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anti-Semitism evil SJWs homophobia kitties PUA return of kings rhymes with roosh

Who took down Roosh V’s sites this week? Danes, gays, Jews … or Big Toilet Paper?

toiletpapercat

 

So Roosh Valizadeh’s websites — Return of Kings, the Roosh V Forum, and his own blog — have been hit with DDOS attacks this week.

Roosh isn’t sure who’s to blame, but he has a few ideas. In a note on the DDOS attacks he posted to his site, he wrote:

I have so many enemies that it could have been organized by Canadian SJW’s, the American homosexual lobby, the Israeli Defense Force, or the nation of Denmark.

Denmark, huh? I always thought there was something sneaky about that country.

But I can’t imagine that many Danes are actually pissed at Roosh, really. After all, his Don’t Bang Denmark book explicitly suggested that his fans NOT visit the country. And generally speaking, the fewer Roosh fans in your country, the better.

I don’t think it’s Denmark, or any of the other suspects on Roosh’s little list.

There’s a much more obvious possibility: Toilet paper manufacturers.

 

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EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Alan, Penny:

He might mean the JIDF (Jewish Internet Defence Force). They’re a horrible little hacktivist group who have been known to attack pro-Palestinian and anti-settler websites using similar methods.

That said, while this is certainly their modus operandi, the target is somewhat puzzling. JIDF are, apart from being religious fanatics, also extremely reactionary (they opposed Obama becoming president, for example) and thus may well have approved of a lot of Valizadeh’s positions. You’d expect the two to be allies, or if not allies at least recognise that they have enemies in common.

On the other hand, right-wing extremists seem to have a knack for hating one another worse than they hate their supposed allies.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

*worse than they hate their supposed enemies.

Hipsterminator
5 years ago

@EJ (The Other One)

It might be because of this:

http://www.returnofkings.com/62716/the-damaging-effects-of-jewish-intellectualism-and-activism-on-western-culture

Of course, we’re talking right wing Jews not left wing Jews. Extremists, not intellectuals. Still it’s all one big conspiracy to take over the world so it probably was them.

Either that or it’s Obama, the Socialist, Communist, Muslim, gay Jew from Kenya with the fake birth cert.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

Apparently, Roosh got accosted by some Polish nationalists in Poznan recently, who were harassing him for the color of his skin. He posted this on his forum:

Take care if you look Middle Eastern. The nationalists are really on edge. I knew something was up after I came back recently because hooligan-looking guys at night are staring at me weird and making comments as they walk by. Tonight three big guys were ready to attack me, asking me if I’m from “Syria.” They cooled off when I told them I’m from the States and speaking a bit in my beautifully accented English, but it would be worth staying alert at night by not getting too drunk. Dressing up a bit should help.

The schaden is especially freudey on this one. That momentary dread he felt in the pit of his stomach…it’s the same dread he gets off on inflicting on his rape victims.

Wonder if his accosters were RoK followers?

Bina
Bina
5 years ago

This is the fourth time where I’ve woken up and had an entire country mad at me. It does make the day a little more interesting…

Oh Roosh, fuck off. It’s not an entire country mad at you, it’s just the women you keep pestering for what you know they ain’t gonna give you willingly. The country isn’t mad; the country is merely showing the good sense it takes to bar a scumbag and an admitted rapist. All countries should do the same, until you are relegated to a desert island with lots of venomous critters, at least one active volcano, and no contact with the outside world.

They cooled off when I told them I’m from the States and speaking a bit in my beautifully accented English

COOL STORY, BRO. But everybody knows that gringo accents are neither beautiful nor popular in any part of the world other than the US of A. I don’t think you’re actually in Poland anymore.

