Creators from across all media have taken upon the idea that art can be interpreted in different ways. With anime it's no different, the directors and scriptwriters of man of the anime which make people analalyze them like Eva, Lain or Utena have stated in interviews that its up to the viewers to make their own interpretation.
Thing is from what I've seen this never really holds up. I'm the kind of person that doesn't want to spoil himself with these kinds of interpretations and wants to solve the puzzle himself, even if it means rewatching the show keeping in mind what I've gathered.
Then I go on-line to see what other people figured out and it's usually pretty much the same. Usually it's just certain details that are different and after some re-evaluation I usually acknowledge I was wrong after taking a look at the specific scenes the problems I relate to. If it's something I still disagree with there is usually someone out there who had the same thought as well.
I mean, the creators usually have something specific in mind and it has to be at least somewhat specific for them to create a consistent narrative. To make it open to various consistent interpretations they'd have to create a work designed to those and that would be rather painful and it would make the art more of a game than any kind of personal expression that creators usually aim to.
I think the creators just say this because they don't want to spoil the puzzle for their viewers. It's supposed to be a bit of a game and you never see game developers providing a solution in the manual, because that would miss the whole point.
So do anons think otherwise or agree with me on this.
TL;DR The whole "Everyone can create their own interpretation" idea is a load of bull.
> have stated in interviews that its up to the viewers to make their own interpretation
I want to start by clarifying this for this specific series. No they didn't. Ueda said that he wanted people to REACT differently. That is, west and east cultures to react to the series differently so they would come together and discuss their own cultural differences.
Art always has a singular purpose. That's a fact. There is no piece of art that has no driving idea behind it and its parts. The only way this works is if the driving idea is to create something incoherent, and that is not possible with a medium that needs and has a plot. By initiating such content, the artist(s) always branch off from what they are doing and always have their considerations. An anime with a plot and with ideas that authors have clarified in interviews is not and will never be up to interpretation. That is a cop out for both fans who are too lazy and would rather resort to "lol it's whatever you want" and for authors who don't care enough to say "figure it out" or don't care to explain what they were thinking.
No, that's just a shitty liberal college student tier "everyone is right" philosophy. You can interpret it however you want, but there is always only one truth to it. To say otherwise is to cop out.
Artists don't write things with the mind to allow for multiple valid interpretations. That's not how it works unless specifically the artist does an autistically complex piece of work that encompasses multiple viewpoints and multiple branches, which I argue is hardly ever the case. If they really cared to have that as their driving force, they would say so on release or along with it instead of waiting until people actually ask about the things that they're too lazy to explain. When an artist creates a piece of work that has a plot, characters, and themes, there is always a single, specific idea in mind. You have to be a special kind of diligent to create something so complex as to where, canonically, multiple interpretations actually satisfy the truth of the work in question. I have never seen one work that does this, and I'd argue there is no such one in existence in the medium of anime. To say "it's up to your interpretation" is a cop out, plain and simple. Such a view should always be discarded unless the "interpreter" presents comprehensive evidence that the author actually intended for multiple possibilities to satisfy the truth of the plot. As I said, in the case of a work with a plot, characters, and themes, unless you are brilliant and are working on a super complex piece of work (so complex that literally multiple interpretations satisfy every point regarding each plot element and character), there is a single idea that you have with writing it.
In something like Lain, I think the point in a way is to bring up questions. It's not really trying to answer anything, so what they mean by interpret it yourself is basically that it is trying to get you to think about certain things and doesn't answer them in the show. I think asking questions or trying to get people to think about something is a perfectly valid reason to make an artwork. I do agree that a lot of people just try and make things very weird and then try and pass it off as deep by telling people to interpret it themselves though.
See, I don't the author factors into the equation at all. Once a thing becomes art it becomes ontologically autonomous. What Shakespeare thinks Hamlet means is no better than the infinite readings of Hamlet that float around today. Hamlet is a work with a plot, characters and themes, but of course there's no single correct meaning.
