plainly and simply parasitical on the obvious or univocal reading

Sunday, October 10, 2004

A New Experiment: Jeweled Criticism

Something Jon posted in my comments down below got me thinking about something. We were talking about the assumed primacy of text in reading (he was talking, I was injecting pointless nonsense here and there...), and alternative modes, or lenses through which a critical apprehension of an art object may be obtained (in addition to, not instead of, the text itself, just so I'm clear) came up. A link to a published discussion between a neurologist and a mathematician sent me off on a mental tangent from which I was destined not to return, and I started thinking about the apprehension of the universe through use of mathematics. I started thinking about the way that mathematical models change every time something in the universe or in the realm of theory manages to fall outside of the established models, thereby not invalidating previous models, but expanding on and enhancing them (and I don't really know what I'm talking about, but I'll forge ahead for a bit anyway), and allowing the same thing to be looked at in a whole other set of ways.

I am interested in applying that to the way that I read comics. I want to try to examine a book through a variety of different approaches and schools of thought, to see what kind of understanding I can come to regarding the work. And because I like to make things difficult for myself, I will choose a comic that is generally regarded as not meriting such a close look. I haven't chosen it yet, but my guess is that I will be able to get a nice series of posts on the subject in the coming fill-in-the-blank period of time. And in case anyone wonders, yes, the quality of the work itself will be considered, but it will be considered along with everything else I can see in it as well. I hope to go into a great amount of detail and cover a broad range of topics. It's a completely insane and useless thought experiment just for times that I get bored, but I invite everyone to come along with me. I might find something really cool.

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