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Old 2012-06-15, 18:18   Link #29181
Jan-Poo
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Originally Posted by Aethos View Post
So George killed everyone because he wanted all the candy to himself, and he wanted to marry Shannon because he believed she was made of candy? Thus even more reason to want all the candy to himself?
Who can kill the Ushiromiya?
The candyman can!
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Old 2012-06-15, 18:21   Link #29182
Aethos
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Who can kill the Ushiromiya?
The candyman can!
and thus George's true identity is revealed



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Does that make the Meta-World the Flashsideways? XD

Well obviously the golden land is the island. XD
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Old 2012-06-15, 20:12   Link #29183
Renall
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
And I'd disagree with you about him painting "searching and finding the truth" as good. He constructed a cast of central characters who supported that believe and actually had his main characters stand in for that goal...but does that immediately make this the message he wanted to convey? Even though he painted the characters who hid the truth as the villains for a certain part of the story, does that actually limit the message to "the truth is good"?
Of course truth is good. Truth is one of the highest Goods. For the portion of Umineko where he hadn't changed his mind on that matter, he was quite right.
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What would you say for example about Richard Mathesons novel I am Legend?
Spoiler for I am Legend ending:
He's either right or wrong in some variation or degree. Changing your perspective on a situation doesn't change the morality of a situation, it just allows you to correctly assess what the moral imperative of the situation actually is. It's possible to do the wrong thing for benevolent reasons if one lacks sufficient information. Although this shouldn't be an excuse for inaction.
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Or what would you for example say about Hercule Poirots final solution in the Orient Express?
Spoiler for Murder on the Orient Express solution:
Spoiler:
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There is clearly a distinction made between truth in the sense of reality and truth in the sense of what really occurred. I'm partly referencing Jaques Lacan here (though using him differently) so bear with me. Reality and Real is not necessarily the same. Reality is that which we agree on in a society by observing the things that are there and especially those that aren't and by that agreeing on our current state of existence, it is therefore flexible. The Real does not change, it merely exists and is impossible to grasp in it's entirety by any human being.
We can construct such a reality for Umineko in many different ways and especially because certain elements are inaccessible we can make it become Reality, but that does not necessarily make it Real. A philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, actually applied this to detective fiction and said that the Real of a murder tears a hole into the Reality of a society, that is why the detective has to put an explanation into words in order to restore stability. Taking this further though it shows that, it does not matter though if the explanation encompasses the whole part of the Real which is the murder, it only has to be convincing enough to restore order or in other words, it must be indisprovable.
How is any of this actually relevant though, other than an attempt to make yourself look intelligent? I have no doubt that you're well-read, but Umineko is not a work worthy of the degree of philosophical importance you seem to be trying to layer onto it. You could apply your arguments much more readily to more meaningful works... or to less meaningful ones, honestly. You can make up shit about anything if you try hard enough. It doesn't mean every work has something that profound to say.
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
But, the thing is that the "answer" to any mystery novel is whatever the author made up. In that sense whether the reader gets it right or wrong isn't so much a measure of their deductive capabilities using the facts from the story, but their ability to understand how the author's mind works. And it's this particular concept that RK07 is pushing with Umineko's metafictional format. Understanding Beatrice (the "gamemaster") herself is the true cornerstone to understanding the answers to her puzzles (see Battler's "chessboard thinking" and his final epiphany about Beatrice at the end of EP5; also see Williard's approach to solving Beatrice's mysteries and how he presents his conclusions).
I would dispute this. We have no particular way of comprehending how Beatrice thinks as a means of actually accomplishing anything, just that she has certain definitions or factual gimmicks which she uses to justify her methodology, which is basically "yadda yadda fake death EVERYBODY LIED." And you can reach this conclusion factually without actually thinking very hard about what Beatrice actually wants. It wasn't ever actually necessary to understand her to understand her works on a technical, mystery level.

