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October 21st, 2005 - Trickle of Consciousness — LiveJournal
I've been following the growing discussion on lit crit and webcomics over at Websnark because, well, I'm still a lit crit geek. Duh. Anyway, Ursula Vernon (of Digger and gearworld fame) has some of my favorite entries. On the lit crit / fan fic connection:

For people with a literary background, who can speak with authority about literary devices and actually know who Balzac was, this sort of criticism can be FUN. Frustrating, tough, sure, granted, geeky, hell yeah, but it's basically an English major equivalent of arguing about where access panels on the Enterprise were located. It is an expression of passion for the form, in the idiom that these people enjoy. It's all about The Love, or at least an analysis of why The Love failed in this particular case.

Better still, Ursula gets the Best Metaphor award in the secondary discussion that's developed there re: the place of authorial intent:

The only way to make your interpretation stick is to stand next to the canvas and grab each viewer by the lapels and scream "THIS IS WHAT I MEAN!" Even that's only got a fifty-fifty shot. Merely posting an explanation won't do it. Once you do art, it goes out into the wide world, a tender, trembling doe-eyed image, stepping on delicate little Bambi-like hooves through the grasses of sweet innocence, and then the viewers jump on it and mug it. You find your painting in [a] pool of vomit in a back alley a few hours later, with two black eyes, torn clothes, reeking of booze, and the only thing still IN its wallet is your artist's statement.

Much, much more at the link. Part of the reason I haven't jumped in is because I don't think I have it in me to read all of it, but even skimming, it's some good stuff. If you're so inclined, take a look.

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