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

Marginally unrelated, but I really love Hark a Vagrant. It’s the work of a particularly Canadian comic artist, Kate Beaton. She’s really been on point lately.

http://www.harkavagrant.com/nonsense/cheshirecat.png

Scildfreja
Scildfreja
5 years ago

… I now realize how terrible that comic might seem for using the term “mad”, and I apologize. Five seconds too late. Really points out how unconscious ableist language can be. Mea culpa.

She really is an excellent artist, though.

Nequam
Nequam
5 years ago

I think Carroll quotes would be tolerated under a grandfather clause. If I had reason to quote certain parts of Huckleberry Finn, people would– I hope!– understand that I do not typically use racial epithets.

Sarah
Sarah
5 years ago

Wow, that older entry would almost make me pity Roosh, if he wasn’t, you know, a serial rapist. Apparently the only reason he’s not walking around with rotting teeth and a shit-encrusted taint is because it would make it marginally more difficult to rape inebriated young women. Not because he thinks he deserves a base level of personal hygiene.

bekabot
5 years ago

…or the nation of Denmark.

There’s something rotten in the state of Denmark, or hadn’t you heard?

Paradoxical Intention
5 years ago

Slightly off-topic: The audio book of John Scalzi is not a Very Popular Author And I Myself Am Quite Popular is finally up!

msexceptiontotherule
msexceptiontotherule
5 years ago

Librarians?

No! Not the Librarians!

Wait, I think I misread that…Lithuanians really did look like Librarians on the first read!

katz
katz
5 years ago

Jessica1963: Welcome!

ryohji
ryohji
5 years ago

Dear Roosh V

You’re not important, beside shuting you up is almost granting you a service.

Now fuck off.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Unrelated to anything: Did anybody else hear the rumour that Samus might be trans (or originally written as trans)? Because that’s just the coolest thing I’ve heard all year. Headcanon accepted.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@SFHC

I think that’s actually a hoax the last time I checked. The original Japanese text was a slur or something? IDK. But she’s not, unfortunately. I think Paradoxical would know more about the sitch than me.

Drezden
Drezden
5 years ago

@Pandapool

While I haven’t looked into it too far, there haven’t been any concrete refutations of Matsuoka’s statement by people who might actually know what they’re talking about. All the “Samus isn’t trans” articles I find are laden with phrases and misconceptions that lead me to believe the people that wrote them are

a)transphobic
b) completely uninformed on what it means to be trans

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago
NicolaLuna
NicolaLuna
5 years ago

I have a massive hangover today as I was out celebrating last night.

Who knew that reading about Roosh’s misfortunes was a hangover cure?

dulint
dulint
5 years ago

The IDF is his enemy? What?

Did he rape enough Israelis to be declared a national enemy or something?

Drezden
Drezden
5 years ago

@pandapool I agree that the word choice is problematic in itself, but despite what people are saying, it doesn’t automatically invalidate the idea that Samus is trans. This point is actually addressed in Brianna’s article.

That being said, I’m a misanthropic cynic, so I believe that Matsuoka was a bigot making a callous “joke.” However, I’m also all for seeing said joke backfire, so unless we see some credible past interview from the the designers stating that it is explicitly not the case, Samus is and always will be trans.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@Drezden

I’m not a fan of Metroid, so, I mean, I don’t really have anything to say about Samus. I don’t really have the right to say, ya know what I mean? I remember reading the article a few weeks back so I just thought I’d bring it up.

But I really fucking hate it when creators do this. They bring people’s hopes up for stupid, insensitive jokes or they completely misconstrue shit, ya know? We don’t even know if he was just being an asshole or if he was just being ignorant.

Can we just, for once, not dance around something like this shit?

Orion
5 years ago

Not that it would justify anything, but it would explain a lot.

