View Single Post
Old 05-19-2005, 12:40 PM   #61
Illustrious Ulair
davem's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
Posts: 4,256
davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Originally Posted by Bb
First of all, it is, I think, an error to claim that we should ignore the unconscious baggage because it gets in the way of the discussion here or because we can't do anything about it. In fact, such a proceeding represents a willful blindness to the main point.
We must put on one side, ignore, discount from our discussion anything that we cannot know, & anything which is unconscious is unknown. To be able to bring anything into our discusion we must be conscious of it. We have conscious 'baggage' & possibly unconscious baggage, but if it is unconscious the most we can say about it is that it may or may not exist. If we start speculating about something as tenuous as that, & what effect it may or may not have on our reading then we will definitely get sidetracked down a blind alley to a dead end that leads us nowhere fast & we'll find ourselves up the creek without a paddle.

The issue is that very often the complete and full intentions of the author cannot be fully revealed in any one reading. This is particularly so in the case of an author such as Tolkien whose credo was to make many things implicit rather than explicit: he wanted actively participating readers, for in action lies moral achievement. Nor does this reader model assume that the reader has nothing to learn or refuses to learn, but merely rehashes his or her own prior knowledge.
I'm sure I said earlier that in the first instance we should try & simply experience the art as a ding an sich. Then we should attempt to discover what the author intended to communicate to us, & finally bring in our own ideas & interpretations.

The model you propose is based on logical and psychological impossibilties. It is impossible for the reader to completely wipe out his or her identity and be acted upon solely by a text.
I think I also stated this earlier - all I've ever said is that as far as we are able we should open ourselves to the direct experience of the art itself - in the first instance, if only so that we have some chance of distinguishing what the artist is bringing to the party & what we are bring to it.

A secondary world must not be dependent on the primary world in order to make sense. If it requires us to analyse & interpret it in order for it to make sense then the sub creator has failed, & produced an allegory to some degree or other. All I'm saying is that we should attempt, in the first instance, to experience & participate in the art as fully as we can, & we do that by leaving as much of our (conscious - ie the stuff were aware of rather than the stuff which may or may not exist) baggage at the door.
davem is offline   Reply With Quote