Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Moderators: BookhouseBoyBob, Ross, Jerry Horne, Brad D, Annie

User avatar
TheGum
RR Diner Member
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 9:26 am

Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby TheGum » Thu Sep 14, 2017 9:02 pm

So I just went back to watch part3, and a showtime promo came on. TPTR was prominently featured and something hit me- when we over explain elements of TP and just write off David Lynch as this auteur genius we just don't fully get- dude showed us cooper floating in the box. And specifically showed us the timeline that fits in. THERE IS SOMETHING TO FIGURE OUT. Lets not forget that. He didn't just rip us off, AND he didn't just retcon. He cares about details. It IS about the bunnies.
I'm back in style!
User avatar
Tailsun
Roadhouse Member
Posts: 27
Joined: Tue May 23, 2017 6:51 am

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Tailsun » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:07 pm

I don't follow.
User avatar
Jasper
Great Northern Member
Posts: 986
Joined: Wed May 08, 2013 9:24 am

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Jasper » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:09 pm

Tailsun wrote:I don't follow.


I followed!
User avatar
Mr. Strawberry
RR Diner Member
Posts: 284
Joined: Thu Jun 08, 2017 10:17 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Mr. Strawberry » Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:25 pm

Jasper wrote:
Tailsun wrote:I don't follow.


I followed!

Same here. I posted this in the Parts 3 & 4 thread earlier this evening:

It's all so confusing... but I think the answers are here in the story. We simply need to connect the dots... and boy are there a lot of them.
Not taking any calls.
User avatar
Mr. Reindeer
Lodge Member
Posts: 3055
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2015 4:09 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Fri Sep 15, 2017 4:03 am

The black box "reveal" is a very overt moment that even the most inattentive viewer will spot. It pretty much hits us over the head. I'm not sure that that particular example is the best support for your apparent assertion that there is some hidden key we have to unlock in the work.

Ever since Eraserhead, DKL has generally been opposed to saying there is one definitive interpretation of his work, and Sabrina Sutherland also stated on her AMA Reddit that DKL feels all/most fan theories are valid. Not that he doesn't plant clues -- MD has the ashtray and the pillows, and TP S3 has the Sarah/Jumping Man mashup and the (maybe-)intentional glitches. Theorizing is great. But I really don't think we're going to arrive at the One True Interpretation ever.
BHell
Roadhouse Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby BHell » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:24 am

Mr. Reindeer wrote:The black box "reveal" is a very overt moment that even the most inattentive viewer will spot. It pretty much hits us over the head. I'm not sure that that particular example is the best support for your apparent assertion that there is some hidden key we have to unlock in the work.

Ever since Eraserhead, DKL has generally been opposed to saying there is one definitive interpretation of his work, and Sabrina Sutherland also stated on her AMA Reddit that DKL feels all/most fan theories are valid. Not that he doesn't plant clues -- MD has the ashtray and the pillows, and TP S3 has the Sarah/Jumping Man mashup and the (maybe-)intentional glitches. Theorizing is great. But I really don't think we're going to arrive at the One True Interpretation ever.


I agree. It's basically the old "Death of the Author" concept - that has roots as ancient as Plato's criticism of writing (in his "Phaidros"). Lynch, like most surrealists, embraces that idea: If you can't hope to transmit your own intention through your work, at least not without damaging it severely, you have two options:

A) You don't try to send complex messages, but instead present clear and (more importantly) distinct facts, that won't get lost or too diluted. When you do this, you don't give the reader/viewer much room for interpretation, but you also cannot efficiently get your ideas across - it tends to get very verbose, overloaded and hard to follow. Good academic (scientific or philosophical) works should (to some extend) use this techniques - but still not neglect style (a hard balance act, most don't accomplish this).

B) You don't try to get any facts across, but begin to intentionally destroy your ideas while writing them down: You do this by abstaction, overbearing style, valueing formal (technical) aspects over plot, adding "mystery", leaving things unexplained, ... and so on.
The risk in this is that readers/viewers might find your work incomprehensible, obtruse and lacking focus (mmh, where have I heard these criticisms before?) .
That is, in my view, what makes art art. Even the most "realist" wiriters use sylistic tropes that work this way (e.g. metaphores and symbolism).