No, it really wouldn’t.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 years ago

I’ve read the Metroid manga. Samus Aran was a young girl who was adopted by the chozo (a dying race of giant alien bird-people) after her colony was slaughtered by Ridley. Because humans can’t survive in environment suited to the chozo, they made her half-human half-chozo, and as a side effect, she grew extremely strong and tall. If we assume that it’s canonical, it’s definitely reasonable to call her a haafu (“half” or mixed-race person) but not a nyuhaafu (“newhalf” or pre-op transwoman). This was probably just a bad joke that got lost in the translation – nyuhaafu is meant to imply “new kind of haafu”, only they meant that in a different sense – an artificially altered mixed-species being.

katz
katz
5 years ago

Why is everyone so reliant on Word of God? Who says the creator’s opinion is the last word on whether Samus is trans or not?

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@katz

Because if it’s canon then no one can dispute it. A creator’s word is the definitive word on what they create because they created it.

Besides, with that thinking, who’s to say that Krem from Dragon Age or Birdo from Super Mario or Poison from Street Fighter are trans? Are we to accept people drawing Krem in frilly dresses or addressing Poison as he? NO! Because that goes against canon. Krem is a trans man, Poison is a trans woman and these are indisputable facts that no one can argue against because it’s canon.

And, lastly, the most famous lady in gaming is trans! That’s HUGE for the trans community! Samus would be a good, strong representation of trans women everywhere! Having a creator’s word say that, yes, she is trans means SO MUCH you have no idea!

When you’re bombarded with Norman Bates and “haha men in a dress” all the time, having someone like Samus being CONFIRMED TRANS is something to fucking embraced the shit out of.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

There is literally, like, three other confirmed trans women in gaming and you’re asking why it MATTERS.

WHY WOULD SAMUS MATTER.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Jackie:

At the risk of mansplaining, are you familiar with the theory of the Death of the Author?

Roland Barthes wrote:

We know that a text does not consist of a line of words, releasing a single “theological” meaning (the “message” of the Author-God), but is a space of many dimensions, in which are wedded and contested various kinds of writing, no one of which is original: the text is a tissue of citations, resulting from the thousand sources of culture. Like Bouvard and Pecuchet, those eternal copyists, both sublime and comical and whose profound absurdity precisely designates the truth of writing, the writer can only imitate a gesture forever anterior, never original; his only power is to combine the different kinds of writing, to oppose some by others, so as never to sustain himself by just one of them; if he wants to express himself, at least he should know that the internal “thing” he claims to “translate” is itself only a readymade dictionary whose words can be explained (defined) only by other words, and so on ad infinitum…

Once the Author is gone, the claim to “decipher” a text becomes quite useless. To give an Author to a text is to impose upon that text a stop clause, to furnish it with a final signification, to close the writing… In a multiple writing, indeed, everything is to be distinguished, but nothing deciphered; structure can be followed, “threaded” (like a stocking that has run) in all its recurrences and all its stages, but there is no underlying ground; the space of the writing is to be traversed, not penetrated: writing ceaselessly posits meaning but always in order to evaporate it: it proceeds to a systematic exemption of meaning. Thus literature (it would be better, henceforth, to say writing), by refusing to assign to the text (and to the world as text) a “secret:’ that is, an ultimate meaning, liberates an activity which we might call counter-theological, properly revolutionary, for to refuse to arrest meaning is finally to refuse God and his hypostases, reason, science, the law.

Or in Umberto Eco’s somewhat pithier summary:

A narrator should not supply interpretations of his work; otherwise he would not have written a novel, which is a machine for generating interpretations.

Applied to the Metroid case, this means that when it was created the programmers and designers may or may not have intended Samus Aran to be trans*. Indeed, different members of the production team, and different teams in the series, may have had differing thoughts on the matter. That isn’t important: as katz said, once Metroid is out there it belongs to everyone, and nobody’s view on it is more valid than anyone else’s.

The creators may say, as Palahniuk did about the gay interpretations of Fight Club, that they did not intend this meaning, but again intent is unimportant. The meaning of a piece is created by the act of reading it, or in this case playing it, not by the act of writing. If trans* people play Metroid and find that it speaks to their experiences, then Metroid has become a work of trans* significance whether the creator intended it or not.

