Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Jumping the Shark, Jo?

Now we hear J.K. Rowling was saying "backstage" at Carnegie Hall that the Ministry of Magic is actually all about Tony Blair and George W. Bush. Hmmm .... What's next?


BabyBlue said...

Okay, I've put this back up. I had second thoughts this morning about pushing the Rowling Button, but you know - I've been reading lots of commentary over the past few days on the role of authors with their work. As I wrote in the post above this one, I've gotten into some rather lively discussions with friends over Tolkien's comments on his own work (found in letters, for example, before the introduction of the internet!) and dismissed at it as interesting trivia, but please don't interject the author to "explain" things to me. Either the work stands on its own or it doesn't. What matters are is the book itself, the text itself - the text informs the text. The author returns to the shadows.

As I wrote above, for all our protestations to the contrary, Dylan continues to resist "explaining" his work or telling us what it means. Even in his autobiography he spends the bulk of the time showing us "how" he does his work - but he doesn't tell us what his work means or what he meant by this or that. He stays silent and as much as many want him to speak, he refuses - and in fact, gives us a whole lot more than we could ever ask for.

Should Jo take a page from Dylan's notebook and just write more or be quiet? You tell me - is she jumping the shark on this recent tour of America?


Kevin said...

See what happens when you go to your parish adult ed, you miss the Jumping the Shark episode completely!

(I'd never would have know ... such a loss ... not really ... we had our pre-Alpha conference talk of "How to evangelize at work." No big name, but wow, the Holy Spirit does work through ordinary folks like we have in our congregation ... my Rezgroup ROCKS! {nearly full attendance, not many other can claim that).


Above my own way pointing back to the things that matter. I agree with BB artist have a relationship with their audience and part of the artist responsibility is to speak clearly the first time if there is a specific commentary else let the art speak for itself. (A sixty anti-war song is written to communicate the artist message, Tolkien's graphic battle scenes were probably very much draw on his personal experience but not necessarily a comment on "the Great War." -- artist should respect the areas where influences can lost in many interpretations else make the commentary plan as day as in Bullwinkle).

inked said...

Surely any artist must have their time and situation in mind to some extent...but only to the extent that it is universally applicable does it enter the readers' minds in their situation. That is great literature which allows such connections, cf Dante, Narnia, Screwtape, Tolkien.

One hopes that critics as well as thoughtful readers see beyond thise necessarily particular stimuli to the universal applicability. Nowadays, the Dylan approach would serve JKR better perhaps since every word can be internationally known (or every misrepresentation internationally spread) virtually instantaneously.