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  • #31
    Well, in HoL at least, MZD did the ingenious thing of transferring authorship onto the characters, whilst reserving ultimate authority for himself. This is what you and modi and others were arguing about in 'mark is over rated' as far as I remember. Precisely because MZD ostenisibly didn't write the book, i.e. what we read is the work of one of the characters in it, everything in the book is their fault, therefore intentional on the part of the real author.

    The notion that MZD set up this forum so that people would discuss his book, in addition to writing a book with such wide margins that a reader can easily be an author himself, is a sort of continuation of this dynamic, it seems to me. He is the Man with the Plan, as you say, be he is outsourcing the authorship. We can be part of the creative process, but he still holds all the cards.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by fearful_syzygy
      We can be part of the creative process, but he still holds all the cards.
      So it's a card trick? Don't card tricks work by fooling the victim into believing that he's got control over what happens, when really it's the magician who's the one doing the manipulating?

      If it's all a scam, who's the mark?

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      • #33
        Us.

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        • #34
          Er, yes. That was kind of implied in what I said.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Raminagrobis
            . . .and some even feel able to blithely say things like 'I trust Mark not to waste my time' (sorry for picking on that quote again, whoever it was that posted it, but it really got under my skin). How to square these two attitudes? There seems to me to be a fundamental clash of perspectives: how does this growing cult of hero-worship fit in with the illusion that we somehow participate in the creative process? Where do the two things meet?
            I think that quote was Katatonic.

            I was just re-reading that other thread myself. . .lots to gnaw on there. As far as participating in the creative process: In regards to HoL and the idea of adding levels of narration, i meant not that we currently particpate in the creative process of that novel, but that the structure invites/urges(demands?) the discerning reader to research and add notes for him/herself, perpetuating the illusion that, during subsequent readings, the book has grown and changed from previous readings.

            Edit: damnit -and what f_s said.

            For this new experiment, we have been brought in and asked to participate, but i'm struggling to see how we could actually participate in the creative process in any meaningful way.
            It seems that here we are meant to participate in the critical analysis of .
            Last edited by marsjams13; 03-21-2006, 12:40 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by marsjams13

              For this new experiment, we have been brought in and asked to participate, but i'm struggling to see how we could actually participate in the creative process in any meaningful way.
              It seems that here we are meant to participate in the critical analysis of Only Revolutions.
              I'm sure we'll know that when Mark wants us to. Or perhaps it will be apparent when we actually have text to read. I know that Mark has spoken about how of Leaves is no longer "his" book, but now belongs to the readers.

              As far as the effects on the board. I'm wondering that myself. How easy will it be to get 60 people to keep their mouth shut? Especially many of the people chosen who seem to be rebellious by nature. I'm sure threats of banning ala Game Theory will help. I just worry that I'll get drunk and unintentionally say something on another forum that they aren't supposed to hear. We'll takle that when it happens. Just wondering if any of the "excluded" are wondering why the chatter on the other forums had dropped to a lull.

              MDS

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              • #37
                Originally posted by marsjams13
                In regards to HoL and the idea of adding levels of narration, i meant not that we currently particpate in the creative process of that novel, but that the structure invites/urges(demands?) the discerning reader to research and add notes for him/herself, perpetuating the illusion that, during subsequent readings, the book has grown and changed from previous readings.
                I know that I've said that as well, as early as the "Exactly" thread (sorry, Grobie, for whatever role I've had in perpetuating that bit of forum folklore). But it IS nevertheless true that, given time, commentary about a text becomes something of an extension of that text--or, better, a lens through which to read the text. Our by-now hoarse cries of "Search Function!" are in part an indication of that: Knowing what's been said before by others, many feel, is as important to a discussion of the novel as having a knowledge of the novel itself. At least it is for this particular forum.

                (Aside: I may have mentioned this before, but anyway: about 10 years ago, I remember reading a survey of Faulkner criticism published in the previous year, and the editors began by complaining that much of what was published wouldn't even have been written had people just taken the time to do a little research. So even "scholars" can be lazy.)

                Originally posted by marsjams13
                For this new experiment, we have been brought in and asked to participate, but i'm struggling to see how we could actually participate in the creative process. It seems to me that we are meant to participate in the critical analysis of Only Revolutions.
                I concur.

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                • #38
                  Whatever man, all the cool kids are here. I don't give a toss about any of the 'excluded'!

                  Edit: That was to ManiKatt, obviously.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Raminagrobis
                    Er, yes. That was kind of implied in what I said.
                    Sorry, I thought I capitalized it: US.

                    Originally posted by mars
                    I think that quote was Katatonic.
                    Yes, it was. I'm sorry that it got under your skin, Ram. I don't remember where I posted it, but I meant it.
                    I will read what Mark writes because, so far, I haven't found something of his that doesn't make me better, in some way, for having read it. It is interesting, or funny, or frightening.
                    Same goes with the forum - I learn from posts here. I am not as educated as most people who are now receiving ARCs and a lot of the things you all post fascinate me. When I came here, I knew virtually nothing about Greek mythology, and nothing about any other kind. This place is overwhelmed with intelligence and insights, depite the abundance of the drivel that I and others like me post (not to mention those others, like poco - I hope that I am not lumped in with her, aside from maybe the most general of categories).
                    But anyways, speaking of drivel...

