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Old 05-29-2017, 09:01 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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Default Death of the Author and Mute Protagonist

Good morning guys.

What are your thoughts on the concepts of death of the author and mute protagonist?

Regarding the first, I really don't fancy pondering what happened post-epilogue and I even loathe epilogues that leave unsolved plot threads behind. It's almost as if the author doesn't even care for the expectation he built on the audience. However, I kinda enjoy wondering what happened during ellipses and am very fond of finding out what was the author attempting to represent by using his work as a metaphor.

As to the latter, I also don't like mute protagonists. I like to compare Final Fantasy to Pokémon in that regard, and giving actual lines to the main character makes everything feel more organic. If Final Fantasy VI had a mute centric character for instance, it would've been ruined.

Your thoughts?
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:27 AM
Mertico Mertico is offline

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The death of the author does not work, but there are times it should.

The mute protagonist is one of the silliest and best innovations in video games.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:29 AM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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I think if an author has said something about how they want their work to be viewed, that should be taken into account. Same if they're politically active and such.

That doesn't mean that's the only way to interpret it though, or that readers interpretations are inherently bad or wrong.


I think how well Silent-Protagonist works depends on the TYPE of game. Whether it's dialogue heavy for other characters or it's more like, say. Journey.

Legacy characters without dialogue are alright, like Mario, but in general I think the trope is going to be used a lot less, which isn't a bad thing since I think it'll mean when it is used it's done more meaningfully.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:41 AM
Slowpokeking Slowpokeking is offline

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No, the understanding of the work should never surpass the author's original concept, I never support Death of the Author.
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:48 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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My thoughts are that we need more threads like this.

I'm inclined to favor the death of the author. The artist's role is to present art to the audience, not to tell the audience how that art is meant to be interpreted. And if the artist has any amount of talent, they shouldn't need to. Their works should transcend their own personal perspective and touch upon the fundamentals of the human condition, comprehensible to any who choose to view it.

Umberto Eco was a bit of an eccentric who took the death of the author to the extreme. No, not like that, though he is, alas, no longer with us. In his postscript to The Name of the Rose, he describes novels as something like 'machines for generating interpretations,' and claims that an author is in peril of overstepping his prerogative even by giving his work a title: that by offering a title, the author threatens to impose the specific meaning he saw in his own writing onto his audience. He chose "the name of the rose" because it struck him as so potentially rich in meaning that it holds no specific meaning on its own.

I'm personally of the opinion that the title of a work should not be considered so separate from the text of a work, and that it is no more an imposition on the author's part than their prosaic style, the names of their characters, the structure of their narrative, or any other aspect they constructed. I do, however, agree with the sentiment that a novel should be designed to generate interpretations, and not simply to present the reader with what the author was thinking at the time.

On the matter of the mute protagonist, I think it can be applied to good effect, but that it is more often a misguided attempt on the artist's part to preemptively encourage their own figurative death. For the author to present their characters' behavior is a necessary compromise for the audience to even approach the story, even before they can begin interpretation. Ambiguity is no bad thing, but some artists may forget that their role is to present the initial substance for their audience to interpret.

That said, one of the stories I've got on a burner somewhere has a protagonist who chews her own tongue out in the first prologue. I think I can do some interesting things with a mute psychopath whose motivations might be unclear at times even to the audience.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:19 AM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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As much as I once disliked the concept of the death of the author, I had no choice but to accept it as truth. Stories take on a life of their own, regardless of the author's opinions or input.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by HlaaluStyle View Post
As much as I once disliked the concept of the death of the author, I had no choice but to accept it as truth. Stories take on a life of their own, regardless of the author's opinions or input.
There are differences.

Star Wars and Blade Runner, for instance.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:36 AM
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The silent protagonist is tricky and depends on the execution. Return to Castle Wolfenstein and F.E.A.R. handle it very well. They're FPS games but still, sometimes I prefer playing as ''myself'' instead of a roided up Duke Nukem shouting bad catchphrases.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:58 AM
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There are differences.

Star Wars and Blade Runner, for instance.
I don't understand what you mean.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:10 AM
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As much as I once disliked the concept of the death of the author, I had no choice but to accept it as truth. Stories take on a life of their own, regardless of the author's opinions or input.
That's a perversion. The author's vision is always the most important.