To understand her romantic aim is another matter entirely. It's also impossible for us to properly comprehend because we were not her intended audience and lack the personal knowledge that intended audience possesses.
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
Basically, Umineko isn't a Mystery, and never really was; it's metafiction about Mystery- specifically how the Mystery author interacts with the Mystery reader.
Except it isn't, because it never actually meditates on that theme for any significant amount of time. Or... well, much at all really. Ryukishi made a handful of trite observations about a genre, most of which were grossly inaccurate or not new in any way, and never bothered to ask what any of them mean. That aside, your observation doesn't really jive with the fact (well, "fact?") that Umineko isn't a mystery anyway. It doesn't honestly think very hard about the intersection of mystery and fantasy, or about mystery or fantasy individually, in any fashion that really merits any thought or discussion. The only meaning along those lines that you might find is meaning you could probably find anywhere.

The only "metafiction about ... how the Mystery author interacts with the Mystery reader" is the meta-metafiction surrounding Ryukishi toying with his own audience. At that point why even bother writing an actual work? Just pretend you wrote a book that nobody can read and drop hints about what its contents are in your public appearances. You'll fuel exactly as much useful speculation for half the work and be taken more seriously as an artist to boot.
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Well obviously the golden land is the island. XD
"The Golden Land" is the name of the Dharma Initiative research facility located underneath Rokkenjima. If Kinzo doesn't reset the clock twice a day, who knows what will happen!?
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Old 2012-06-15, 21:54   Link #29184
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
I would dispute this. We have no particular way of comprehending how Beatrice thinks as a means of actually accomplishing anything, just that she has certain definitions or factual gimmicks which she uses to justify her methodology, which is basically "yadda yadda fake death EVERYBODY LIED." And you can reach this conclusion factually without actually thinking very hard about what Beatrice actually wants. It wasn't ever actually necessary to understand her to understand her works on a technical, mystery level.
By "methodology" you seem to mean the howdunnit, which is only part of the mystery. But even just that part requires us growing used to her "gimmicks"- which is still part of the "understanding" process I was talking about (I never said it was necessarily difficult to do in the first place). The whodunnit and, even more so, the whydunnit require somewhat more understanding.

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Except it isn't, because it never actually meditates on that theme for any significant amount of time. Or... well, much at all really. Ryukishi made a handful of trite observations about a genre, most of which were grossly inaccurate or not new in any way, and never bothered to ask what any of them mean. That aside, your observation doesn't really jive with the fact (well, "fact?") that Umineko isn't a mystery anyway. It doesn't honestly think very hard about the intersection of mystery and fantasy, or about mystery or fantasy individually, in any fashion that really merits any thought or discussion. The only meaning along those lines that you might find is meaning you could probably find anywhere.
I completely disagree with every single assertion here.

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The only "metafiction about ... how the Mystery author interacts with the Mystery reader" is the meta-metafiction surrounding Ryukishi toying with his own audience.
Well, I would at least agree that RK07 is pretty pretentious in his writing and how he treats his audience. But so what? I find his work interesting, and in the end that's all that matters.
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Old 2012-06-15, 22:03   Link #29185
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
But, the thing is that the "answer" to any mystery novel is whatever the author made up. In that sense whether the reader gets it right or wrong isn't so much a measure of their deductive capabilities using the facts from the story, but their ability to understand how the author's mind works. And it's this particular concept that RK07 is pushing with Umineko's metafictional format. Understanding Beatrice (the "gamemaster") herself is the true cornerstone to understanding the answers to her puzzles (see Battler's "chessboard thinking" and his final epiphany about Beatrice at the end of EP5; also see Williard's approach to solving Beatrice's mysteries and how he presents his conclusions).
I agree with you that in any mystery what you really try to understand is what the author is going for. However that's still deduction you use, and your main source of informations is still the story as it is narrated. And to be honest in an ideal situation a reader shouldn't have any other element at his disposal apart from the book he's reading. And even if he had other info (for example previous works) the mystery should be solvable without that.

So in the end the two situations you're talking about should be one and the same. And in fact Beatrice could have more easily made Battler understand her heart by talking to him directly, instead she wanted him to understand just using the facts from her mystery and his memories.