Some wit on the web said, a year ago at the opening stages of #GG, that “if these people object so strenuously to Sarkeesian, they are going to shit themselves if and when they encounter Derrida and Foucault.” We may be coming to the point where we can apply, if not Derrida, at least Barthes to video games. That’s a very good thing: being able to tap into the mainstream of literary criticism will help creators to make vastly better games.

* * *

It’s worth noting that certain writers (Margaret Atwood, for example) oppose the concept of the Death of the Author and believe that their own interpretation of their work should be taken as the only correct one. It’s not a closed issue.

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 years ago

I wouldn’t mind if Samus were a transwoman at all, but I rather doubt it. As someone who is very familiar with Japanese language and culture (I read the Metroid Manga in the original language) I’m pretty sure that it’s just a bad joke. Also Poison is from Fatal Fury, not Street Fighter.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Aaaagh, blockquote mammothed.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@EJ

One, that whole death of an author is new to me.

I mean, it’s like the Cthulhu mythos. You have the stories that Lovecraft wrote, Lovecraft approved and then you have all the stories that are added afterwards. Even after an author is dead, canon can still be added as long as it doesn’t contradict previous canon by the original creator. You cannot go against established characteristics of characters unless the original creator signs off on it but you can certainly add to their adventures and such. A character can grow and progress but the baseline must remain the same.

This has nothing to do with interpretation. No work can’t be interpreted one way unless it’s extremely simplistic, if you catch my drift.

The Lord of the Rings, for example, can be interpreted as some sort of allegory for WWII even if Tolkien says otherwise. Fahrenheit 451 can be interpreted as anti-censorship even if that wasn’t the original intent of Bradbury. This is because society and people change. Morals change, cultural values change, everything changes, the work has everyone’s own experience and life filtered through it.

However, you CANNOT go against canon and say Frodo wasn’t a hobbit or that they didn’t burn books. Anything otherwise is considered headcanon and doesn’t go with official canon.

@Snowberry

Thank you. I thought Street Fighter seemed off. I admittedly don’t play much arcade fighters. Streets of Rage and Bloody Roar on console is about as close as I get.

Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
Scented Fucking Hard Chairs
5 years ago

Err… Sorry, all, I only brought it up because I thought it was nifty. I’ll go hide now. >_>;

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago
katz
katz
5 years ago

There is literally, like, three other confirmed trans women in gaming and you’re asking why it MATTERS.

No, I’m not. You’re not understanding the question. I didn’t ask whether Samus being trans matters; indeed my question is not about Samus at all.

It’s about your approach to textual criticism. Why do you take it as a given that what the creator says, outside of the actual text, is part of the canon? There are many problems with this approach, starting with the fact that Samus wasn’t created out of whole cloth by one person, so why does this one guy’s gross slur define what she is or not?

If you take a death-of-the-author approach — very sensible for works like this that have passed through a lot of hands — then Samus is defined entirely by the actual text (ie, the games) and whatever her creators say is irrelevant unless they explicitly write it into a subsequent game. In the meantime, any interpretation is valid if it can be persuasively argued from the text. (And, for that matter, the text itself can be open to debate too, especially if it’s contradictory.)

Going by the word of the person in charge leaves you at the mercy of whatever Fleming said about Bond, whatever Moffat says about the Doctor, whatever Lucas says about Star Wars, and however many other auteurs might say obnoxious things about the stuff they’re in charge of.

katz
katz
5 years ago

…Sorry, you guys totally sorted that all out while I was writing. Don’t mind me.

So I’ll just say that it would be awesome if Samus were trans, but the way to make that happen would be to have it be specifically established in a later game.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@katz

Just so you know, officially, Samus’ cis or trans status IS in the air. It has neither been confirmed or denied that she is cis or not. That means, even after all her creators are gone, she can be still canonize as trans and no one can say otherwise.