If you want to make your own interpretation, fandom, or whatever, ok, but don't try to hijack the original author's work for yourself. You're appropriating something, and even worse, changing it and deeming it "better".

Would you be fine with some retard "reinterpreting" a classic painting and then calling it "better" or "equal in quality".

Same for books. This postmodernism bullshit is destroying true art.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
That's a perversion. The author's vision is always the most important.

If you want to make your own interpretation, fandom, or whatever, ok, but don't try to hijack the original author's work for yourself. You're appropriating something, and even worse, changing it and deeming it "better".

Would you be fine with some retard "reinterpreting" a classic painting and then calling it "better" or "equal in quality".

Same for books. This postmodernism bullshit is destroying true art.
It really doesn't matter. People will interpret things their own way.

The author could write a book's worth of articles explaining what they really mean. Some readers will be persuaded. Some will not. Quite a few won't even know about the articles, because they only care about the book, not the author.

You can rant and rail about how readers should pay more attention to what the author says, but that's just being idealistic. Most will not.

As someone who has published original fiction, I do not necessarily care for this fact. But it is nonetheless a fact.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
That's a perversion. The author's vision is always the most important.
How so? What do you think a book is? A manual for understanding the author's mind? Or a piece of art, by which the audience may reflect upon themselves and the world around them?

It's madness, of course, for any audience to hold up their own interpretation as the true meaning of the story, but the author's role is only to provide the material, not the interpretation. Their intentions may be interesting to consider, but for any serious work of art they should not be necessary to understand it.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:31 AM
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Voiceless protagonists are the most superior protagonists.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:33 AM
Krainz Krainz is offline

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I don't understand what you mean.
The Star Wars films have a clear end (especially VI). However, Blade Runner leaves some things unsolved.

Whilst both might develop a life of their own, we still have one more clarified setting and another more open to personal interpretation and theories.
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:39 AM
HlaaluStyle HlaaluStyle is offline

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The Star Wars films have a clear end (especially VI). However, Blade Runner leaves some things unsolved.

Whilst both might develop a life of their own, we still have one more clarified setting and another more open to personal interpretation and theories.
True. Though I'd argue that George Lucas is most an example of "suicide of the author" rather than "death of the author".

But whether or not a plot resolves all its elements is not really relevant. The point is that audiences will take away their own personal meanings from the story, regardless of what the creator intended.

As an example, take those who see Orwell's 1984 as a polemic against socialism, rather than totalitarianism. Even a cursory glance of Orwell's life and opinions show that he intended the novel as an attack on Soviet-style communism (and the Nazis, as well). Still, the book can be read as an attack on socialism of any sort.

Now, I do think readers should at least familiarize themselves with the author. But this doesn't mean that readers necessarily will. Some will not. And if they don't know what they don't know, what can one do?
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:44 AM
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This postmodernism bullshit is destroying true art.
1. Aside from physical destruction, how does one 'destroy' art?

2. Who says what 'true' art is?
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:59 AM
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True. Though I'd argue that George Lucas is most an example of "suicide of the author" rather than "death of the author".

But whether or not a plot resolves all its elements is not really relevant. The point is that audiences will take away their own personal meanings from the story, regardless of what the creator intended.

As an example, take those who see Orwell's 1984 as a polemic against socialism, rather than totalitarianism. Even a cursory glance of Orwell's life and opinions show that he intended the novel as an attack on Soviet-style communism (and the Nazis, as well). Still, the book can be read as an attack on socialism of any sort.

Now, I do think readers should at least familiarize themselves with the author. But this doesn't mean that readers necessarily will. Some will not. And if they don't know what they don't know, what can one do?
George Lucas is not the sole author of Star Wars, he's just the overall mastermind of the movies. He was a good story maker, but couldn't tell it well enough through the movies, especially the prequels.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:00 PM
Mertico Mertico is offline

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1. Aside from physical destruction, how does one 'destroy' art?

2. Who says what 'true' art is?
When everything is art, nothing is.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:04 PM
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If the author him/herself want to retcon the story or the original concept, then his/her new concept should be recognized as the new canon/law of the story universe.