However, ironically, I'm not sure that this is actually what Ryuukishi believes. Because from one side we have Higurashi's last commentary were he stated that you beat him if you found a better solution than what he wrote.
and then we have his essay on the "later queen problem" that invalidates the whole assumption of "understanding the writer's heart", because you can't possibly understand what the writer himself didn't decide yet.
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Old 2012-06-16, 08:07   Link #29186
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
By "methodology" you seem to mean the howdunnit, which is only part of the mystery. But even just that part requires us growing used to her "gimmicks"- which is still part of the "understanding" process I was talking about (I never said it was necessarily difficult to do in the first place). The whodunnit and, even more so, the whydunnit require somewhat more understanding.
Except that in the main mystery there's absolutely nothing that would help us to deduce what happened on Rokkenjima Prime. The locked rooms and impossible murders don't tell us who was the most likely to set a bomb in the mansion if they had indeed set a bomb. Or even what the bomb was considering we don't even know if it was something that was already there. All we know is that an explosion happened and that's it.

That doesn't explain anything! That doesn't quench my curiosity and wanting to know what happened, and it sure as heck doesn't feel like a real solution when you can't figure out the specifics and the author won't tell you because he either doesn't know or he's just being a complete prick.
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Old 2012-06-16, 11:01   Link #29187
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
So in the end the two situations you're talking about should be one and the same. And in fact Beatrice could have more easily made Battler understand her heart by talking to him directly, instead she wanted him to understand just using the facts from her mystery and his memories.
Well Battler basically said the same thing at the end of EP5 when he figured it out. But then again, the experience of unraveling Beatrice's game probably gave Battler a stronger emotional attachment to her than if she had simply told him she loved him.

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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
However, ironically, I'm not sure that this is actually what Ryuukishi believes. Because from one side we have Higurashi's last commentary were he stated that you beat him if you found a better solution than what he wrote.
Indeed. He has a habit of contradicting himself and delivering mixed messages. For example, Higurashi's second-to-last commentary and the ending of Umineko are completely at odds with each other.

For others' reference, the commentary I'm talking about:
Spoiler:
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Except that in the main mystery there's absolutely nothing that would help us to deduce what happened on Rokkenjima Prime.
Well, I would say that RK07 was trying to get us to look beyond pure deduction to find answers (that's why there are so many hints in the fantasy scenes, for example). I think RK07 intended Rokkenjima Prime not as the "main mystery" but a background one.

Of course it's not like I don't relate. Rokkenjima Prime is quite the interesting riddle and we were left hanging. But RK07 did that on purpose, and I think he intended to do it from the beginning.
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Old 2012-06-16, 12:48   Link #29188
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Yeah, kinda like the characters in his stories, RK07 seems to bipolar or suffering trough some serious cognitive dissonance. In one part he says that the story has to end and there needs to be answers but in the other he states that he dislikes endings entirely and that they should be left open so that people never stop thinking about them. Its a mystery to all.
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Old 2012-06-16, 13:58   Link #29189
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To be completely honest... in that Higurashi commentary he also said that it was sad for him to end a story because then the fun would end, but he added that part where he explained that it was necessary.

So it wasn't a complete change of mind, I guess he simply decided that in the end it wasn't necessary.
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Old 2012-06-17, 07:17   Link #29190
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Originally Posted by Renall View Post
Of course truth is good. Truth is one of the highest Goods. For the portion of Umineko where he hadn't changed his mind on that matter, he was quite right.
But that is not what I asked. I know your stance on the concept of truth well enough by now and I understand that you hold it as the highest value in the world, hence your profession.
What I asked is, whether Umineko is actually limited to that message at any certain point. Where was it ever made clear and unmistakable that the message is and will be "truth is good"? The protagonist and his quest being drawn in a certain mindset does not initially imply that the plot follows under the same ideology.