Obviously, Lynch mostly goes with option B. But he is not above using option A to get some basic facts across - who would have forseen we'd get a long and plain explanation of what Judy is. What is notable is that Lynch, contrary to most authors, tends not to mix both approaches into one way of writing that he would consistenty keep throughout his works, but opts to alternate between the two extremes: one moment giving us all we need to know, the next giving us an allegory we can't penetrate with the knowledge we now have.

I like this style, but I get why many find it frustrating. It does mean that, yes, there is no one valid interpretation: Because of the "Death of the Author" there can't be (and any author who thinks there can, even in a scientific text, is delusional). The text/film/painting/music/work has to stand on its own and the consumer will oppose it with his own agenda.

But with great authors, there usually is not even and intent for thier work to have that one interpretation. They design their work with the premise in mind, that every interpretation can be successful and their own interpretation is not any more "right" or "fitting" than any other's.
User avatar
referendum
RR Diner Member
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:29 am

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby referendum » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:27 am

hey Bhell - i like where you're coming from.
''let's not overthink this opportunity''
User avatar
Novalis
RR Diner Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:18 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Novalis » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:43 am

BHell wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:The black box "reveal" is a very overt moment that even the most inattentive viewer will spot. It pretty much hits us over the head. I'm not sure that that particular example is the best support for your apparent assertion that there is some hidden key we have to unlock in the work.

Ever since Eraserhead, DKL has generally been opposed to saying there is one definitive interpretation of his work, and Sabrina Sutherland also stated on her AMA Reddit that DKL feels all/most fan theories are valid. Not that he doesn't plant clues -- MD has the ashtray and the pillows, and TP S3 has the Sarah/Jumping Man mashup and the (maybe-)intentional glitches. Theorizing is great. But I really don't think we're going to arrive at the One True Interpretation ever.


I agree. It's basically the old "Death of the Author" concept - that has roots as ancient as Plato's criticism of writing (in his "Phaidros"). Lynch, like most surrealists, embraces that idea: If you can't hope to transmit your own intention through your work, at least not without damaging it severely, you have two options:

A) You don't try to send complex messages, but instead present clear and (more importantly) distinct facts, that won't get lost or too diluted. When you do this, you don't give the reader/viewer much room for interpretation, but you also cannot efficiently get your ideas across - it tends to get very verbose, overloaded and hard to follow. Good academic (scientific or philosophical) works should (to some extend) use this techniques - but still not neglect style (a hard balance act, most don't accomplish this).

B) You don't try to get any facts across, but begin to intentionally destroy your ideas while writing them down: You do this by abstaction, overbearing style, valueing formal (technical) aspects over plot, adding "mystery", leaving things unexplained, ... and so on.
The risk in this is that readers/viewers might find your work incomprehensible, obtruse and lacking focus (mmh, where have I heard these criticisms before?) .
That is, in my view, what makes art art. Even the most "realist" wiriters use sylistic tropes that work this way (e.g. metaphores and symbolism).

Obviously, Lynch mostly goes with option B. But he is not above using option A to get some basic facts across - who would have forseen we'd get a long and plain explanation of what Judy is. What is notable is that Lynch, contrary to most authors, tends not to mix both approaches into one way of writing that he would consistenty keep throughout his works, but opts to alternate between the two extremes: one moment giving us all we need to know, the next giving us an allegory we can't penetrate with the knowledge we now have.

I like this style, but I get why many find it frustrating. It does mean that, yes, there is no one valid interpretation: Because of the "Death of the Author" there can't be (and any author who thinks there can, even in a scientific text, is delusional). The text/film/painting/music/work has to stand on its own and the consumer will oppose it with his own agenda.

But with great authors, there usually is not even and intent for thier work to have that one interpretation. They design their work with the premise in mind, that every interpretation can be successful and their own interpretation is not any more "right" or "fitting" than any other's.