In fact, most characters are up in the air like this. Beowulf? Snow White? Jean Valjean? Hermione Granger? Neither confirmed nor denied that they are cis or not, they are just ASSUMED to be.

The older a story is, the more its canon can be turned. It’s just how works work. Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland or American McGee’s is no more non-canonical than Lewis Carroll’s. Wicked and Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful are no more non-canonical than Baum’s.

This is because times have changed and things can be interpreted differently. But the main body of work is still there. Alice and Dorothy still go on adventures – there are things that do not change.

This is where spin offs and alternative universes come in. These can also be apart of canon. Just look at Marvel or DC.

When you go so far from canon, it becomes a completely different body of work. What is Lord of the Rings when you go against canon? Dungeon and Dragons. Warhammer. The Elder Scrolls. The canon is just something someone draws upon as inspiration for another body of work when you go against it enough.

Of course, there are canon works that go off of establish canon, it’s pretty much a different work altogether. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Van Helsing, Nosferatu, Castlevania, Love at First Bite, Buffy – all have THE Dracula but they’re way off canon.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Jackie:

Yay Tolkien geeking.

If a text says that Frodo was a hobbit, then we cannot reinterpret him and say “he was actually an elf.” I think we both agree there. However, texts tend not to spell these things out explicitly, and good texts tend to let the reader see meaning in those empty spaces which are not confirmed or denied. To continue your example of Frodo, we know he loves to read but we don’t know what he reads. An interpretation could be made that he’s a huge fiction geek, to the point where he sometimes relates to people not as themselves but as the fictional tropes they embody (look at the way he behaves to Boromir and Aragorn, and you’ll find ammunition for this.) Similarly, one could make the interpretation that he’s a nonfiction person who soaks up information, and thus his journey is full of him reconciling his book knowledge of places and things with the reality of them (look at the Dead Marshes scene for support for this.)

Which of these is right? Both. Neither. The text allows us to take both readings of it. As Eco said, it is a machine for generating interpretations. It has lots of little bits that support our given pet theories. This is a good thing because it means that a reader from a wildly different milieu from Tolkien can see parts of the novel that are meaningful to them because they resonate with their own lives and means that it can be enjoyed anew for long after Tolkien’s death.

As Barthes said, no word is entirely new. A writer combines many different pieces of the human experience together and so cannot avoid putting in pieces that we will have a personal resonance with. For example, I had a huge crush on Eowyn when I was a young teen. This is partially because I identified with Aragorn and Faramir, but partially also because the aspects of Eowyn that came through the most for me – loneliness, intelligence, conflicting shyness and courage, discomfort in a closeted patriarchal household – were things that I had seen in my own life. Tolkien may not have intended that, but that’s unimportant. The author is dead.

What does this mean about Metroid?

It means that if a person plays through it, they will discover aspects of Samus’s life which ring true for them personally. From this, they’ll construct a picture of who she is and how she got to be who she is. They’ll fill it in with other details which matter to them. As Derrida said, art exists not in the words on paper, but in the reader’s response to them. To use your term, there is only headcanon.

If a trans* person plays Metroid and they see those little elements in Samus’s behaviour which they recognise from their own lived experiences, then Metroid is a trans* story.

You’re right that if the text explicitly says “Samus is not trans* and this is not a trans* story” then that would end the discussion. However, if it doesn’t say that, then the belief that Samus is trans* is every bit as valid as the belief that Samus is cisfemale.

That said, I agree with you that the creator making a statement that their personal headcanon includes a trans* Samus would be a very powerful message in favour of trans* rights and would go some way towards countering erasure; and that this is a good thing. It would also piss off a lot of #GGers, which I will never disagree with. However, if we make it Word of God and the only acceptable reading, then it will cut the text off from any readings which include a cisfemale Samus, and thereby alienate a portion of the readership from forming their own headcanon and thus properly enjoying it.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Thanks for teaching me the word “headcanon.” It’s a surprisingly useful term for literary analysis. I am now giggling over imagining how certain great literary critics would use it.

