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    Titan in the Playground
    Tyndmyr's Avatar

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    Aug 2009

    Default Re: The Death of the Author debate is way too blinkered in scope

    Quote Originally Posted by martianmister View Post
    *Raises her hand*
    I think it probably is. Written by Rowling at least in part, yes? And she says it's canon? That's pretty straightforward.

    That doesn't mean I need to think it's any good, or that anyone has to care about it, though. If you want to disregard it, make your own headcanon, or something else entirely, that's fine.
    Back from a lengthy vacation from Giantitp. I've been dabbling with 3d printer technology and game design, PM if you're curious.

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  2. - Top - End - #152
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Mar 2008
    Shangxi, China

    Default Re: The Death of the Author debate is way too blinkered in scope

    The question of "what is canon" is a seperate but equally facinating discussion from the whole author's intended meaning question.

    Usually when we are talking about Canon we are being critical at a discourse level and are examining elements above the textual level.

    As an example that I am sure is old enough not to need spoilers:

    In Star Wars (episode IV) Ben Kenobi clearly refers to Darth Vader as "Darth" - meaning that within the original text that was the character's first name and not a title. In subsequent stories it became clear that this was a somewhat generic Sith title and as such makes little to no sense as a first name. It essentially transforms Ben Kenobi's statement from something like "You are a real jerk George" into "You're a real jerk Mister." Critically examining the scene and text - Kenobi clearly has a personal stake in the contest as does Vader. The use of a more familiar name makes more sense within the scene and within the text of A New Hope. The revelation of Darth being a title and not a name is actually not revealed (in the "main cinematic canon") until the prequels though I am sure it was added into through the EU much earlier. But examining the movies alone - Darth Vader being an assumed First Name, Surname instead of a Title, Name is consisted throughout the original trilogy.

    The "author" of these works has a reputation and history of altering works after they were originally made as can be seen in this article by forbes. So the original text of Star Wars, prior to any sequels being made was for Darth Vader to be a proper name of an individual (and to be a separate individual from Anakin Skywalker) - this was later altered in a way which leaves this one awkward clue to the original intent.

    Now - while being able to see that when analyzed in isolation from other stories - Darth is a given name and not a title, it is not possible to make that same argument in good faith about this being a "canonical" truth.

    Canon is about analyzing a body of texts in context with each other and how they interact. The Literary Canon is a collection of texts worthy of study for their impact, artistry, relevancy over time, and more. The Holy Canon was the "O.G." canon and can't really be gone into here - same with the Vedic Texts which are also an example of a "Canon." In Literary use of the word Canon, "Its not very good" is perfectly valid grounds for removing it from the general discourse (or from the Canon).

    The common usage of "Canon" is much more about "does this happen within the meta-textual universe of the author's creation." In that sense, Jar Jar Binks is 100% "Canon" as Cursed Child probably is as well. Does this addition enhance the meta-textual narrative - this is a question for critical analysis. Does this addition conform to the existing rules, norms, and continuity of the narrative as it exists - this is another solid question.

    Currently there is little academic or critical approach to dealing with "Canon" and "Head Canon" in the sense of the common usage. A lot of academic and critical analysis doesn't deal with intertextuality within a series very well - each entry is usually measured on its own without regard to the greater continuity unless that intertextuality is a major feature of the texts.

    TL:DR - Death of the Author is about measuring individual texts and implied meaning found therein. Canon is part of a discourse level analysis which usually is focused on examining explicit information gathered over many texts - the two are totally different yet both very fun and worthwhile in their own way.

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