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Old 12-15-2006, 12:24 AM   #56
Simo Sakari Aaltonen
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NemelChelovek wrote:
From every teacher and textbook of every writing course I've ever taken since the seventh grade, as well as the works of a number of authors. It's not a dictionary definition, it's a practical definition. A dictionary tells you what a word means; I'm talking about how a concept is constructed. A dictionary isn't going to tell you about aerodynamics or the concept of lift under the definition of "airplane," but those are essential aspects of a plane's construction.
You argued that a story is not a story unless it features conflict. I was defending the minimum working definition of story, which is also what dictionaries try to do. You must realise that what you have been taught about storytelling consists of a set of cultural constructs that have no limiting force outside that culture. If someone claims that a story has to have such and such in addition to fulfilling the minimum working definition, they are only promoting a prejudice. It may be a very useful approach for a writer who wants to be published, but it is still just one way of looking at it.

Conflict doesn't have to be between two people. It can be (and quite often is) between a person and himself. There could be all sorts of conflict in even something like a man walking around looking at his environment, especially in a visual media like a manga. You have to take into account what he's saying or thinking, the expressions on his face, the way he's interacting with his environment. Conflict doesn't have to slap you across the face and yell "I'M A CONFLICT!!!!" It's often very small. If it's not present, though, it's not a story. It's a description, which is often confused with a story.
Do you mean to say that if the creator of the manga did not think in terms of conflict at all, on any level, that conflict still exists in their work? Meaning it is fair to impose one's own interpretation on the worldview of another and claim it as more authoritative or correct than their own? Then we are back to my analogy of blood vessels and veins. If I write a story featuring nothing but the interaction of blood vessels and veins, would you also see conflict there? That is what I disagree with: interpreting everything in terms of conflict, reducing it to the level of warfare, an awfully limited approach. It has implications far beyond the way we look at stories. If we insist on looking for conflict as always our primary consideration, how could that not affect the very way we experience the world around us?

AprilLives: I really appreciate your words.

Regarding quantym physics, I was referring to the finding that causality breaks down on the quantum level. Cause and effect cease to work the way they do in ordinary physics. (Or logic: If A then B. A, thus B.) Jane Jensen quotes David Bohm's Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980) in Dante's Equation:

One finds, through a study of the implications of the quantum theory, that the analysis of a total system into a set of independently existent but interacting particles breaks down . . . the various particles [of physical matter] have to be taken literally as projections of a higher-dimensional reality which cannot be accounted for in terms of any force of interaction between them.
So causality is not the universal constant it was once thought to be. Or maybe there are many types of causality rather than only the logical cause and effect we expect to find in stories. According to this theory, B does not necessarily follow even if A is present. Yet we still accept only the single type of (logical, positivist, analytical, left hemisphere) causality.

Simo Sakari Aaltonen
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Last edited by Simo Sakari Aaltonen; 12-15-2006 at 03:39 AM. Reason: Punctuation.
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