>>See, I don't the author factors into the equation at all. Once a thing becomes art it becomes ontologically autonomous.
And you're stupid. Take your "Death of the author" nonsense and leave it at the door.
I am of a totally different opinion. I consider art and whatever meaning it has to objectively be the property of the artist eternally. In other words, what the artist has laid down in their intent is the law of the piece of art. Interpretations are merely interpretations.
Then explain, why ? For every single piece of art in this fucking world, before we start to talk about the art piece itself, we introduce both the past of the author, and the context in which the art piece has been created ?
You need both really. Your art has to stand out by itself without knowing about the author, but you should be able to also appreciate where the creator is coming from if you know who he is. A successful piece can be looked at as being good on its own, or telling you something about its maker.
Regardless of whether or not the author wants to raise questions, that doesn't make there not a single answer to it. The author had a specific idea in mind about what to do with it. I've never seen a piece of visual media with a plot, characters, and themes that has been so abstract that I thought the author was only putting in questions to be raised. If the author wants you to think about these things, they will say so instead of just saying "plot happening x is up to your interpretation". That's lazy, on both the part of the artist and the consumer.
Usually people are interested in the work for reasons outside of its possible explanations. Like, when I talk about my favourite shows I'll talk about the context they were made in, artistic influences, directorial quirks and so on. Those don't usually influence, for example, what I take some symbolism to mean. And if they do, that's fine so long as its not contradicted elsewhere in the work.
I didn't really get Derrida desu
Sure, I think I agree with that. I just think that appreciating the artist and holding the artist's explanation as the ONLY one are two different things. The point of an artist is to make art, not to explain it.
>The point of an artist is to make art, not to explain it.
But the artist is a creator. The work of art is as is a world to a god. There is pride, ownership, and objective purpose behind it that should not be warped. I'm not saying you can't interpret something differently, but there is no validity in it until it precisely matches the intent of the creator. You don't have to explain it, but to lazily say something about your work that isn't true speaks to how little you care about your creation. The point of an artist is not simply to make art. It's to express something of interest and to make something that has an important connection to the artist as a creator. That's why we make things.
I'm not saying the artist doesn't create a work with intent, I'm saying that intent shouldn't serve as the basis for some kind of "definitive interpretation."
>to lazily say something about your work that isn't true
Not sure what you're talking about here.
So you'd say a symbol could only have different meanings in the context of the work if the creator inserted it their with that in mind? Sometimes creators do that to evoke how certain themes relate to each other or to represent some kind of duality.
>Ueda said that he wanted people to REACT differently.
I'm think it's Konaka that mentioned the multiple interpretation thing, but no matter. Even in that case I think it's just a case of the scriptwriter not wanting to give out answers, because let's be honest. That would ruin the fun.
Though I'm wondering about something different. Has Ueda ever mentioned how he expect people in the west to react to Lain as opposed to people in japan? Or is there some sensible theory on what he expected?
>The point of an artist is to make art, not to explain it.
You're not an artist, you stupid cultural marxist. The entire point of that "death of the author" shit is to peddle moronic 'women's studies'-tier things, that DEGENERATE culture. Take your memetic 'tee bee aych' bullshit and get the fuck out, too.
can you explain that logic leap?
death of the author might not exist for certain media of the past, but present day media that receives immediate gratification/criticism has a definite element of it.
storyboard writers, and whatnot can only stay so far ahead of their audience, and there's a tipping point where it stops mattering and the show basically becomes pandering since their real audience is lost among a crowd.
And that has no basis because the artist is the creator who defined everything about the work of art. You're not justifying this belief of yours in any way. It makes zero sense. To say there is no definitive interpretation to a piece of work that has a definitive purpose is absolutely retarded. You're just going on a masses based idea. That's not what art is about. It's an individual effort based on individual expression. If you're not the creator of the piece, you have zero grounds for saying there is no valid definitive interpretation.