Great post. The creation/decreation dialectic you mention in option B is something I spend a lot of time thinking through when analysing art. I've posted about 'death of the author' theory and Lynch elsewhere (where it was quite off-topic) but I'll repost what I said here as I think it ties in very neatly with what you're claiming, and also elaborates on how I think he also develops beyond it.

...

Lynch's view on this is quite typical of what many of his generation of artists came to believe, funnily enough. In this ethos, once a work is made public its connection to a producer seems to evaporate, even while traces of the production process are purposely left in.

'[T]he voice loses its origin, the author enters into his own death, writing begins' claimed Roland Barthes, the year before 'Mai 68' and two years before Foucault replied with his equally notorious essay 'What is an Author?'. These writings resume feelings that had already been given voice earlier on in the century by the New Critics. But these texts had massive repercussions and influences in the art world. In the humanities there was a general feeling that appeals to the authority of an author or producer insufficiently accounted for the meaning and significance of works and texts; such appeals were held to fearfully police meaning's 'proliferation'. The old biographical methodology and connoisseurial accounts that had relied on a 'life-and-works' model of interpreting and appreciating art were seen as outdated and conservative -- it was up to the reception of the crowd what a work meant. I'm not claiming Lynch was explicitly taught these attitudes (his study of fine arts in Boston was perhaps a touch too early in his timeline for that any case) but that there existed within the artistic and literary communities of the late 1960s a 'structure of feeling' (Raymond WIlliams' term) in which people came to reject the author figure as a source of interpretive authority. The importance formerly accorded authors' and artists' names was recast as a mere function of organising and collating works on the part of collectors and critics. The word of the producer could not act as a guarantee or source of meaning. These factors deeply influenced individuals such as Warhol, for example, and led him to the adoption of his purposefully gnomic silence over meaning when confronted by would-be interviewers. By 1971, when Lynch was leaving Philadelphia and heading for Los Angeles and his work on Eraserhead, this structure of feeling would almost certainly have reached him, filtering down through contacts in the art world and their discussions.

While all this context may shed some light on the social genesis of Lynch's outlook, I do think that Lynch has held onto this attitude beyond its historical scope, for different reasons. The 'death of the author' idea has now lost a great deal of its potency and traction, but Lynch has steadfastly repeated its core lesson: to publicly create something is in some sense to die, to be interred beneath one's creation and the vicissitudes of its reception, cast adrift on the tide of culture and its favourite hermeneutic of the hour. But for Lynch I sense his withdrawal from interpretation is not just based on whatever structuralism 101 might have filtered down to his artistic milieu, but is far more something with spiritual implications. He speaks endlessly of creating worlds and feelings and moods (often without naming them) that he wants us to enter. He wants us in there in order to arrive at our own conclusions, and refuses to say yea or nay to these in terms of how they might tally with his intentions. If they are our intuitions, then they are the right ones, he will claim. So something else is also going on there, something that is vaguely reminiscent of 1950s and 1960s 'Human Potential movement' thinking -- Rogerian (after Carl Rogers) and vaguely 'spiritual' in its implicit belief that the universe is unfailingly provident for those who authentically seek answers. You only have to add what we know of Lynch's dalliance with the Maharishi and TM to reach an understanding of how that would gel together with certain western-filtered Asian religions. What may have began with 20th century paradigm shifts in the relation of artistic production and consumption of meaning ends up dovetailing, in Lynch's world, with a view of creativity and art as being inherently spiritually meaningful for the individual and yet silent in a social, shared register. To be honest, once you clear away the veneer of orientalism and 'depth', it's actually a very protestant (i.e. individualising) vision. Meaning is atomised into as many monads as there are people. I don't actually like that aspect of his talk; under the pretence of being non-directive, it is highly directive.

