Saturday, 5 March 2016

Reviewing My Own Past. I am an idiot.

Within an academic context, Radical Subjectivity is a problematic methodology. Having coined the term to describe a range of diverse strategies within my own popular criticism, I adapted its definition to suit any approaches I'd later use within The Vile Blog

In one memorably incoherent article, I attempted to discuss semiotics by evoking a couple of productions that I had seen (Slope and Tomorrow) and Honzl, a Czech theorist I must have found in one of my trawls of Marvin Carlson's writing. Although, on first reading, I can't imagine why I thought publishing an article like this on a blog that is supposedly dedicated to 'populist' critique was a good idea, it does represent some aspects of radical subjectivity's style.

First of all, there is the awkward juxtaposition of academic and popular criticism. The focus of the article is Honzl's analysis of theatre semiotics - he observes that any object, placed in a theatrical performance, can take on a variety of meanings. However, the references to Untitled Project's Slope and Vanishing Point's Tomorrow allude to contemporary performances (in 2014) and the process of reviewing. 

The two forms are shoved together shamelessly, with Slope and Tomorrow providing examples of Honzl's semiotic analysis. This suggests both a historical context for the two productions, and updates Honzl into a contemporary context.

The framing of the article also insists on a contemporary context: both the first paragraph and the last (a circular structure, doubtlessly influenced by theatrical performances - such as Robert Softley's Purposeless Movements which ends with the same lines at the beginning and end of the show) discuss the then-relevant threat by Anonymous to publish material that would shame Iggy Azalea

This reference, of course, dates the article. 

Then there is the repeated use of humour, often misplaced. This supposedly lessens the seriousness of the material but also reveals the personality of the author (confused and childish, most likely). 

Elsewhere, I place my methodology within a tradition of reader response theory. 

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