The point of Barthes' essay is to remove limits on what counts in interpretation. Religious or feminist readings of a work made by an atheist misogynist are good and valid so long as there's evidence in the work to support them.
It's not "valid". You're sneaking that word into everything in order to make a particled idea into something objective and grounded when it's not. It's "valid" in that you have the freedom to interpret it that way. That does not make it true. The artist creates the work of art and what is true about it. This is not a difficult concept to understand.
The very fact that artworks invite multiple interpretations is enough for me. The idea of there being some independent meaning which a work merely refers to seems silly.
Valid refers to an an argument or point based in logic or supported by evidence. If an interpretation can be supported by the objective features of the work without being contradicted elsewhere then it's valid.
Who knows. I think he thought it was entirely based on Japanese culture, but he failed to realize how despite all the differences, America and Japan still have huge parallels overall. I wouldn't be surprised if he thought only Japan had the kind of internet obsession he was thinking about, but maybe the worldwide internet craze and all that actually spoke to us being more connected than ever, and shows how his work was even more profound than he realized. I'm just bullshitting though, who the fuck knows.
It's not wrong. Hereneutics is literally retarded shit that is thought in liberal arts college, I would know I spent a year pretending to understand it. In the end, it really is just a very complicated way of saying "everyone has their own experience so their interpretation has validity." No matter what someone can just say "well you just dont understand my world view or context, im not wrong." And that kind of shit really has no place in anything except maybe religious studies and political science. It doesn't mean different interpretations aren't possible, but there definitely is an objective factor to it.
>The idea of there being some independent meaning which a work merely refers to seems silly
Because you're not an artist. The creator is the creator. He or she defines every objectively true aspect of a piece of work. Every other stupid pseudo philosophical garbage about the people's rights to having their own "true" interpretation has no objective grounds to it. End of story. Interpretations are interpretations.
>kind of internet obsession he was thinking about
It's not about the internet. It's the element of human to human connection.
The statement that you should make your own interpretation of art doesn't elude to the content of your interpretation but rather condones the idea that art is first and foremost an experience, something you hopefully feel and apply to your life and your self, to do something like read a thesis on a work of art, memorizing it and feeling like you've understood the piece is not understanding it thus interpreting it yourself at all.
To put it concisely, you don't interpret the work's content, you interpret the work's meaning to your self.
Not him and I'm not good at thi but I don't exactly see why we can prescribe truth or not to it. All we can do is say if out interpretation is consistent and if it aligns with the authors intentions. I'd say that pretty much always those to coincide unless as you mentioned the creator made it so that elements could be interpreted in different ways intentionally (though that doesn't really change in that case, since we can just say several interpretations align with the authors intent etc.). Unless of course that's what you mean by "truth". But then that's just a choice.
>It doesn't mean different interpretations aren't possible, but there definitely is an objective factor to it.
Did you even read the post you're quoting? That's exactly what I'm trying to say.
The creator defines the objective aspects of a work of art. A writer, for example, defines the letters and words on the page. Meaning isn't an "objectively true aspect" of a work.
>I don't exactly see why we can prescribe truth or not to it.
Because the creator made it. He made it, he decided everything about it. That's the objective truth value. Author's intent is the truth of the work that interpreters can only attempt to understand. Interpretations are fine, but there is a truth to the work that is defined by the creator and only the creator.
the problem is autists seeing real word/artistic connections to things as being those things. in one of the earlier episodes, the pill that was being taken was explicitly stated to not be a drug, and pretty much the same goes for the wired.
Different interpretations still need to be evidenced by actual shit from the show to be valid. You can't just claim X means Y without giving a more than plausible reason why X might actually mean Y.
Makes sense, I was more thinking along the lines that he thought people would interpret it through the lense of their cultures metaphysical ideologies. Though I think it was bound to be similar. The show tackles the subject of technology generally speaking, and that's practically the most universal factor for all cultures in the world.