A lot of the old saga don't have a single author, they were made of different story pieces of different eras.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:17 PM
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the new canon/law of the story universe
Haha, what? As if canon matters a damn.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:20 PM
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Haha, what? As if canon matters a damn.
At this point, the creators retcon canon as often as fanfic writers. And not necessarily in a way that's better.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
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There are differences.

Star Wars and Blade Runner, for instance.
Not sure if you really understand what "Death of the Author" refers to. It doesn't really have anything to do with whether the story has a clear or ambiguous ending. If anything, Star Wars is a great example of death of the author since George Lucas has basically no control over the IP anymore and the world and stories have taken on a life of their own with dozens of artists and authors contributing over the years. Not to mention the millions of fans each with their own opinions and interpretations.

Lotta people don't like the postmodern, but postmodern it is anyway in spite of their protest. Anansi and Hlaalu are right. You don't have to like it, but saying death of the author/postmodern perspective are false or incorrect is just willful ignorance. Anansi hit the nail on the head: art in all forms is an expression of human nature and consciousness, how that expression is interpreted by the public often has little to do with the artist or their intent. Even when the artists intent weighs heavily into someone's interpretation, that's still just their interpretation. IE: It's Slowpoke's personal interpretation that an author's will should be gospel truth, but this is not so for others, not necessarily even the author.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:29 PM
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At this point, the creators retcon canon as often as fanfic writers. And not necessarily in a way that's better.
Retcon is nearly impossible to avoid upon creating a mega universe. It needs to be used very carefully though.

And I was talking about "story retcon", many authors change their idea before they actually make the original draft into part of the story, that would not damage the story as long as the author could keep everything consistent.

Such as Anakin and Vader originally weren't the same character, but it was handled in the movies well.

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Not sure if you really understand what "Death of the Author" refers to. It doesn't really have anything to do with whether the story has a clear or ambiguous ending. If anything, Star Wars is a great example of death of the author since George Lucas has basically no control over the IP anymore and the world and stories have taken on a life of their own with dozens of artists and authors contributing over the years. Not to mention the millions of fans each with their own opinions and interpretations.

Lotta people don't like the postmodern, but postmodern it is anyway in spite of their protest. Anansi and Hlaalu are right. You don't have to like it, but saying death of the author/postmodern perspective are false or incorrect is just willful ignorance. Anansi hit the nail on the head: art in all forms is an expression of human nature and consciousness, how that expression is interpreted by the public often has little to do with the artist or their intent. Even when the artists intent weighs heavily into someone's interpretation, that's still just their interpretation. IE: It's Slowpoke's personal interpretation that an author's will should be gospel truth, but this is not so for others, not necessarily even the author.
Star Wars changed its owner, the new owner, Disney still have the OMEGA power to decide everything about Star Wars.

Even before Lucas had sold SW, most of the EU materials weren't written by him, but he still has the absolute control over the IP.
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Old 05-29-2017, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
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Retcon is nearly impossible to avoid upon creating a mega universe. It needs to be used very carefully though.

And I was talking about "story retcon", many authors change their idea before they actually make the original draft into part of the story, that would not damage the story as long as the author could keep everything consistent.

Such as Anakin and Vader originally weren't the same character, but it was handled in the movies well.

Star Wars changed its owner, the new owner, Disney still have the OMEGA power to decide everything about Star Wars.

Even before Lucas had sold SW, most of the EU materials weren't written by him, but he still has the absolute control over the IP.
This is all kind of irrelevant. The finished work is all that really matters. That's what people are consuming. The vast majority of the public does not consume supplemental materials nor should they have to.
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Old 05-29-2017, 01:10 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mertico View Post
When everything is art, nothing is.
Hero Academia proved the Incredibles wrong with the superpower version of that quote, and it's wrong about Art too.


Saying something is or isn't art is pointless, if someone thinks it's art, then you're not gonna convince them otherwise. The question becomes whether it's "good" art or not.


None of that relates to the debate of Interpretation though, which is what 'death of the author' revolves around. The Author's interpretation, if they have a stated one or major political leanings, should be taken into account, but that shouldn't stop anyone from coming to different conclusions.
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