“Some panels and pages [of some erotic comics, like the work of Molly Kiely and Colleen Coover] unfold like snapshots, gesturing at a larger hole that is unrepresented and perhaps unrepresentable.” -Lyndsay Brown, ‘Pornographic space-time and the potential of fantasy in comics and fan art’
My own question, then, isn’t whether unrepresentability is possible in the ways we communicate our narratives–especially our fictions–but how.
The real, in a Lacanian sense, is bigger than the sum total of human knowledge, if only by mass; we can at least know that what we don’t yet know is bigger than what we know, if only because we can see so many places, out in space, that we haven’t yet been able to visit. But language–human reality–gets the upper hand and becomes the predator, the master and quantifier of even the unknown, through that one little word, articulated whenever necessary: ‘yet’. Even if there is an infinitude that we don’t know, even that infinitude only ever gets smaller, since what we know generally only ever gets bigger.
The sign is arbitrary because language, though arising from nature, is not demanded by nature.
Logocentrism: The pegging of metaphysical responsibility for the disappointments of material being.
Another attempt to summarize my perspective that will only seem inaccurate later:
At this point, it’s seeming as though the only notable difference between narrative and linguistic subjects (fictional characters and real people) is one of physicality in this linguistic, physical realm (lacanian ‘reality’): we linguistic subjects have bodies, narrative subjects don’t and may or may not ever. But, in discourse–communication via representations that pretty much constitutes all media by definition–physicality is what’s precisely not needed, worked around, obviated. So, the distinction between the subject who has a body and the one who doesn’t, at least in how they’re treated, how their identities are socially understood, how they are defined in discourse, doesn’t amount to much.
Especially since we’re also getting around the lack of fictional bodies by making our fictions more realistically interactive in various ways, such as gaming, VR cinema, and even ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ YouTube series.
Pilcher could have made Wayward Pines into a Hegelian utopia of mutual, face-to-face recognition and valuation if only he’d had better PR and solid personnel and materials managers. A few ‘You Are Valued’ posters, a suggestions box, and 1st Amendment rights would’ve been a good start.
Revising Wimsatt and Beardsley’s ‘The Intentional Fallacy’:
But the text itself remains to be dealt with, the [never completely, never entirely correctly] analyzable vehicle of a [contextually inextricable] complicated metaphor [for an ever-changing referent].