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How is any of this actually relevant though, other than an attempt to make yourself look intelligent? I have no doubt that you're well-read, but Umineko is not a work worthy of the degree of philosophical importance you seem to be trying to layer onto it.
I find this claim extremely bullheaded. A work worthy of philosophical importance? I wouldn't say it is important, I would merely say that you can see slices of these things in Umineko. Does a text have to have a profound ideology infused by it's author? You're apparently sure that a text is what the author intended and that is it...but that is practically impossible in an age where everything is fluid, even the creation of text.
I would never say that Ryűkishi intentionally wrote Umineko to be about these themes, but the discourse about these themes in (mystery) fiction exists outside of the intent of a single author. Simply by writing his story the way he did he contributed to this.

Who are you to decide what element of culture is "worthy of discussion" and which are not? This is something that we, talking about a story in terms of philosophical constructs like truth or love, should and must be able to overcome.

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The only "metafiction about ... how the Mystery author interacts with the Mystery reader" is the meta-metafiction surrounding Ryukishi toying with his own audience.
Now you're just bitter...and that makes it hard to argue with you.
Metafiction is more than making remarks about your story within a story, it is also implied in the way of handling your genre approach in general. I think your disagreement with Ryűkishi's way of depicting truth in his story has made you unwilling to actually consider anything that Umineko implies meaningful.
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Old 2012-06-17, 13:00   Link #29191
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Excuse me Haguruma, I'm not sure I followed all of your reasoning and maybe I missed your point, but from what you write it seems to me that your line of defense is basically:

"this is the intended and precise will of the author and therefore you have no right to say he's done something wrong just because you disagree with his ways."


Well whether this is actually what you're stating or not, I have to say that I completely disagree with that statement. I have the right to claim an author did something wrong if I believe it's wrong. This is called criticism and if you think criticism must be objective, well that's hardly the case when it comes to art. Famous critics never limited themselves to "objective standpoints", and normally they have a precise idea of what is art, how it should be done correctly and how it shouldn't be done.

Now I'll make an extreme example. We've been talking about the ideology of "truth" or the moral view of Ryuukishi. Well let's say an author writes a book that is openly racist. Is it okay because that's the author's intended view? shouldn't I not judge it because I don't agree with its theme? I think I'd have the right to do so and it would pretty normal if one said he couldn't appreciate the work because of themes.
The same could be said for the storytelling or art. I've heard many people claiming for example that they couldn't enjoy an anime because they couldn't stand the character design. Oh actually I've heard of people that couldn't play Umineko because they didn't like the drawing. I don't think they are inherently "wrong" because of that.
People have the right to judge negatively or positively a work on the basis of their personal tastes, there's no need to adhere to some kind of objectivity which I even doubt it could be defined.
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Old 2012-06-18, 06:28   Link #29192
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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
Excuse me Haguruma, I'm not sure I followed all of your reasoning and maybe I missed your point, but from what you write it seems to me that your line of defense is basically:

"this is the intended and precise will of the author and therefore you have no right to say he's done something wrong just because you disagree with his ways."
Well no, that is not the point I was trying to make at all
What I was trying to say is that many people seem unable to seperate their personal taste and objective observations in this discussion. Both are equally valid but applicable at different points in a discussion.
Well, I'd say you got partly what I wanted to imply, which is that I think many people are trying to prove that Ryűkishi wrote a mystery the wrong way out of the wrong reasons, mainly because they didn't like his approach because of personal taste. There is nothing like a "precise will of an author", maybe an intended one, but because we are not one with the author we are bound to make up our own mind about any given text. That is the problem with contemporary criticism, it has to be valid and very well structured in order to be useful. A critic has to be very careful in making it clear where objective analysis ends and where personal taste ends. If a story fails to give a proper characterization for a bunch of characters for no given reason (like Umineko did) that can be objectively criticized, but if simply didn't like how a part of the plot turned out because of personal taste it has to be made clear because it is something that people will and are allowed to disagree on.