Barthes: There is only headcanon.

Derrida: Art is headcanon.

Eco: A novel is a machine for generating headcanon.

Borges: We cannot know what the author’s headcanon was.

Said: One’s headcanon is the history of their civilisation.

Atwood: Headcanon will result in unemployment among writers.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

Borges: We cannot know what the author’s headcanon was.

Atwood: Headcanon will result in unemployment among writers.

These are the only two that are used wrongly. An author’s headcanon is just canon. And judging by how much media Little Red Riding Hood, Dracula, Snow White, Cinderella, etc. have made, the last one is just untrue. 😛

Snowberry
Snowberry
5 years ago

Ah, no, sorry, apparently Poison isn’t from Fatal Fury. Or rather, she appeared in *one* Fatal Fury game. She’s also appeared as a crossover character in about half a dozen other fighting series, mostly by Capcom. Her actual origin is from Final Fight, which I had never heard of, and apparently has no sequels – but some of the characters from that game got absorbed into other Capcom fighters. Apparently she even appeared in one Street Fighter game (SF IV Ultra). I checked a bit later because I realized I wasn’t quite 100% certain, as I haven’t played that sort of game for several years.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@Snowberry

We were both right in the end and that’s all that matter.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

Borges would argue* that point, I think. He wrote several pieces exploring what would have happened had the same text been written by a different author in a different place (yes, fiction about fiction) and concluded that while the author’s intent and circumstances are immensely important, we cannot know for certain what they are and therefore must always bear this ambiguity in mind when we read them.

Let’s take an example. Imagine if one day, it was discovered that Philip Pullman was actually a hardline catholic all along and wrote His Dark Materials in the intent to support catholic dogma; that he saw Will and Lyra as the villains; and that he was surprised that anyone read it as meaning anything else. The correct response to this announcement would be “You fucked up then, because the novel you thought you wrote wasn’t actually the novel you wrote.” No matter how strenuously the author denies it, the text stands complete.

If you think this is silly, bear in mind that Anne McCaffrey is a homophobe; a fact which is not immediately apparent from the Pern books. You know, what with them being chock full of gay lust and all.

Another example, out of Borges: Suppose an author writes a novel which is widely praised as being feminist, and becomes hailed as a landmark in women’s literature. Secretly, the author is a huge misogynist who goes to their grave never telling anyone. Does this change the text? No, of course not. Then how can we be sure that it isn’t the case for any author?

This is important because the author may be dead or otherwise unavailable for comment, and so we cannot say for sure what their intentions were. A good example of this is the reading of historical texts as gay fiction. Was Homer gay? Was Shakespeare gay? We’ll never know. That ambiguity must be applied to living authors too.

Atwood argued against the Death of the Author; I haven’t read her essays on it so all I can do is quote her sarcastic little witticisms. I highly respect her as a literary critic, so I’m sure that whatever argument she makes is subtle, powerful and very Canadian.

*He argued more powerfully and persuasively than I can, because he was a great writer and I am not; and also more intimidatingly because half his works were semi-autobiographical works about Argentinians killing one another in knife fights over matters of honour, and so even after his death I’m scared of him.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

I’ll stop ranting about literature now. Apologies everyone.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@EJ

Canon is not interpretation. Canon is the Drink Me potion making you small, interpretation is the liquid being magic or LSD.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

@Pandapool:
I think what I’m grappling with is the idea that one can have canon exist outside the text itself (in the author’s blog, in speeches, notes, other books, whatever.) This is just kinda a weird idea to me.

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@EJ

Consider Tolkien’s work. The Silmarillion is still canon even if it’s not a part of the actual stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. It’s, in fact, a history book, supplementary material, separate. The notes and maps Tolkien added to his books are no less canon because they aren’t in the actual story.