(Original post: viewtopic.php?p=111227#p111227)

In hindsight, there's much more to say about that last paragraph that I haven't worked through properly, so it lacks some nuance, but I'll stand by it just the same.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
User avatar
referendum
RR Diner Member
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:29 am

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby referendum » Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:52 am

@novalis
i have alot of sympathy with yr posts but i don't like the word monads, it feels like a lazy short cut, like tulpas, it's a feed.
''let's not overthink this opportunity''
User avatar
Novalis
RR Diner Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:18 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Novalis » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:16 am

referendum wrote:@novalis
i have alot of sympathy with yr posts but i don't like the word monads, it feels like a lazy short cut, like tulpas, it's a feed.


I'm not fully understanding you here, but it's true I was feeling rushed and probably did take too many short cuts.

Let's say something else instead then.

I suppose I wanted to write:

'The way that Lynch talks sometimes, it's as if everybody is alone in their own private cinema, viewing a film that each individual will have a deeply personal and private response to. It doesn't really work that way. Cinema is a social scene, and friendly viewers talk to each other -- if not during the film then certainly before and afterwards. Social meanings emerge, especially in a frantically interconnected age where people are all the time posting their feelings, interpretations, experiences and responses to things -- not to mention critics, reviewers and other commentators whose voices will often be taken as representative of a larger-than-one population, or even viewed as institutionalised opinion.'

In other words, I understand Lynch's belief in personal freedom of interpretation, but I think it overlooks the social animal in us.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
BHell
Roadhouse Member
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2017 5:43 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby BHell » Fri Sep 15, 2017 6:47 am

Novalis wrote:I've posted about 'death of the author' theory and Lynch elsewhere (where it was quite off-topic) but I'll repost what I said here as I think it ties in very neatly with what you're claiming, and also elaborates on how I think he also develops beyond it.


I've also written a short piece (3 pages) about destruction in writing before, not in a lynchean context, but taking the perspective of an author, going a bit more into technical reflexions. There I go into more detail than here. I'd post it if it wasn't in German - or if a translation woudn't take as much time.


referendum wrote:@novalis
i have alot of sympathy with yr posts but i don't like the word monads, it feels like a lazy short cut, like tulpas, it's a feed.


If you really feel monads to be a shortcut, you must be a very very experienced Haskell-programmer!!!
Inside jokes aside ... I don't see anything wrong with using shortcuts or being lazy. Dropping "tulpas" into the world of Twin Peaks opened up a multitude of possibilities and interpretations, without investing much time to introduce that new concept. I found it to be rather effient, just like the "dugpa" back in the day.


Novalis wrote:'The way that Lynch talks sometimes, it's as if everybody is alone in their own private cinema, viewing a film that each individual will have a deeply personal and private response to. It doesn't really work that way. Cinema is a social scene, and friendly viewers talk to each other -- if not during the film then certainly before and afterwards. Social meanings emerge, especially in a frantically interconnected age where people are all the time posting their feelings, interpretations, experiences and responses to things -- not to mention critics, reviewers and other commentators whose voices will often be taken as representative of a larger-than-one population, or even viewed as institutionalised opinion.'

In other words, I understand Lynch's belief in personal freedom of interpretation, but I think it overlooks the social animal in us.


In some way I agree, but on the other hand: Every time we communicate, we ourselves become authors and are facing the same "problem", namely that we can't get our interpretations across unspoilt. A back-and-forth-discussion can work as a hermeneutic circle, bringing the participants closer to one shared understanding, but one will never reach the point of convergence.

Following that set of thoughts, we may not be monads in the leibnizean sense, but more like "monads with windows" - we can communicate and influence each other, but in the end we're left alone in our own minds.
User avatar
Novalis
RR Diner Member
Posts: 431
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2017 3:18 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby Novalis » Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:49 am

BHell wrote:
Novalis wrote:'The way that Lynch talks sometimes, it's as if everybody is alone in their own private cinema, viewing a film that each individual will have a deeply personal and private response to. It doesn't really work that way. Cinema is a social scene, and friendly viewers talk to each other -- if not during the film then certainly before and afterwards. Social meanings emerge, especially in a frantically interconnected age where people are all the time posting their feelings, interpretations, experiences and responses to things -- not to mention critics, reviewers and other commentators whose voices will often be taken as representative of a larger-than-one population, or even viewed as institutionalised opinion.'

