LNH: Legion of Net.Heroes Vol.2 #23

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Thu Nov 8 23:10:19 PST 2007

On Nov 9, 12:59 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> On Nov 8, 6:13 am, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > On Nov 8, 12:53 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > I think pornography, erotica, what-have-you, is a "feel-good" genre.
> > > At best they'd _have_ to be light comedies.  Can you imagine a
> > > pornographic film about a man dying of cancer, or someone dealing with
> > > substance abuse, or someone driven to suicide by mind-numbing
> > > poverty?  It would be terrible, and it would defeat the whole purpose
> > > of it-- few people can be simultaneously aroused and depressed.
> > I was once taking an English course an a psychology course at the same
> > time and I once saw the same argument made from both points of view:
> > "Literary genre is a function of the emotional context."  It follows
> > that there are exactly as many genres as their are human emotions.  To
> > test this theory, imagine any human emotion and then imagine a story
> > that would make you feel that way.
> > Fear <--> Horror / Suspense
> > Love <--> Romance
> > Passion / Lust <--> Porn (includes soft and hard core)
> > Wonder --> Sci-Fi / Fantasy
> > Hate / Anger <--> Action (with the emotion directed at the villain)
> > Joy <--> Comedy / Musical
> > Sadness <--> Drama
> > Curiosity <--> Documentary
> > Satisfaction / Excitement <--> Anything really as long as it's good
> What about ennui? :-)

Feh.  Who cares about ennui? :)

> > By extension, all literature is equally legitimate.
> If by legitimate you mean that all literature is able to be called
> literature, then, yes, I agree.  Whether or not its good literature is
> another matter entirely. :-)
> >  The plot of a
> > porn film merely exists to connect sex scenes?  The plot of a horror /
> > suspense movie exists merely to connect scenes of viloence.  The plot
> > of a romance exists merely to connect scenes of couples kissing.  The
> > plot of a sci fi or fantasy movie exists merely to connect scenes
> > involving impressive special effects.  The plot of comedy exists
> > merely to connect jokes.  The plot of a musical exists merely to
> > connect scenes in which people are singing and dancing.  The plot of a
> > drama merely exists to connect scenes of emotional turmoil.
> I see your general point in theory, but I disagree with it in
> practice.  I think most other genres occupy a different space than
> porn and musicals.


The mistake may be trying to pigeonhole everything into genres.  A
tragedy which has comic relief does not suddenly become a comedy.   A
trajedy can be accurately described as a kind of story that makes us
feel sad, specifically one in which the hero meets his end as a result
of his own folly.  Really, the argument is incomplete unless you keep
in mind that stories have both major climaxes and minor climaxes: if a
story ends with the hero climactically dying as a result of his own
folly then it was a trajedy; if the story ends with the hero getting a
cream pie thrown in his face then one would assume it was a comedy.

It's a Wonderful LIfe is a good example: it starts as a drama, become
a Twilight-Zonesque fantasy and ends with everything alright and
everybody singing and laughing.  So what was it?

The present story is another good example: it contains pornographic
scenes and the story arguably exists to string them together but it
was ultimately a superhero story, in this case a mixture of fantasy
and comedy genres.


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