Quote:
Now I'll make an extreme example. We've been talking about the ideology of "truth" or the moral view of Ryuukishi. Well let's say an author writes a book that is openly racist. Is it okay because that's the author's intended view? shouldn't I not judge it because I don't agree with its theme? I think I'd have the right to do so and it would pretty normal if one said he couldn't appreciate the work because of themes.
I'd say the two are hardly comparable, but let's try to compare them. This is my view so you're allowed to disagree.
Truth is a moral concept that is basically only accessible through language and is merely a fraction of an observation about reality reconstructed by language.
Racism is an ideology that tries to construct a social reality based on such a (though outdated) constructed truth. By todays standards the "truth" of being able to differentiate the value of people by their ethnicity has been proven false therefore racism is, by todays standards, objectively wrong.

For example you can construct the truth that "Tom was in his room from 9 to 5" because you were sitting in front of it the whole time. But it could be (though unlikely) that he went out through another way, so it is simply true for you, not necessarily reality.
The racist claim that "I am better than Tom, because I am white and he is black" relies on much more than that, because it is first linked to the necessity of constructing the socially accepted "truth" that white people are inherently better than black people. By todays standards that cannot be proven, therefore the idea falls flat from the beginning.

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The same could be said for the storytelling or art.
[...]
People have the right to judge negatively or positively a work on the basis of their personal tastes, there's no need to adhere to some kind of objectivity which I even doubt it could be defined.
But it can be, at least for the moment. There are definitive traits of what makes up storytelling as well as art, but again you have to differentiate between objective traits and personal taste.
Like I mentioned above you could say that he did not develop character X or did not finish plot-thread Y, which is an objective flaw. You can even reason why that is, be it because he ran out of time or forgot about it, it is a measurable flaw.
Then there comes the personal taste if this is actually crucial for the overall impact of the story and for that to be valid you have to again use proper criteria.

I'm not trying to claim that people are wrong in disliking Umineko or certain parts of it, they are free to do that just like I am free to dislike things they might think is the greatest piece of art ever. But people are mixing personal taste with an objective discussion about certain elements of Umineko, which makes it hard to actually discuss.
I for example am not really fond of Spielberg's JAWS, for me the mix of different genres didn't work out and the arc of suspense was too drawn out to pull me in. That doesn't keep me from discussing the way it portrays the social anxiety of the US in the 1970's on a broader scale than just "a shark attack".
And I would say that it is a well made movie, it just doesn't work for me because it's weakpoints weigh stronger for me than it's merrits.
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Old 2012-06-18, 12:02   Link #29193
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Well no, that is not the point I was trying to make at all
What I was trying to say is that many people seem unable to seperate their personal taste and objective observations in this discussion. Both are equally valid but applicable at different points in a discussion.
Well, I'd say you got partly what I wanted to imply, which is that I think many people are trying to prove that Ryűkishi wrote a mystery the wrong way out of the wrong reasons, mainly because they didn't like his approach because of personal taste. There is nothing like a "precise will of an author", maybe an intended one, but because we are not one with the author we are bound to make up our own mind about any given text. That is the problem with contemporary criticism, it has to be valid and very well structured in order to be useful. A critic has to be very careful in making it clear where objective analysis ends and where personal taste ends. If a story fails to give a proper characterization for a bunch of characters for no given reason (like Umineko did) that can be objectively criticized, but if simply didn't like how a part of the plot turned out because of personal taste it has to be made clear because it is something that people will and are allowed to disagree on.
I so fully agree with this. I find it quite depressing that others don't seem to realize it.
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Old 2012-06-18, 13:54   Link #29194
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So,
Knox's 8th. It is forbidden for the detective to withhold clues, or solve the case with clues that were otherwise not presented.

The police found no evidence to convict Eva.

So, let's all cross Eva off our Prime suspect list
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Old 2012-06-18, 14:49   Link #29195
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I would never say that Ryűkishi intentionally wrote Umineko to be about these themes, but the discourse about these themes in (mystery) fiction exists outside of the intent of a single author. Simply by writing his story the way he did he contributed to this.
It's more that, by talking about it, we contributed to it. Let's not mince words, a lot of the interesting work was done by the fans thinking about the work than was done by the work itself (and I have no doubt the Japanese fanbase is similar, with their own ideas both kooky and profound).

