Thursday, April 26, 2007

post 4: "narrative is dead"

What if there were a guy who owned a DVD player but refused to let anyone in his family watch films on it unless the scenes were shuffled? What if whenever he caught his spouse or kids watching a film from beginning to end, he'd grab the remote, hit the "shuffle" function and declare "Narrative is dead!" What might be his motivations for doing this? Maybe he'd earned an advanced degree in comparative literature in the late 1980s, and thus thoroughly marinated his thinking in a post-structuralist suspicion of narrative? Maybe he shared Plato's objection to mimetic art in general (though why then would he own a TV?) or Augustine's objection to wasting one's sympathy on the plight of fictional characters in a world full of very real misery? Or maybe his wife and kids would be closest to the truth in their suspicion that his strict enforcement of the non-sequential viewing of films, however justified, was merely a manifestation of his desire to dominate others?

(picture link)