The words in Klingon dictionaries are no less canon because they aren’t in the show.

Pottermore is no less canon because the information wasn’t in the books.

We live in an age where not everything has to be in the book or whatever day one because we can communicate better. No longer do we send letters on ponies! We have the wealth of information at our fingertips. You don’t even need to have books printed or movies put on films anymore.

We can literally just Tweet a writer to confirm whether or not a videogame character has sex with another.

What a time to be alive.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

That’s… yeah. That’s utterly different from how I had always learned critique. I’m now feeling like a very old man indeed. Culture done shifted.

How does this work with writers who change their views? For example, Ray Bradbury is gleefully inconsistent with his explanations of what he thought his books were about. Anne Rice became a born-again Christian and reinterpreted many of her older pieces. HP Lovecraft became less racist (though by no means non-racist) towards his death and felt deeply ashamed of some of his earlier work.

Perhaps the saddest case was a painter, not a writer: Louis Aragon, one of the founders of surrealism, later became a Stalinist and so lived out the latter half of his career claiming that his works all along meant whatever Stalin was currently saying, even if he said something different the previous week, even if it wasn’t even slightly credible.

These are obviously extreme cases, but the notion that even in more moderate circumstances a creator should have the ability to add meaning to an existing work is a strange one to me.

Do we who enjoy a work therefore have to keep up with whatever the writer says about it in case it shifts?

Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
Pandapool -- The Species that Endangers YOU (aka Banana Jackie Cake, for those who still want to call me "Banana", "Jackie" or whatever)
5 years ago

@EJ

Like I’ve been saying, interpretation is different from canon.

The fact that Frodo is a hobbit is canon; the eagles coming to save him and Sam from representing the USA in some sort of allegory for WWII (or just eagles saving them) is interpretation.

The fact that Alice eats a variety of different things to change her body from big to small and such is canon; the things she’s taking are psychoactive drugs (or just dream logic) is interpretation.

The fact that books were burned so people can’t read them is canon; the moral being that censorship is bad and every form of media is valid (or just books are awesome and you should read them) is interpretation.

The audience can look at the same thing and take away different things from it. The author can do the same.

This is because we all have different experiences that form us. We all look at things from our own perspective and such perspectives can change over your lifetime. Over the centuries after the book is written, you’re going to get different interpretations of your work.

Unless Anne Rice says “the earlier books aren’t canon”, they’re still canon and any meaning anyone gets from them is a valid interpretation.

Unless H.P. Lovecraft disavowed his earlier stories, they are still canon, no matter how embarrassing they are and whatever moral they get from them is a valid interpretation.

Unless Luis Aragon burned those paintings, those are still part of his canon and no matter what HE says they say, whatever someone gets out of them is a valid interpretation.

This is why we have essays and books over the interpretation of things. Hell, this is why we have a billion sects of every religion in the world because they interpret things differently. Bible canon says Jesus turned water into wine, but is the wine an allegory? A metaphor? Are we supposed to drink this wine everyday with crackers? Do we not? Was the wine JUST AN ILLUSION? Or did he really magic up wine? Is Jesus a wizard? Better make about a dozen sects on whether or not Jesus was secretly Gandalf this entire time!

I hope I’m getting my point across better this time.

EJ (The Other One)
EJ (The Other One)
5 years ago

I’m still confused, to be honest. Thank you for being very patient with me. May I think this through more thoroughly and come back to you, please?

Also: are there any scholarly sources or essays I should read in order to familiarise myself with this doctrine of literary critique? I’m very happy to learn from you but I don’t want to be the literary equivalent of That Guy Who Demands You Defend Feminism.

Drezden
Drezden
5 years ago

@EJ

I don’t know that this will make things any clearer, but consider the following question:

Is there any appreciable difference between an author saying “X is gay/trans/ what-have-you” in the body of a work and saying the same in a supplementary document?