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by marsjams13
                      As far as participating in the creative process: In regards to HoL and the idea of adding levels of narration, i meant not that we currently particpate in the creative process of that novel, but that the structure invites/urges(demands?) the discerning reader to research and add notes for him/herself, perpetuating the illusion that, during subsequent readings, the book has grown and changed from previous readings.

                      Edit: damnit -and what f_s said.
                      Oh sure, I understand what you mean by it. But you seem to acknowledge too that the participation is 'illusory'. In that case, what is the purpose of all the devices and strategies, deployed both within the novel and outside of it, to invite the reader into the text? Are they really doing something new to the form? If so, how? Or are they more like propaedeutic aids, put there to provide some kind of support to the reader's claim on the text? The reader has that claim on the text anyway; it does not need to be legitimated by the author.

                      After all,

                      Originally posted by marsjams13
                      It seems that here we are meant to participate in the critical analysis of Only Revolutions.
                      - we are meant to participate in the critical analysis of any book we read.

                      The reader always lays claim to the text, to any text. The process of interpretation is always an affirmation of the sovereignty of the reader. If the author is trying to encroach on that territory, even if only to 'encourage reader participation', then isn't the author acually diminishing the sovereignty of the reader, not affirming it? Isn't it an act of bad faith?

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Raminagrobis
                        Oh sure, I understand what you mean by it. But you seem to acknowledge too that the participation is 'illusory'. In that case, what is the purpose of all the devices and strategies, deployed both within the novel and outside of it, to invite the reader into the text? Are they really doing something new to the form? If so, how? Or are they more like propaedeutic aids, put there to provide some kind of support to the reader's claim on the text? The reader has that claim on the text anyway; it does not need to be legitimated by the author.

                        After all,



                        - we are meant to participate in the critical analysis of any book we read.

                        The reader always lays claim to the text, to any text. The process of interpretation is always an affirmation of the sovereignty of the reader. If the author is trying to encroach on that territory, even if only to 'encourage reader participation', then isn't the author acually diminishing the sovereignty of the reader, not affirming it? Isn't it an act of bad faith?
                        Indeed Rami

                        There has to be something to the fact that particular members were chosen. (Some with relatively few critical posts) Why not just hav a regular forum like " of Leaves" did? WHy have discussion before the text is released?

                        I don't get the sense that MZD would find it important to make people feel "special." I mean doesn't any reader have equall claim to the text? Just because somone might have a lot of experience with MZD's previous text does not mean that they deserve the right to read the next one first. Unless there is an underlying plan, or as I said "experiment" going on here.
                        Last edited by ManiKatt; 03-21-2006, 01:22 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by katatonic
                          But anyways, speaking of drivel...
                          Heh, that led quite seamlessly into my post up there.

                          Sorry for bringing that up again katatonic, I wasn't trying to browbeat you, honest! Anyway, I can stop using that quote as an example in arguments now; from now on I'm using this one:

                          Originally posted by ManiKatt
                          I'm sure we'll know that when Mark wants us to.


                          Edit:

                          Originally posted by Manikatt
                          I know that Mark has spoken about how of Leaves is no longer "his" book, but now belongs to the readers.
                          I trust my royalty cheque's in the post...?

                          Edit2:

                          Originally posted by John B.
                          But it IS nevertheless true that, given time, commentary about a text becomes something of an extension of that text--or, better, a lens through which to read the text. Our by-now hoarse cries of "Search Function!" are in part an indication of that: Knowing what's been said before by others, many feel, is as important to a discussion of the novel as having a knowledge of the novel itself. At least it is for this particular forum.
                          Oh sure, that's definitely true. But, as you imply, it's true of (potentially) any text, notwithstanding the claim that this forum is somehow 'special' or that MZD's texts and paratexts are doing something new and important to the novel form itself.
                          Last edited by Raminagrobis; 03-21-2006, 01:38 PM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Raminagrobis
                            The reader always lays claim to the text, to any text. The process of interpretation is always an affirmation of the sovereignty of the reader. If the author is trying to encroach on that territory, even if only to 'encourage reader participation', then isn't the author acually diminishing the sovereignty of the reader, not affirming it? Isn't it an act of bad faith?
                            Hmm. My earlier suggestion about us playing Stuart Gilbert to MZD's Joyce seems to fit here: the conventional wisdom has always been that Joyce wanted to give readers a helping hand through Ulysses via Gilbert's book by indicating the Homeric parallels and other stuff.

                            That MZD passage I cited earlier seems significant here as well--HE says he wrote with no critical or precursorial frames in mind (which, well, let's just say I'm a bit skeptical as to that). So: are we to supply the pitons and belays for those who follow--and, thus, indirectly diminish the critical sovereignty of the readers who'll follow? Or will those who follow "only" be standing on the shoulders of giants?

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                            • #44
                              [quote=Raminagrobis]

                              I trust my royalty cheque's in the post...?

                              [quote]

                              I've been waiting since 2004

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by John B
                                So: are we to supply the pitons and belays for those who follow--and, thus, indirectly diminish the critical sovereignty of the readers who'll follow?
                                Nah, we can't as readers diminish that sovereignty: that sovereignty is a collaborative, intersubjective, democratic thing; it does not belong to any one reader.

                                Conversely, the author cannot be a reader. Or to put it another way, 'a writer never reads his work.' (Blanchot, The Essential Solitude)

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