Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Final Blog Entry!

This class has taught me alot about films and fantasy. How to view them, and many theories and metaphors I would have never known before taking this class. However keeping up with the texts books has been a challenge for me because it was hard for me to concentrate on the texts. Anyhow here is the last and final blog entry!

The Irregulars: Subverting the Taxonomy..
-The novels that break the rules of the rhetoric's of fantasy.
-There are authors whose novels shift from mode to mode without necessarily taking on the characteristics of each mode of fantasy.
-The Legends of the Land Trilogy.. is liminal in its plot, but uses the rhetoric of immersive fantasy to support the expectation of genre. Its equipoise is built on refusal, its irony on immersion.
-Similar examples are the Iron Chain and the Seagull Drovers
-These novels break boundaries of fantasies, for example they may be immersive but the protagonist will take what they have for granted.

Metaphor and Film: Theories of Cinematic Metaphor
-The purpose of film is not to reproduce mere external features of the world, but to communicate the artists seminal experience of reality and his understanding of its significance.
-To do this the artist must choose his work and the audience
-The key to understanding is the recognition of the link between the inner world of experience and the aesthetic forms employed to communicate that world (Eisenstein)
-montage concerned the juxtaposition of shoot with shot, wether within or between shots.
-Eisenstein assertion that the juxtaposition of two shots could create a whole greater than sum of parts might seem to align montage with the type of metaphor.
-Criticisms of Eisensteins Theories:
1. Because of the representational nature of film, juxtaposition of montage units alone may not be successful in producing viable metaphors.
2. The units have to be suitably stylized through lighting, framing, and so on, for the purpose of metaphor, so that the spectator is guided in his reading and integrating them.
3. The principles governing the selection and stylization of the units should derive from the overall unity of the filmmakers conception.
4. The meaning expressed must not only be an integrated one, but must represent a new quality, an extended dimension of significance-that is, it must be figurative not literal.

N. Roy Clifton:
-1600 examples of  of tropes and schemes. from more than 700 films
-retains as far as possible the distinctions recognized by classical rhetoric in the figures he examines, while bending them where necessary to the specifically cinematic.

Christian Metz:
-The study of metaphor and metonymy- he considers it both hopeless and arbitrary to apply the rules of one system to another, he believes what has to be done is to discover the underlying principles that must apply as much to the film as to verbal texts

The Minds Eye:
The Psychoanalytic Approach
-Many attempts including some by Freud himself to relate psychoanalysis to art.
-Metz adopts the Lacanian reading of Freud
-Freud hovered between two incompatible modes of explanation - the causal and the intentional
-Example: Freuds discussion of condensation and the displacement of stress
*Suppressed forces interact with a filtering process and produce dreams. Dreams constitute wishes which the censoring agency disguises so so as to not wake the dreamer.
*Analysis employs free association enabling the patient to face suppressed memories.
*An imaginative theory of metaphor must start from the premise that is dealing with something quite normal and every day in human behavior
- With Freud comes an unfortunate legacy, he placed great emphasis on the essential irrationality and pleasure seeking nature of the primary process.

Metaphors We Live By:

How Metaphor Can Give Meaning a Form
-We speak in linear form, our writing system conceptualizes language metaphorically with spatial ojects in linear order
-Our spatial concepts naturally apply to linguistic expressions
-More of Form Is More of Content - the conduit metaphor defines a spatial relationship between form and content
-Linguistic expressions are containers and their meanings content of those containers that are small we expect their contents to be small

objective, absolute truth, - need not to be tied to the objectivist view. We believe the idea that there is absolute objective truth is not only mistaken but socially and politically dangerous.
-truth is relative to a conceptual system that is defined in large part by metaphor

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Liminal Fantasy

That form of fantasy which estranges the reader from the fantastic as seen and described by the protaganist

Liminal fantasy relies on stable inrony, "a reconstructing of implied authors and implied readers that relies on inferences about intentions.. that often depend on our knowing facts a from outside the poem" Wayne C. Booth

Or it relies on "equipose" which means an equal distribution of weight; even balance

Or it relies on both to create a moment of doubt sometimes in the protaganist, but also in the reader, the two elements although related are distinguished here for a reason

The construction of liminal fantasy is knowingness- it depends on many fragments of something that has already been seen, read or done.

The dialect between reader and author is always central to the process of the construction of the fantastic

The construction builds on Jameson's argument that genres are social contracts between a writer and a specific public

The difficulty of this fantasy is it has no obvious boundaries

Collusion is not uncommon in other forms of fantasy it is intrinsic to the creation of the irony of the fantastic. Fantasies of equipose are like those of irony and dependent on recognition.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Coherent Structuring of Experience
The coherent structuring of experiences are given by way of example of an argument. The metaphor for the argument is a conversatiom that is partially structured by the concept of war, giving us the ARGUMENT IS WAR  metaphor
Your perceptions and actioms correspond in part to the perceptions and actions of a party engaged in war.
Examples: having postions, has a different position, surrender, victory, he is your adversary, confict, marshal forces, attack,manuvering, defense, retreart, counter attack, truce, stalemate, surrender

multi dimensional structures such as conversation are experiential gestalts, which are ways of organizing experiencing into structured wholes. In this example conversation is structured by means of correspondences with selected elements of the gestalt for war.

structuring our experience in terms of such multidimensional gestalts is what makes out experience coherent.We experience a conversation as an argument when the war gestalt fits  our perceptions and actions in the conversation.