Reading a filthy poem scrawled into the divider of a restroom stall could lead you to a profound way of thinking that gives you deep insights into the way the world works. That doesn't mean the poem itself was anything more than a cheap joke by someone who was bored and/or constipated. Now, I'm not saying Umineko is no better than a restroom ditty, but I am saying you can draw from a subpar work some decent thoughts if you're inclined to do so. However, those thoughts are your effort and your work, not necessarily the work of the author. A very small contribution from an author can lead to very large thoughts. The same is true of any art, even the purely visual. A truly masterful artist can shape the nature of the thought that arises from viewing his work, but even an entirely incompetent one can provide some accidental nugget of inspiration. That's great, but he's still incompetent.

Ryukishi gave us an interesting, but flawed conversation piece. It is not itself a meditation on many of the themes people here try to stick to it; those themes are indeed things we're talking about, but many of them are either not in the work or just not in the work as anything more than an introduced and unexplored concept. The act of exploration is the audience's.

Credit where credit is due, and all that.
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I think your disagreement with Ryűkishi's way of depicting truth in his story has made you unwilling to actually consider anything that Umineko implies meaningful.
Well, you're wrong. I think he had some neat ideas by the end of Alliance. I was waiting for him to do something with them.

I'm still waiting.
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well, I'd say you got partly what I wanted to imply, which is that I think many people are trying to prove that Ryűkishi wrote a mystery the wrong way out of the wrong reasons, mainly because they didn't like his approach because of personal taste. There is nothing like a "precise will of an author", maybe an intended one, but because we are not one with the author we are bound to make up our own mind about any given text. That is the problem with contemporary criticism, it has to be valid and very well structured in order to be useful. A critic has to be very careful in making it clear where objective analysis ends and where personal taste ends. If a story fails to give a proper characterization for a bunch of characters for no given reason (like Umineko did) that can be objectively criticized, but if simply didn't like how a part of the plot turned out because of personal taste it has to be made clear because it is something that people will and are allowed to disagree on.
Yet you completely ignore the notion that a person could disagree with the conclusion of an author because it's hypocritical, at odds with the themes of the work, or reaches an incoherent and morally unjustifiable conclusion without clearly explaining the purpose behind such an ending. Which is what people are saying about Umineko, because Umineko does all of those.

To use your racism example, imagine a book set in a racist culture, which the author never contradicts and even thematically supports with examples that show the superiority of one race over all others. The book ends on the line "After all, we're all just brothers equal in the eyes of the Lord" in a context which is clearly not meant to be intentionally ironic, but an actual call to equality. While we would say that, morally, the author has said something good, we would nevertheless criticize the construction of his work for failing to actually illustrate any thematic change from the blatant racism of the work itself and the supposed egalitarian message at the end. It doesn't mean the author was wrong at the end (he was, we would think, right), but it does mean his work failed to make actual sense, and we don't give him a pass for poor construction just because we like the message he eventually settled on.
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Old 2012-06-18, 14:51   Link #29196
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Originally Posted by RandomAvatarFan View Post
So,
Knox's 8th. It is forbidden for the detective to withhold clues, or solve the case with clues that were otherwise not presented.

The police found no evidence to convict Eva.

So, let's all cross Eva off our Prime suspect list


Unfortunately it's never stated that the world of Prime follows Knox, so I don't think thats a conclusion we can draw.
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Old 2012-06-18, 15:04   Link #29197
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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
Well no, that is not the point I was trying to make at all
What I was trying to say is that many people seem unable to seperate their personal taste and objective observations in this discussion. Both are equally valid but applicable at different points in a discussion.
Well, I'd say you got partly what I wanted to imply, which is that I think many people are trying to prove that Ryűkishi wrote a mystery the wrong way out of the wrong reasons, mainly because they didn't like his approach because of personal taste. There is nothing like a "precise will of an author", maybe an intended one, but because we are not one with the author we are bound to make up our own mind about any given text. That is the problem with contemporary criticism, it has to be valid and very well structured in order to be useful. A critic has to be very careful in making it clear where objective analysis ends and where personal taste ends. If a story fails to give a proper characterization for a bunch of characters for no given reason (like Umineko did) that can be objectively criticized, but if simply didn't like how a part of the plot turned out because of personal taste it has to be made clear because it is something that people will and are allowed to disagree on.
Well Haguruma, this begs an obvious question. How exactly you determined that the critics advanced by people like me and Renall are the result of personal tastes rather than being objective flaws?
If I say, for example, that "if there's no answer, you can't get any joy out of reading the book of riddles", on what basis you can claim that is my personal taste rather than an objective fact?