Usually from what I've seen the whole idea of westerners/easterners not being able to understand each others work is kind of null. The ideas people around the world have thought up aren't so radically different in their construction and we can usually find some way to interpret and understand those. Unless it's because a work references specific myths, legends or traditions, but that's basically a difference in knowledge rather than mentality.
>Meaning isn't an "objectively true aspect" of a work.
Yes it is. That's the decision that the author has made for the work. This is objective. There is no complete truth to an interpretation unless it fully prescribes to the author's definition. You are dancing around things in order to assert your idea as true and warping the context of reality. This is the last time I'm responding, I'm sick of repeating myself.
I think you misunderstood when I said 'multiple interpretations are possible.' I meant to imply that these would all basically be the same interpretation but with very small variances like the OP stated. There is still one objective 'message' or idea that is the true one.
I would say as a collective substance of truth. Easy enough to articulate. The multiple creators act as a single entity. There's still that line between creator and truth and populus and interpretation.
Pretty much what >>137209129 said, but also sometimes it can be watered down and turn out worse. Even shows with multiple creators or writers try to have a single showrunner or director in charge of the overall tone and show in general. In my experience, shows that allow a single showrunner to execute an uncompromising vision often produce the highest quality work.
I'm repeating myself but isn't that still just you prescribing a pretty specific definion of objective truth in this context? Objective truth just means that a particular statement is consistent with the reality it describes.
It that case, yes when we arrive at an interpretation only a specific one (or a few as we mentioned, but still specific ones) will be the same as the one intented by the creator.
Then we can say: "It's objectively true that this interpretation aligns with that of the creator's intent".
But we hypothetically create an interpretation that is consistent with the content of the work and doesn't necessarily align with what the creator had in mind. Then we could say: "This interpretation is internally consistent and consistent with the content of the work".
I don't see how we can say: "This interpretation is objectively true". Truth describes the relation between some statement and the reality it describes. Here we lack that.
>But we hypothetically create an interpretation that is consistent with the content of the work and doesn't necessarily align with what the creator had in mind. Then we could say: "This interpretation is internally consistent and consistent with the content of the work".
Then it's not completely true unless it is what the artist intended. It might be on its way there, but it's not unless it is consistent with the artist's intent. I don't know why you're having such a hard time differentiating between an interpretation that is consistent with the content of the work and an interpretation that is fully and completely consistent with the vision of the artist. You can read the content in a way that is different from the intent of the artist. For example, the common belief that Lain is a message about the danger of the internet on who you are when >>137208776, and when in the same interview Ueda notes that he was and is optimistic about the state of technology and the internet.
>Truth describes the relation between some statement and the reality it describes. Here we lack that.
No we don't because the artist created the work and its meaning a specific way. That is reality.
No, that's just the reality you choose to describe. If I say, "gravity is objectively true" it doesn't mean anything. I could say that gravity is a force in the universe and that would be true, or that a specific theory of gravity describes how matter with mass reacts in relation to other matter etc. All of the statements I described are true. It's just that you (and actually so do I) ascribe a higher value to that interpretation which is the same as the one the author intended. Not just any kind that happens to be internally consistent.
Ok, but let's say someone made a consistent interpreatation, which doesn't contradict anything in the work and it happened to be not line with what the creator intended. Then saying "This interpretation is consistent with the content of the work itself" would still be true statement. To negate it the way you're describing you'd say "No, but it isn't in line with the creators" intent. Thing is my sentence still would be true in that case.
Stop engaging with this >>137210405
retard. He's never going to get it.
Again you dance around what I'm saying to fit your agenda and repeat the same thing again despite it not making a shred of actual sense. Read my post again and go fuck yourself.
There's nothing to get, you make no arguments, you're just fancifying your sentences and skirting around the obvious to make it seem like they make sense and I'm seeing right through it.
i think he means thw hole show can be boiled down to a conspiracy. which is the inevitable conclusion of any show based on real world rules, that doesn't have a plot device that essentially functions like magic.
>Again you dance around what I'm saying to fit your agenda and repeat the same thing again despite it not making a shred of actual sense. Read my post again and go fuck yourself.