In other words, I understand Lynch's belief in personal freedom of interpretation, but I think it overlooks the social animal in us.


In some way I agree, but on the other hand: Every time we communicate, we ourselves become authors and are facing the same "problem", namely that we can't get our interpretations across unspoilt. A back-and-forth-discussion can work as a hermeneutic circle, bringing the participants closer to one shared understanding, but one will never reach the point of convergence.

Following that set of thoughts, we may not be monads in the leibnizean sense, but more like "monads with windows" - we can communicate and influence each other, but in the end we're left alone in our own minds.


I think this is where I disagree then.

Originally I started writing a very long reply trying to lay out my position vis-à-vis internal talk with reference to Bahktin, Blanchot, Heidegger and Wittgenstein, and then realised that this conversation would be far too overpowered for what is needed here. I'll just paraphrase the general gist and leave it there: one is never less alone than when alone.

Far cleaner and closer to the source for our purposes is the work of Martha Nochimson.

Nochimson does a good job in excavating Lynch's belief in a Unified Field theory. In Lynch's view the highly personalised readings of individuals, when meditated upon should all point (on the 'deepest level') to this unified field.

As an avowed materialist I don't buy any brand of mysticism of course (and believe me I spent a whole decade of my life up to my eyeballs in it): for me the social element, which consists of both contestation and agreement, takes place in external space, in public language use, and not in solitary meditation.

As a person with a lot of vested interest in writing about artists and their artwork, I would venture that we can assume Lynch's position, understand its context, and to some extent understand his motivations, without necessarily having to believe what he believes. The problem of other minds is for me a philosophical red herring that means we could never get started with such an enterprise, and which in practice cancels itself out.
As a matter of fact, 'Chalfont' was the name of the people that rented this space before. Two Chalfonts. Weird, huh?
User avatar
TheGum
RR Diner Member
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon May 22, 2017 9:26 am

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby TheGum » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:14 am

I'm not implying there is a 100% fool proof "solution" to the ending, or even the meaning of the series as a whole, but I'm saying that I think there is a lot more detail oriented intentionality than people give Lynch credit for, and that there are a lot of seemingly abstract moments that can actually be conclusively figured out.
I'm back in style!
User avatar
referendum
RR Diner Member
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Jul 02, 2017 2:29 am

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby referendum » Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:19 am

If you really feel monads to be a shortcut, you must be a very very experienced Haskell-programmer!!!


i'm not, i know nothing about that at all, that is my point: i dislike it because it is an inside nerd loop and i want to read this series - or any film - without all that special privilege bollocks of referencing stuff the viewer cannot reasonably be expected to read or have prior knowledge of when they watch. I don't think this is happening here ( in TP3) - Lynch invites people in on a human level not a pedagogical one ( can't understand where Frost is coming from) so when these kind of uber- technical terms happen in commentary it pushes me away. As the ' tulpa' overdose did on film. Pointing outwards to things to investigate further is another matter.

monads. honestly. Jeez.
''let's not overthink this opportunity''
User avatar
mine
Roadhouse Member
Posts: 75
Joined: Sun May 22, 2016 12:38 pm

Re: Just a thought...about the entire extent of our enjoyment

Postby mine » Fri Sep 15, 2017 9:01 am

TheGum wrote:I'm not implying there is a 100% fool proof "solution" to the ending, or even the meaning of the series as a whole, but I'm saying that I think there is a lot more detail oriented intentionality than people give Lynch credit for, and that there are a lot of seemingly abstract moments that can actually be conclusively figured out.

But that's highly debatable if you take in consideration what Lynch's stance is I mean he may even take issue with the implication that he left clues around. I'm not saying that there may not be some pseudo solution there but that may be simply because it's largely one person's vision so it's simply human that there would be some very very vague thread tying things up.

Return to “Season 3 (2017) The Return”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 12 guests