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Higgins
03-12-2007, 10:50 PM
Here's an apparent early work by Nick Lowe, the plot meister:

http://news.ansible.co.uk/plotdev.html

I'm guessing this is the same N. J. Lowe who wrote The Classical Plot, an excerpt of which I link to in the thread: Classical Plot:.....etc.

Higgins
03-12-2007, 10:56 PM
Here is Dr. Nick Lowe (the plot meister referred to in my recent posts, "Lowe Blow" and "Classical Plot")...his site:

http://www.rhul.ac.uk/Classics/NJL/index.html

ColoradoGuy
03-12-2007, 11:52 PM
I'll ponder this one after I've checked out the links. Meanwhile I merged 'em, since they're on pretty similar things.

Higgins
03-12-2007, 11:55 PM
I'll ponder this one after I've checked out the links. Meanwhile I merged 'em, since they're on pretty similar things.

I would have strung things together better, but the URL function is messier in edit than it is in New Thread.

ColoradoGuy
03-12-2007, 11:56 PM
Plus, mods have magical powers.

robeiae
03-13-2007, 03:27 AM
I dunno. It seems Nick is a little too certain that his pronouncements of good and bad are absolute truths. Everything he writes, in this article at least, is predicated on that assumption. And in the end, it's that assumption that he thinks he is demonstrating. Really, I don't think it's too much to expect even post-modernists and their ilk to avoid obvious fallacies of argument like this.

I did like the "Clench" game, though. Really, it's a variation of "Hi, Bob." And I'm quite certain I could come up with a word to use for War and Peace. Or even for Slaughterhouse Five.

This is fun--like being in grad school again.

Higgins
03-13-2007, 03:42 AM
I dunno. It seems Nick is a little too certain that his pronouncements of good and bad are absolute truths. Everything he writes, in this article at least, is predicated on that assumption. And in the end, it's that assumption that he thinks he is demonstrating. Really, I don't think it's too much to expect even post-modernists and their ilk to avoid obvious fallacies of argument like this.

I did like the "Clench" game, though. Really, it's a variation of "Hi, Bob." And I'm quite certain I could come up with a word to use for War and Peace. Or even for Slaughterhouse Five.

This is fun--like being in grad school again.

Well...he has grown up some since his SF fan days, I guess. Apparently he never has been a post-modernist. Certainly there is no POMO theory put forward as a practical method in anything of his I have read. Indeed he claims to be a formalist...which would situate him methodologically with Vladimir Propp in a pre-Levi-Straussian state of absolute primordial innocence.

robeiae
03-13-2007, 04:01 AM
The obvious rejoinder is: well, his logic certainly isn't very formal. I think I'll go with that.

And I thought formalism was pretty much universally seen as a dead end. Kinda like Wagner...

ColoradoGuy
03-13-2007, 05:44 AM
It was a fun read, but my isn't he the confident one. His point boils down to:


Most people are stupid

Stupid people, by definition, like stupid books

Savvy writers understand this, so they write stupid books for them with highly predictable plot devices.

It's standard Theory -- reader response theory, to be exact. People who read those books he doesn't like inject their own desires into them, take them to heart, and transform them into what they want. What a surprise. He beats up on science fiction and fantasy, but he could have done the same thing with the rafts of penny dreadful Westerns that followed upon the success of Owen Wister's The Virginian in the late nineteenth century.

And I thought formalism was pretty much universally seen as a dead end. Kinda like Wagner...
Don't tell Mac. She likes opera, even (or especially) Wagner, I've heard.

Higgins
03-13-2007, 06:12 AM
It was a fun read, but my isn't he the confident one. His point boils down to:



Most people are stupid

Stupid people, by definition, like stupid books

Savvy writers understand this, so they write stupid books for them with highly predictable plot devices.

It's standard Theory -- reader response theory, to be exact. People who read those books he doesn't like inject their own desires into them, take them to heart, and transform them into what they want. What a surprise. He beats up on science fiction and fantasy, but he could have done the same thing with the rafts of penny dreadful Westerns that followed upon the success of Owen Wister's The Virginian in the late nineteenth century.

Don't tell Mac. She likes opera, even (or especially) Wagner, I've heard.

This article of Lowe's seems to be fairly well-known. It think it is also:
a) an attempt at comedy by a SF fan
b) relatively early work.

In his later work (such as The Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative, Cambridge U press, 2000, an excerpt from which I link to in the thread "Classical Plot") he takes a less crude approach to a topic, in that case the question of what a plot is; how and when different approaches to plot are codified in the world of antiquity and how this typology of plots relates to what people are doing with plots currently. I suppose you might call his current method formalist cognative reader-response theory, since he proposes a game-based model of how plots work that to some degree allows characters, readers and the composers of plots to meet in a common cognative space that is not generated just by the syntactic events of a narrative, but also by common cognative mapping of conventional (ie realistically structured objects derived from reality) and generic (ie derived from the expectations of what a story in genre X is supposed to do) situations and possible moves in those situations.

robeiae
03-13-2007, 03:31 PM
I don't see what difference it makes that this was his "early work." It's the "work" you linked to and that we are discussing.

And CG, Wagner is actually my favorite composer.

ColoradoGuy
03-13-2007, 05:56 PM
And CG, Wagner is actually my favorite composer.
I had taken you for a Mahler sort of guy.

Higgins
03-13-2007, 06:17 PM
I don't see what difference it makes that this was his "early work." It's the "work" you linked to and that we are discussing.

And CG, Wagner is actually my favorite composer.

What's wrong with Mahler or Brahms or Elgar or Stravinsky or Ravel or Phillip Glass or David Deltredici?

Of course it makes no difference that we are spending our time reading a chunk of sf fan criticism but in Lowe's later work (such as The Classical Plot and the Invention of Western Narrative, Cambridge U press, 2000, an excerpt from which I link to in the thread "Classical Plot") he takes a less crude approach to a topic, in that case the question of what a plot is; how and when different approaches to plot are codified in the world of antiquity and how this typology of plots relates to what people are doing with plots currently. I suppose you might call his current method formalist cognative reader-response theory, since he proposes a game-based model of how plots work that to some degree allows characters, readers and the composers of plots to meet in a common cognative space that is not generated just by the syntactic events of a narrative, but also by common cognative mapping of conventional (ie realistically structured objects derived from reality) and generic (ie derived from the expectations of what a story in genre X is supposed to do) situations and possible moves in those situations.

robeiae
03-13-2007, 06:44 PM
I had taken you for a Mahler sort of guy.
I like Mahler, too. And Bach.

I despise Mozart--that should make you happy. :D

ColoradoGuy
03-13-2007, 07:54 PM
I despise Mozart--that should make you happy. :D
Is it that obvious he's my favorite?