An argument is a conversation is a subcategorization because an argument is basically a type of conversation

Metaphorical Coherence:
Coherences between two metaphorical structurings of the concept argument ..
-metaphorical entailments play a big part in linking all instances of a single metaphorical structuring of a concept.
-metaphorical entailments play an essential role in linking 2 different metaphorical structurings of a single concept
-a shared metaphorical entailment can establish a cross metaphorical correspondence
-the various metaphorical structurings of a concept serve different purposes by highlighting different aspects of the concept
-where there is an overlapping of purposes, there is an overlapping of metaphors and hence a coherence between them.
-complete constitency, across metaphors is rare: coherence is typical

Complex Coherences across Metaphors:
-The most important thing to remember in the discussion of coherence is the role of purpose. A metaphorical structure structuring of a concept say the journey, metaphor for arguments allows us to get a handle on one aspect of the concept.
-When two metaphors satisfy two purposes, then overlaps in the purposes will correspond to overlaps in metaphors. Overlaps we claim, can be characterized in terms of shared metaphorical entailments and the cross-metaphorical correspondences established by them
-Two complex sources .. 1.there are often many metaphors that partially structure a single concept
2. when we discuss one concept, we use other concepts that are themselves understood in metaphorical terms, which leads to further overlapping of metaphors
-Together the journey, container, and building metaphors focus on all of the above aspects of the concept argument (an argument is a building)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cinematic Metaphors

Metaphor and Film- Varieties of Cinematic Metaphor
*What is being investigated are specific occasions when figuartive meanings are deemed to be present in films and by what strategies those meanings are made manifest
*pointing = a line or phrase when it is neccessary to ensure that the  audience does not miss it
similarly - certain cinematic metaphors may be regarded as "pointed" these we designate as marked metaphors
*this chapter focuses om marked metaphors, considering not only how they function but also how the "pointing" is done

Explicit Comparison: A is like B
*Is it possible to have purely nonverbal tropes based in explicit comparison in cinema?
*Recognizing the role of like in a literary simile. Like instructs the reader to note the similarity between two ideas
*The three main strategies are ..
1. Two objects with some shared aspect, or some well-known affinity, maybe be placed markedly side by side
2. Some inherent common feature of each may be sttressedby the way the objects are presented cinematically
3. A similiarity not inherently present in the objects themselves may be constructd by the way the objects are presented cinematically

Identity asserted A is B:
*Asserted identity generally implies that the essence of something is not what we normally take it to be,but something different
*Asserted identity is a forceful figure, often accompanied by a strong emotional charge
*3 mian ways film can identify one thing with another
1. By context which forces the audience to see A as B
2. By distortion of A in process of filming so that it appears to be another object B
3. By presenting certain selected features of A that it holds in common with B but presenting them in such  a manner that there may be some genuine doubt as to whether  it is A or B we are looking at

Substituion A replaced by B:
*A new term based on substitution from an alien domain, replaces the customary term.
syntax has a set of rules for sustitution: A sentance remains grammatical so long as it as an adjective that qualifies the noun and governs the verb.
*Metaphorical substitution normally stretches semantic rules not syntatic
* An example is in The Best Years of Our Lives, the air-force vetreran recalls his memories of war by climbing into the cock pit of a plane, its presented through the use of score and means of moving the camera and changes the shooting angles

Juxtaposition A/B:
*Significant contiguity in time or space, one that establishes a special relatyionship between A and B
*Example: Enstein on montage, A close-up of a grave plus a close-up of a woman in mourning may lead us to assume she is a widow, but the deduction involves no intermingling of categories and juxtaposition does not result in a metaphor.
*Films rely on collocations and audiences have become adept at seeing implications aned making connections. There are more often literal than figuerative.

There are 4 strategies whereby the filmmaker can ensure that juxtaposition generates a metaphor
1. The audience is preconditioned to anticipate metaphors
2. Something in the manner of presentation itself serves to signlify that a particular juxtaposition is to be interpreted figuratively
3. No satisfactory literal explanation presents itself, so that the audience is fored to look for a figurative explanation. In practice this usually means that the continuity of this narrative has been markedly disrupted.
4. A literal explanation is acceptable, but there is something sufficiently resonant about the juxtasposition to invite further search for figurative implications

Metonymy (assosciate idea substituted) Ab so b
Metonymy and synecdoche are tropes that entail condensation through deletion: "A rehtorical figure, rathan than a precis results because the items delted are not those which seem logically the most dispensable
*this is  a subspecies of the substituion metaphor

Synecdoche (part replaces whole) : A stands for ABC
*It involved compression through deletion, the figurative meanings, generated by it derive from the illogicality of the deletion made, it is always recieved

Objective Correlative: O stands for ABC:
Example: In Kinfe in the Water there are scenes where the husband listens to sports on the radio by an ear plug. This is given literal motivation -he is a sports commentator, and his wife objected to the sound of the radio- in contect this correlates with and exemplifies his self-centeredness, which makes him oblivious to the feelings and needs of others.

