February 19, 2007

If You've Got It, Flaunt It

Such a mimetic approach might be called abstract: the artist is sufficiently confident of his ability to tell a story and of his audience's capacity to receive it that he is able to signal an action rather than develop it in detail.
Russ McDonald "Reading The Tempest"

Tell a joke enough times and you can get laughs by just skipping to the punch-line - you go Shakespeare. ;)

Reading this section of Russ McDonald's essay, "Reading The Tempest," made me think about the advantages and disadvantages of mimetic, or rather minimalist, approaches. On one hand, a minimalist approach limits the amount said, providing more room for reader interpretation; but on the other hand, a minimalist approach limits the amount said, providing more room for reader interpretation. (Like McDonald, I'm in favor of repetition.)
Reader interpretation isn't necessarily a bad thing, but at the same time, Russ McDonald is writing a formalist essay - focus on the text of the literature, not the implications of the text. Therefore the abstract nature of the minimalist approach is important, similar to the nature of the formalist approach to literary criticism. I think that a formalist approach to literature is in itself a minimalist approach. No outside research is absolutely required - look at the text, what is the text saying? The audience's ability to receive the story through a signaled action as apposed to development is just like the formalist's ability to grasp the structure of the text without reaching outside for more information.

Posted by Diana Geleskie at February 19, 2007 8:25 PM | TrackBack
Comments
Post a comment









Remember personal info?