You're not even trying to point out how anything I said was wrong. I don't have any agenda. I'm not the guy you talked to, I'm the OP. If anything I'd agree with it, it's just that not for any ideological reasons like you do.
I get that you can hate an ideology, but you're so blinded by that hate that you just project it at anything that surrounds you without second thought.
>You're not even trying to point out how anything I said was wrong.
I've done so over and over again. I'm not blinded by hate, I've made my point several times. I'm pissed off because I keep repeating myself stating the obvious. I apologize if you're not the same person, but you sounded exactly like him. I don't know what ideological reasons you're referring to, I'm stating a single, simple fact that supports a creator-centric view of a single truth behind a created work, and posters are trying to form a pseudo philosophy around ideas they are not prepared to ground into reality and twisting their sentences into pretentious statements that make no sense. I just don't want to continue this. Interpretations are interpretations. A creator defines the meaning behind his work. I've said the same things over and over again and no points brought up are bringing anything new, which is why I just ended with "read the post again". They just keep abstracting things further and further and it's not necessary.
>I keep repeating myself stating the obvious
It's not obvious. It's not self-evident. You haven't actually provided any reason to believe your claim because you are taking what should be a conclusion as your assumption. You also can't understand the arguments people have provided and so dismiss them as nonsense. I wish I could help you but you just don't seem to understand.
I've made a point to distinguish myself by mentioning I agree with you, just pointed out that it's on a preferential level not on a fundamental one. Plus you made only two responses to me and they sounded like this:
This is just a statement. You didn't argue against my point and you didn't provide any foundation for your own. You just said: "It's not A, because it's B". Without really explaing why B and why not A.
This was the second time and well, it was mainly just an outburst.
I think if you re-read my last three points (the first out of the three wasn't expansive enough I believe: >>137208809) in this conversation and take throw off the idea that I'm arriving with any kind of post-modernist agend you'll see what I say makes sense:
Also, note that I'm the OP. So now I'm not arriving at this from any marxist, post-modernist or whatever stand-point.
If you can't see my reasoning, then I don't really have anything else to say. I think it's very obvious. It's not that I don't understand what you're saying, it's that it doesn't make sense. Like I said, I'm done here. I guess I'm an autist or something and people can't understand what I type, but I've addressed the points in other people's posts.
I feel like I've argued plenty in the posts I've made. I feel like they address what they needed to. I never purposely ignored anything. I don't want you to think I'm initiating an agenda based attack. I was angry because nothing was going anywhere. I don't know how you think >>137209995 doesn't argue. Perhaps it's my style of typing. I'm directly addressing what you say and presenting my refutations. The last one was an angry outburst due to frustration because I thought you were the same person I've been arguing with and because I can't comprehend how you don't understand what I mean by reality. I don't have anything new to say. I feel like I've made sense but apparently I've not, but there's nothing more to add.
Ok, then I'll look at it step by step.
>Then it's not completely true unless it is what the artist intended.
This is just a statement. But maybe you'll give it some foundations later on.
>It might be on its way there, but it's not unless it is consistent with the artist's intent.
This is just a continuation of the previous sentence.
> I don't know why you're having such a hard time differentiating between an interpretation that is consistent with the content of the work and an interpretation that is fully and completely consistent with the vision of the artist. You can read the content in a way that is different from the intent of the artist.
I'm not. I specficially mentioned the two in here:
>"It's objectively true that this interpretation aligns with that of the creator's intent".
This is the first one you mentioned
>"This interpretation is internally consistent and consistent with the content of the work".
This is the second.
My point is that both of those are true. Something isn't more true or less true. It's totally binary. Now, we can argue in favor of one based on what we value or what I would do is argue that in practice the two usually arrive at the same conclusion. Sure, if we took symbols individually we could ascribe different meanings. But taken as a whole "an interprative summary" that's consistent with the work will usually be singular or if there are several it's because the author intended so. Unless, of course he created some totally abstract, non-narrative piece.