Monday, December 6, 2010

trying to work out my thesis! Part 1

ok, if you plan on reading this, be prepared for some word vomit! it's about Charlie Kaufman's movies. Its about Roland Barthes theories and Theodore Adrnos theories. And these are? In Barthes I am interested in his theories on readerly and writerly texts. he says there are 2 types of text/work; readerly is where the reader passively reads/receives the message of the author/text and writerly is where the text is more ambiguous and the reader must 'write' the text to complete the story. This way there is no solid meaning to the text as each 'writer' (not author) 'writes' the text differently. Are Kaufman's texts readerly or writerly? well they are definitely ambiguous but does everyone interpret a different story or basically the same one? Also in relation to Barthes the notion of the death of the author and the idea that the author should not be visible in the text, or else there will not be space for the reader/writer. particularly interesting in relation to Adaptation in which Charlie Kaufman literally wrote himself into the script. The main character IS Charlie Kaufman, the screenwriter.
Theodore Adorno. I am particularly interested in his theory of the culture industry. How the Inustry creates the popular culture that the audience will come to desire, not the other way around. Is Kaufman part of the industry or the culture. He certainly isnt writing main stream hollywood movies, but do his movies create a popular culture, or do they give a culture what they want to see? In relation to his theories on fun and pleasure (that true pleasure comes from being challenged and therefore we must work to enjoy ourselves, passive entertainment isnt real enjoyment) do we work for Kaufmans movies? Do we trully enjooy them. Intertextuality is also something Ive been aware of...the idea that the author doesnt exist...a text/work is simply a mesh of quotes the author has digested and regurgitated.
so a thesis should be a question or argument, and it should be coherent. What is my question/argument, and what do I have to do to write a coherent thesis?
ook, the truth? I dont know how relevant all of the above really is. I keep changing my mind about this thing. Some days I use Barthes and Adorno to investigate the relationship between the author and the viewer, and some days Im thinking about truth in art. Today, Im thinking about truth in art. Essentially I think there must be an essence of truth for me to be able to call something art, and that is why I so easily call Kaufman's movies art. The truth is so apparent in the way he constantly reuses his own life in his movies. I dont think it would be unfair to say all his lead characters are mostly made up of Charlie himself. You can see what he reads in his use of quotes. You can tell what hes thinking about bby his themes-memory, relationships, fear, identity etc. These arent just entertaining stories, they are his explorations of concepts. He is the most important element...until he gives it away to the audience. And how important are they? Really, how much can the audience ever really be involved? I actually dont think of these texts as writerly as such anymore. They are ambiguous in a different way. They dont make me feel like I am writing the text, but certainly I could never watch a Kaufman movie without self-reflecting and becoming completely consumed by the similarities between the on-screen turmoils and my own. Oh god...I need to pull a thesis out of this mess!!!
I am definitely interested in the author, the viewer, and the truth element. i need a question or argument. The truth element is essentially the same as the author, it literally is the involvement of the author's self, and not the suppression of self in order to give someone else what they (in this case production companies) what they want.
Right, am I writing about the relationship between the author and the viewer? That sounds quite interesting actually. ya know what...maybe my first problem was adamantly deciding to write about the Kaufman movies instead of realising that I should just be using them to illustrate a point. maybe not even use them at all. this is definitely a problem, but Im sure there are lots more! ugh!
the involvement of the author and viewer?
maybe i should have spent a lot more time looking at the opposite of a charlie kaufman movie, like typical hollywood blockbuster. and maybe i should have been reading books like the one about sitbackward culture and sit forward culture? so many maybes its distressing!
ok, how do I write my thesis legitimately using only Kaufman movies? i really walked myself into a corner on this one!
ok so I love his films, but thats really only good for an analysis of them. I need to think about what Im interested in. Right now I am very interested in the element of truth in art. HUGE topic, and I dont have time to go and start doing new research. I an very interested in what Adorno says about pleasure being challenging. you have to work at something to really enjoy it. And ya im definitely still interested in Barthes theories of the author, but maybe not to the same extent. maybe i should take a break from this and go through some of my notes.

No comments:

Post a Comment