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Valkorion
Valkorion

Authorial Intent in vs. debates Empty Authorial Intent in vs. debates

on September 18th 2019, 4:57 am
alongside our Valkorion vs. Sidious SS, which i have agreed with Ellimist to extension for, we shall do this, if he decides to respond
5 posts each, medium-length
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authorial intent has several advantages:
1. It can predict what will happen in future works. If you base your scales on just in-universe feats with no authorial intent, you will have everything fall apart when the next source releases because the sources will not follow or care about your insane scaling chain. If you claim that Obi Wan can ash Ventress with a thought because he lifted X tons and Ventress struggled with 1% of X tons in a panel, and then a new Obi Wan vs. Ventress comic is announced, you will not bet on Obi Wan actually ashing Ventress. That is why if people start talking about what the new TOR expansion's bosses will be like, they do not seriously think it will follow their 13431 entry long chains. In-universe logic does not control the story, authorial intent does, unless you think Star Wars is real.
2. It is more to the spirit of storytelling. If authors have no authority, why do we use their works as canon? That we do means authors have the power to create the stories using language, and language matters for implied intent, not for some intrinsic importance. It is nonsense to think that the semantics of words put together on a page mean more than the authors and the imagination. Pure in-universe analysis of sourcebooks and narrator statements leads to semantics grasping where the precise arrangement of words matters more than the idea behind things.
3. Sometimes there are contradictions that are impossible to solve with pure in-universe logic. There are for example outright scene bloopers and errors in films, like objects disappearing between shots, inconsistent ship sizes, changes of actors, or even a medium like a comic with artistic license aesthetics. If we accept that out-of-universe must be used there, then the pretending of in-universe consistency is gone, so why pretend that it cannot be inconsistent in more subtle, but still sometimes very obvious ways?
4. It means debates are no longer about making the most insane scaling chain possible, and coming up with mental gymnastics for obvious contradictions and leading to random conclusions that are just there because they are needed to patch up some hole in the universe that exists in-universe because the writers were not consistent. Instead, a more grounded look can be had.
The Ellimist
The Ellimist
Level Five
Level Five

Authorial Intent in vs. debates Empty Re: Authorial Intent in vs. debates

on September 18th 2019, 5:37 am
Interesting SS idea - I'll bite.

My points:

1. Authorial intent is not going to be internally consistent. Firstly, there are different authors with different intents. Secondly, they may have various intuitions that don't actually fit together. Example: most authors would intuitively think Maul vs. Arcann is a good fight, Maul vs. Act III HoT is a good fight, and Arcann stomps Act III HoT. How do you square that circle?

2. Authorial intent takes most of the analysis out of vs. debates and makes it just a matter of emailing authors with questions or doing psychological guesses on what authors think rather than looking at feats, scaling, and other things that are interesting. We're ultimately dealing with axioms about how to construct an imaginary universe, so how much enjoyment our axioms give to the exercise is a legitimate motivating factor.

@Valkorion wrote:1. It can predict what will happen in future works. If you base your scales on just in-universe feats with no authorial intent, you will have everything fall apart when the next source releases because the sources will not follow or care about your insane scaling chain. If you claim that Obi Wan can ash Ventress with a thought because he lifted X tons and Ventress struggled with 1% of X tons in a panel, and then a new Obi Wan vs. Ventress comic is announced, you will not bet on Obi Wan actually ashing Ventress. That is why if people start talking about what the new TOR expansion's bosses will be like, they do not seriously think it will follow their 13431 entry long chains. In-universe logic does not control the story, authorial intent does, unless you think Star Wars is real.

OK, two points:

1. Outside of TOR, most of Legends is "finished", so this is not as common now as one would think.

2. Why is it inherently a bad thing to have to rework our scaling chains when new material comes out, even if it's unpredictable? The predictive power question assumes that new material is like experimental results for things that were already determined, whereas one can view it as fundamentally "changing" the story and nature of the universe. That's OK - we're recreating the universe each time a new story comes out. Using authorial intent wouldn't help you get around having to do this, given how imprecise and flaky that is anyway.

2. It is more to the spirit of storytelling. If authors have no authority, why do we use their works as canon? That we do means authors have the power to create the stories using language, and language matters for implied intent, not for some intrinsic importance. It is nonsense to think that the semantics of words put together on a page mean more than the authors and the imagination. Pure in-universe analysis of sourcebooks and narrator statements leads to semantics grasping where the precise arrangement of words matters more than the idea behind things.

- Unintended consequences or implications of stories is actually a pretty meaningful part of analyzing them
- The authors have the power to create the narrator that tells the story; that does not necessitate that their opinions beyond that matter, especially since those opinions haven't gone through an editorial process and are subject to change on a whim. It's like you set the starting conditions on a simulation game and then see the consequences of those conditions, whether you intended them or not.
- If we care about the "spirit" of storytelling presumably because it effects the experience of vs. debates, then we should also care about my second point about how using authorial intent would negate most of vs. debating in the first place.

3. Sometimes there are contradictions that are impossible to solve with pure in-universe logic. There are for example outright scene bloopers and errors in films, like objects disappearing between shots, inconsistent ship sizes, changes of actors, or even a medium like a comic with artistic license aesthetics. If we accept that out-of-universe must be used there, then the pretending of in-universe consistency is gone, so why pretend that it cannot be inconsistent in more subtle, but still sometimes very obvious ways?

Well, this applies to authorial intent even more, because authorial intents are always going to have contradictions which can't be rationalized in the same way as IU ones because we can't just invent explanations about an empirical real-life question like their intents. Moreover, there's no intrinsic reason why we can't selectively invoke authorial intent if by authorial intent we mean "comic book art isn't literal" - why does that mean we have to invoke it in the context of this discussion? There is no underlying Star Wars reality, remember - it's a matter of convenience.

4. It means debates are no longer about making the most insane scaling chain possible, and coming up with mental gymnastics for obvious contradictions and leading to random conclusions that are just there because they are needed to patch up some hole in the universe that exists in-universe because the writers were not consistent. Instead, a more grounded look can be had.

It's not necessary to invoke authorial intent to do that - you can just say that we should look at the total collection of evidence instead of assuming every random quote is semantically perfect. And if a scaling chain is ridiculous, it's probably not that hard to debunk or counter. To some degree, coming up with inventive arguments is part of the fun anyway.
No Hate Speech
No Hate Speech

Authorial Intent in vs. debates Empty Re: Authorial Intent in vs. debates

on September 18th 2019, 6:02 am
I would support authorial intent if there were more womyn, PoCs, etc. authors. I'm not going to let my conception of Star Wars be dictated by the WASP gaze.
NotAA3
NotAA3
Level Four
Level Four

Authorial Intent in vs. debates Empty Re: Authorial Intent in vs. debates

on September 18th 2019, 10:51 am
Interesting discussion.

TAEP.
Sjuttiosju
Sjuttiosju
Level Seven
Level Seven

Authorial Intent in vs. debates Empty Re: Authorial Intent in vs. debates

on September 18th 2019, 11:58 am
@NotAA3 wrote:Interesting discussion.

TAEP.
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Authorial Intent in vs. debates Empty Re: Authorial Intent in vs. debates

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