But I can go further and transpose this into a very broad level of narrative criticism.

How can you prove that the "checkov's gun" is an objective rule?
How can you prove that a "deus ex machina" is inherently wrong?
How can you prove that lack of character development is an objective flaw?

Note that these are and were frequently used by critics as a way to justify their opinions. And note that apart from the "deus ex machina" these aren't even universally agreed upon.


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Originally Posted by haguruma View Post
I'd say the two are hardly comparable, but let's try to compare them. This is my view so you're allowed to disagree.
Truth is a moral concept that is basically only accessible through language and is merely a fraction of an observation about reality reconstructed by language.
Racism is an ideology that tries to construct a social reality based on such a (though outdated) constructed truth. By todays standards the "truth" of being able to differentiate the value of people by their ethnicity has been proven false therefore racism is, by todays standards, objectively wrong.

For example you can construct the truth that "Tom was in his room from 9 to 5" because you were sitting in front of it the whole time. But it could be (though unlikely) that he went out through another way, so it is simply true for you, not necessarily reality.
The racist claim that "I am better than Tom, because I am white and he is black" relies on much more than that, because it is first linked to the necessity of constructing the socially accepted "truth" that white people are inherently better than black people. By todays standards that cannot be proven, therefore the idea falls flat from the beginning.
I say your analysis fails by the time you realize that the very reason you can detrmine that racist claims can be proved wrong is because you have access to the truth in the first place. And that makes truth an even higher value.

Racism has always been accompanied by propaganda meant to diffuse false informations on races, and if you were subjected to that propaganda and you didn't have any other source you couldn't possibly say now that racism is wrong.

At the very instant you claim that the manipulation of truth is justifiable, you create the ground for such abominations to exist. You can claim that there are different truths and some can be justifiably hidden and some cannot, but that means you are assuming that there is someone who has the right to decide what is wrong and what is right for other people. Which is by itself morally wrong.


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But it can be, at least for the moment. There are definitive traits of what makes up storytelling as well as art, but again you have to differentiate between objective traits and personal taste.
I reject this notion. Human proportions done wrong can be considered a logical and valid flaw when judging a painting, and for a long time it was an uncontested rule. Then came Picasso.

There is always an inevitable degree of personal taste in judging art. Your objectivity ends where you stop stating a fact and you attribute to it a value.
"lack of realistic human proportions" for instance is an objective fact. Claiming that it's wrong or right it is not.
"Lack of character development" is an objective fact, claiming that it's wrong or right it is not.

However if a critic was limited to state the facts without attaching any value to them, critique alltogether would cease to exist.
Your claim that people are mixing personal tastes with objective facts, therefore, to me makes absolutely no sense, because it is inevitable for any critique to be based at least partially on personal tastes.

The only distinction you can make is how much "personal tastes" influenced a critic and then you can draw a line, but the place where that line should be drawn is also subjective.
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Old 2012-06-18, 15:23   Link #29198
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Old 2012-06-18, 15:51   Link #29199
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Old 2012-06-18, 16:38   Link #29200
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Ryukishi gave us an interesting, but flawed conversation piece. It is not itself a meditation on many of the themes people here try to stick to it; those themes are indeed things we're talking about, but many of them are either not in the work or just not in the work as anything more than an introduced and unexplored concept. The act of exploration is the audience's.
But isn't the act of raising these questions an act instigated by the text in the first place. That's why I'm referring to Umineko with the term text and not work. A work is what the author creates, what we the audience perceive is the text from which we draw our own conclusions based on our own knowledge...we basically never have access to the work of the author.

