us too far off topic. So to stay with what you've said here, and to avoid the brief remark you said was flippant, I turn to this:
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[...]But more on-topic, I hate-hate-hate the sexual politics in Twilight. I know it's abstinence porn, but I am strongly adverse to the Hero who keeps the Heroine a virgin "for her own good". No one should have sex they're not comfortable with. But he should own that that's HIS needs speaking ("I don't want to have pre-marital sex") and not fob those needs off onto her ("You shouldn't have pre-marital sex, so I'm doing this for your own good"). Ick ick ick. [...]
The idea that a 17yo male (even a 100yo version of one) should fob off their own hang-ups onto their partner does not seem far fetched, indeed it seems perfectly reasonable and realistic reflection of reality*. What this outsider reads into your comments, especially the obviously pejorative epithet of "abstinence porn", is that you are berating the author for presenting such unacceptable, to you, standards so successfully. That is: it's hard to read this as a criticism of the text, since it is seems a reasonable representation (of what we might expect to happen*), and it was obviously successful, so what else is left but a criticism of the author for choosing to write it?

* I'm referring to your specific example here - there are obviously less realistic portrayals available in the source text.
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Old 08-02-2012, 01:38 PM   #110
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The idea that a 17yo male (even a 100yo version of one) should fob off their own hang-ups onto their partner does not seem far fetched, indeed it seems perfectly reasonable and realistic reflection of reality*. What this outsider reads into your comments, especially the obviously pejorative epithet of "abstinence porn", is that you are berating the author for presenting such unacceptable, to you, standards so successfully. That is: it's hard to read this as a criticism of the text, since it is seems a reasonable representation (of what we might expect to happen*), and it was obviously successful, so what else is left but a criticism of the author for choosing to write it?

* I'm referring to your specific example here - there are obviously less realistic portrayals available in the source text.
Then you are, I'm afraid, reading me incorrectly.

But at this point I don't know how to clarify myself further than what I've already said, I'm sorry.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:34 PM   #111
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Then you are, I'm afraid, reading me incorrectly.

But at this point I don't know how to clarify myself further than what I've already said, I'm sorry.
An explanation that, I suspect, the authors of the works behind your deconstructions might offer to you.

There is no need to apologise. You blog is subtitled "cheerfully reading too much into things", you just need to remember that others will return the favour.
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