Monday, February 11, 2008

The Ballad of the Hermeneutic Circle - Pt II. - pg. 8

Click, enlarge, read, roll eyes, discard.

Thus ends Part II. Part III's pages will alternate with 2007 retrospective pieces, because, you know, better late than... Well, they're late.

Next: III. "I sort of liked it. Until it got weird..."


Adam Ross said...

Ahhhhh, Ember. Emberrrrr. Ember. Ember.......Em.....ber.....

Dammit, I'm not going to get any work done today. Good to see the 'Circle again.

aaron said...

As always, great and incisive. I must have stared at the poster next to NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN for a full minute, trying to figure out what it is. I'm still at a loss, but I'm amazed at such peripheral detail.

Jordan said...


Oh man Chris, that is the most relatable looking-in-a-mirror moment I've ever had reading your blog.


Ed Hardy, Jr. said...

Do you truly believe we should strive to 'eliminate the "I"'?

Have you been reading the debates on Kael going on over at Scanners/Sergio Leone? I thought of one of the first CIRCLE entries when it started up.

Chris Stangl said...

Ed - I have been following the Kael-strom, mostly on Dennis' comments page, and it seems to boil down to, as always: nobody can deny Kael's frustrating, and I would say "bizarre" weaknesses, but for some the positive outweighs the negative. I'm increasingly puzzled by any stance that she's Such a Good Writer that it balances out, because she's frequently a patently bad writer.

Related... minimizing the personal anecdote, limiting the "I think," "I feel," "my experience is" - eliminating the "I" - is a writing tactic that would benefit and strengthen a lot of Internet writers. Whether it's an across-the-board, hard and fast rule... well I don't make the rules, and I was going for some pointed irony, since it's an autobio comic. To explicate beyond what my comic-strip-self says: many bloggers end their thesis at "this is my opinion" and then fail to bolster or elaborate with evidence, observation, argument, etc., and their work might be improved by practicing non-diary-based forms.

I didn't want to harp on David Bordwell or Tim Lucas, but sorta invoked them as exception/examples: they write such great first-person blogs about personal lives and adventures in cinema because their day jobs are writing polished film history, consumer reports and critical analysis.

Not that I want to force a reading of the strip or defend what isn't on the page, but the un-ironic answer is that bloggers should bring their A game if they want to be taken seriously, by working on the writing itself, for all the reasons the strip ventures through (opinion posturing, listmaking, cynicism, plagiarism, lazy writing, etc.) and more.

Larry Aydlette said...