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Old 12-13-2006, 09:23 PM   #50
Simo Sakari Aaltonen
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Finland
Posts: 447

MoriartyL wrote:

Well, since you don't have the "stamina" to actually allow your views to be argued with, I won't bother to argue with them.
Moriarty: I come out and have the honesty to admit that my health does not allow me to engage in long sessions in front of the computer right now, and you ridicule me for that. You can imagine how little I care to hear the arguments of someone who would do that. You also proceed to cheerfully deduce from my admission that I have not the energy to continue the discussion that I want others not to either. Not true.

jacog wrote:
I feel like I am in a university dormitory with a bunch of drunk philosophy majors.
You fight like a cow.

NemelChelovek wrote:

What you said was that it was "nothing more than a western prejudice of very recent invention." Simply saying that it is a very recent prejudice would express your disdain for the concept effectively; if that (the expression of your disdain) was the primary goal, then there was no reason to even mention its western origin. However, you did mention it, which leads me to believe that you see those origins as negative. This might not have been your intent, but that's what I got out of it.
You are still reading things into my words that are not there. I have no disdain for the prejudice being discussed; I use the word prejudice not as an evaluative term but a descriptive one. I could have said preference just as well and meant the same thing: given a choice, westerners tend to prefer this conception of story and drama over others; in other words, they are prejudiced in favour of it, due to the almost exclusive saturation of the culture around them with just it and few of the other conceptions. I added "western" simply to be accurate: the same prejudice is not as prevalent in "non-western" cultures.

To reiterate: I have no disdain for 1) the concept, 2) western cultures, 3) the origins of either the cultures or the concept. Any disdain perceived is in the eye of the beholder.

Conflict is, by definition, part of a story; if there's no conflict, it's just a description, not a story. There is nothing wrong with a description, it just isn't the same thing as a story, which is what I've been trying to say. A story is a specific type of description, namely a sequence of related events that begins, has a middle, and ends. A description is simply "here's what happened at such-and-such a time," regardless of what happened. The type of game you are describing would be basically the visual equivalent of a description; things can happen, but they aren't necessarily related to each other and do not effect one another in a causal manner. The emphasis would be on the tangible rather than on the events, or so it seems to me. Nothing wrong with that, but without conflict it can't have a story, it can only have "things that happen."
You are describing a fairly extreme form of the narrow western conception of story. But where do you get this definition? gives these definitions for "story":

1. a narrative, either true or fictitious, in prose or verse, designed to interest, amuse, or instruct the hearer or reader; tale.
2. a fictitious tale, shorter and less elaborate than a novel.
3. such narratives or tales as a branch of literature: song and story.
4. the plot or succession of incidents of a novel, poem, drama, etc.: The characterizations were good, but the story was weak.
5. a narration of an incident or a series of events or an example of these that is or may be narrated, as an anecdote, joke, etc.
6. a narration of the events in the life of a person or the existence of a thing, or such events as a subject for narration: the story of medicine; the story of his life.
7. a report or account of a matter; statement or allegation: The story goes that he rejected the offer.
8. news story.
9. a lie or fabrication: What he said about himself turned out to be a story.
10. Obsolete. history.
–verb (used with object)
11. to ornament with pictured scenes, as from history or legend.
12. Obsolete. to tell the history or story of.
No mention of conflict anywhere. A story needs only be a succession of events. There is a manga where a man simply walks around looking at things around him. That is a story.

As for causality, that is another western prejudice: we tend to feel there must be causality between the sequence of events in a story. But this does not follow from any of the definitions of story given above; and even the nature of the causality preferred is strictly limited: the findings of quantum physics are kept strictly out of this mechanical definition.

There is nothing wrong with any of these conceptions. What I object to is claiming that only a certain narrow definition of story is accurate, and the rest refer to something other than a story. This is narrow-minded and arrogant, and certainly it is pretty harsh to claim superior knowledge over other cultures in this way; they have always thought of their stories as stories, whether they have featured conflict or causality or not.

Simo Sakari Aaltonen

Last edited by Simo Sakari Aaltonen; 12-13-2006 at 09:51 PM. Reason: Clarity.
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