Implifies a deviation from what is normal, if all the letters in this sentance are the font they are then A is a distortion. Wheres as is all the print were like A then it would not be a distortion.
*It can not be derived from ordinary life because most film images deviate from that, the lens of the camera does not capture what an eye alone would see.
*What is natural ana dhwta the mind accepts as natural, Conventions and cinematic devices can easily become so transparent we forget they are present. Distortion then must be understood as a deliberate deviation from what is expected in a specific context.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

March, Movies, Metaphors cont.. 3/2

Cinema is an art medium that adapts freely and easily the coventions of other arts, turning them to its own purposes.The range of reference accessible to cinema is infinite
-Allusions are important in film for the comprehension of the audience, if they don't pick up on it they could be pulzzled by them
-Film has to capture audiences interest and sustain it
-One special property of film is its ability to present a variety of images concurrently

Metaphors We Live By
*Ontological Metaphors
-Spatial orientations orovide basis for understanding ub irientational concepts
-Understanding Our Experiemces in terms of objects and substances allow us to pick out parts of our experience
-Ontological Metaphors = ways of viewing events, activities, emotions and ideas,  reflect the kinds of purposes served
-Like orientational metaphors they serve a limitied range of purposes reffering, quantifying, etc
-Ex: The mind is a michine metaphor
He broke down (the mind is a machine)
He cracked up (the mind is a brittle object)

*Contaner Metaphors
-Physically a container is a room, house, physical objects bounded by surfaces
-Metaphorically a container has no natural physical boundary to define a container, we impose boundaries marking off territory so that it has an inside and a bounding surface doing thing is an act of quantification
-Ex: Tub of water .. physically the tub is the container object but water is the container subject

Where the physical object is being specified as being a person. This allows us to comprehend a wide variety of experiences with non human, entities in terms of human motivations, characteristics and activities.
Ex: Life has cheated me..Inflation is eating up our profits

-Using one entity to refer to another that is related to it
Ex: He's in dance...Acrylic has taken over the art world.
-Synecdoche = Where the part stands for the whole
Ex: The automobile is clogging our highways.
-Sometimes it allows us to focus more specifically on certain aspects of whar is being reffered too.

Rhetorics of Fantasy
*The Intrusion Fantasy
-One rhetorical function of the intruder in an otherworld fantasy is to render that other world more real by the virtue of juxtaposition
-intrustion fantasy can function as immersive fantasy in that it sometimes demands that the protaganist if not the other characters accept the fantastic as normal
-The trajectory of the intrusion fantasy = straight forward, the world is ruptured by the intrusion which disrupts normality and has to be negotiated with or defeated, sent back whence it came or controlled
-Sometimes the intrusion wins, but there is always a return of some kind
-Rhetorically, the  form appears to depend on both the naivete of the protaganist and his/her awareness of the permeability of the world- a distrust of what is known in favor of what is sensed
-Lack of trust sets up an interesting dynamic around the issue of what is known
-The trajectory of intrusion fantasy is from denial to acceptance
-Its usually a "this world" fantasy, the narrative leads toward the acceptance of the fantastic,by the reader if not the protagonist
-Rythm= suspension, release, latency, escalation, hesitation, and remorselessness
-It constructs its suspension through escalation

March, Movies, Metaphors 3/2

Metaphor and Film - Planes of discourse in cinema

-All images are literal representations
-Metaphors involve shifts in levels of meaning and rely on defined linguistic rules for performing these shifts
-A fallacy at the root of objections to cinematic metaphors,. They ignore the logical distinctions between signifier and signified
-Ferdinand de Saussure posited thaat all signs consist of an object or event that bears the meaning (the signifier) and the meaninf itself (the signified) it 2 figures are copresent doest mean they're signified
-Two signifieeds may be on different planes of discourse i.e...literal or figurative
-The importance of film image is the product of many factors, juxtaposition with other images,its role in the thematic or narrative development of film, its place in social beliefs and customs,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

2/9- Immersive Fantasy Notes Continued

-The cognitive technique demanded by the immersive fantasty is syntactic bootstrapping, the construction of a world by the context of what is told

-Creating a sidelong view of the world can also be achieved using the demotic voice to construct a disengagement, ironizing the antagonism of the point of view character

- A way to acieve the sense of death is describe first, explain later.
*a second popular tactic is through creation of vocab that claims meaning through context. which builds the sense of story and world behind what we actually see

-Refusal and the unexplained world
*it creates a world that is fantastical rather than fantastic, in which belief is constructed throygh the use of overelaborate language and the deployment of the absurd