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I'm still waiting.Yet you completely ignore the notion that a person could disagree with the conclusion of an author because it's hypocritical, at odds with the themes of the work, or reaches an incoherent and morally unjustifiable conclusion without clearly explaining the purpose behind such an ending. Which is what people are saying about Umineko, because Umineko does all of those.
Does it? I'm still interested where exactly that is, because all you claimed so far is that it does not have a coherent ideology of truth and is therefore hypocritical. You have so far given me no reason to actually even consider that because I don't see a point where the plot ever actually broke away from the theme it set at the beginning.
You seem to be convinced that the pursuit of truth was painted a the ultimate good at one point, which I say it was not because we were never given any higher evaluation on Battler's standpoint beside him featuring as a protagonist we are lead (or maybe mislead) to cheer on. His deconstruction of the value of truth was fairly elaborate and I'd say he merely shed light on different views of it. The question whether you agree with that concept or not is a whole other question and is highly dependent on your individual moral viewpoint (one which we obviously don't share completely).

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Originally Posted by Jan-Poo View Post
If I say, for example, that "if there's no answer, you can't get any joy out of reading the book of riddles", on what basis you can claim that is my personal taste rather than an objective fact?
Because you would claim that there is an objectively measurable way to reach the status of joy. Emotional reactions are highly subjective and (at least so far) not reproducable for anybody in the same way.
The fact alone that somebody could disprove your claim simply by enjoying a book of riddles without the answers given makes it subjective.

Quote:
How can you prove that the "checkov's gun" is an objective rule?
How can you prove that a "deus ex machina" is inherently wrong?
How can you prove that lack of character development is an objective flaw?
The first two are terms that are applied to certain mechanics in storytelling. You can make objective OBSERVATIONS about them and then draw your conclusion from there. The deus ex machina in itself is not a flawed concept in itself, it is the absence of foreshadowing towards such a plotelement that is frowned upon. Basically all that can be objectively criticized is the lack of narrative cohesion which then again has to be evaluated on the larger scale of the narrative as a whole. You can't dissect a proper critique and make the individual parts work on their own...they might as well not make sense out of context.
The claim "the absence of characterization in Hideyoshi is a flaw" in itself doesn't hold up, it has to be backed up by reasons why it is a considerable flaw in contrast to other things.

Quote:
At the very instant you claim that the manipulation of truth is justifiable, you create the ground for such abominations to exist. You can claim that there are different truths and some can be justifiably hidden and some cannot, but that means you are assuming that there is someone who has the right to decide what is wrong and what is right for other people. Which is by itself morally wrong.
I'm not saying anywhere that I would morally agree with what you just said. And I would further claim that Umineko didn't do so either, but that might be what I personally took from the text. No side, especially not Battler in EP8, is painted as the ultimate champion of what is morally good and right. They represent viewpoints that clash with each other and lead to emotional struggle. Sure there is a moral ranking, but I'd say while the text pointed in a direction of what is better and what is worse, it never pointed in a direction that had to be taken.

And again I have to press on the impression that you misunderstood me. Truth is not manipulated in my personal view, truth does not even exist without our observation because truth is merely our reconstruction of what is real or what we perceived as real. You cannot hide truth, you can merely hide what is real by creating a story that will maybe be accepted as truth. This then forms the reality of those people, but that reality does not have to be real.

Quote:
However if a critic was limited to state the facts without attaching any value to them, critique alltogether would cease to exist.
Your claim that people are mixing personal tastes with objective facts, therefore, to me makes absolutely no sense, because it is inevitable for any critique to be based at least partially on personal tastes.
Please read again what I actually wrote. I never said that personal taste should be avoided. People should simply think harder about where they start getting into the area of pure personal taste and leave objective reasoning behind.
You and Renall trying to convince people that there is an inherent, objective flaw within Umineko because you don't find your own moral worldview in it, is personal taste but it's hard to see if you even consider that. Unless of course you really do believe in something like a preexisting truth and it's indisputable moral value...which would make any attempt to discuss this point futile and we can only agree to disagree.
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