2046 wrote:Realistically, the historical approach is entirely silly when dealing with fiction, especially science fiction. That's adding levels of fake on top of something that is itself fake.
One is doing the same and even more, if one treats footage as if it would be real documentary footage, even if what is shown, is impossible or contradicts the plot or contradicts itself. One adds the fake of realism on top of something that is itself fake, while at the historical approach, the possibility of errors is considered, while it is asssumed, that the basics have still happened.
2046 wrote:The literary approach is thus preferred on the basis of reality, but it is not too far a leap to accept suspension of disbelief for the purpose of analysis.
Even if what the author has wanted to describe is proved as impossible in real life or the author has made logical or plausibel errors in its own plot because he has lost the overview over its own story while creating it?
2046 wrote:Barring intentional absurdities as one might find in comedy or whatnot -- or general apathy -- an author intends the work to represent a functional, unique world . . . one which supports and maintains the plot, characters, and other elements of the story he or she wishes to tell. Making the small leap of accepting that world as presented allows for its proper analysis.
The problem is, that your assumption is not true. The producer of a film usually intends to also entertain its audience. That's why he doesn't always intend his work to represent the real world - because he thinks, that this would be boring. He think, it's boring, if a car falls from a cliff, but doesn't explode. And it's boring, if it explodes, how a car in real life would explode, in the seldom cases, that a car would indeed explode. That's why they engage pyrotechnist, who are tasked to produce an optical spectacular explosion.
Accepting footage of exploding cars as real, would lead to a proper analyze, that results in cars, that are filled with pyrotechnics.
Other times, the producer may want his work to represent real life, but he doesn't know enough about real life. Then it can happen, that he creates an universe, that is impossible and does not reflect real life.
2046 wrote:The only caveat is that one must be willing and able to withdraw to a literary perspective if and when the internal reality of the world breaks down . . . i.e. in the case of contradiction and such. The trick is knowing when to do that, especially in the scenario of analyzing a science fiction world (or universe, really).
The problem is, that both approachs have dogmatic errors.
In the suspension of disbelief approach, there shouldn't be errors in the film footage, if what is shown, would have been recorded in real life.
And contradictions or logical or plausibel errors in the plot shouldn't be possible, if the author would really have had the overview over the whole plot of his story and would have the necessary scientifical knowledge and understanding.
The problem is, that you don't even always know, if, what you have seen, is indeed an error or rather, which approach has the error as result. (Example: What is wrong in Â»The Die Is CastÂ«, the visuals or the dialogue? Has the author really wanted to destroy the planet's mantle and the visuals were wrong or has he wanted to merely bombard the surface and the dialogue is wrong? Which approach do you prefer and how can you give an objective and comprehensible reason?)
And you really got a problem, if you get that error in both approaches, if for example it is the intend of the author that something happens a certain way and it is indeed shown exactly as the author has wanted it, but it is proven as impossible.
The historical approachs admits, that there are errors and is therefore able to deal with them in its own dogmatic.
2046 wrote:Both scholars and peasants of centuries past might think our world absurd, just as even a completely accurate history of the future would often seem absurd to us.
That isn't the problem.
An accurate history of the future wouldn't have errors and inconsistencies. The recording of a ship (that's not supposed to change its size) would show the ship always in its real size. A scar, wound or beauty patch would not change its position to and fro (assuming that it is not suppossed to change its position).
The problem is not that there are things, that are not explainable with modern science but may be nevertheless possible. Far from it! The historical approach considers exactly that. But it assumes that the in the adaption given description or visualization is wrong - because the original was wrong translated or not understood from the author, producer or special effect department or a description was not passed down. But that doesn't mean, that the basics haven't happened.
The problem is, that there are real mistakes that wouldn't be there, if it would be a real history.
2046 wrote:Applying this concept to the opening post:
The literary . . . or as needed, the tele-literary . . . approach gives us cause to understand some of the things that might otherwise seem absurd. For a non-(or-at-least-not-too-much)-science-fiction example, is it at all likely that Jack Ryan would be so intimately involved in and even guiding the outcome of all the events of those assorted Tom Clancy novels? Not really, no . . . but it serves assorted literary purposes, not least of which is giving the readers a familiar base point in a plot that might otherwise be unfamiliar. (This familiarity is somewhat lost when, as ported to film, the Jack Ryan character keeps getting recast. It's not like Batman or Superman where there's a costume more identifiable.)
Similarly, it might seem amiss that there is often one ship present for so many major events. But that is the story, for good or ill.
Now, at least it seems to me, your argument confirm the historical approach.
It's unrealistic up to impossible that one character can has or the crew of one ship can have all these adventures. It's more realitic to assume that these adventures were the adventures of many different characters or crews. But for the adaption, these adventures were ascribed to only one character or crew.
But even considering that, it has nearly no effect on the results of an analysis. Because it is nearly irrelevant, who has had these adventures. What happens is mostly only important.
And to assume, that the shown adventure hasn't really happened the same person, who has had the last adventure, can explain, why the persons don't always learn from their experiences - because they have not have the last adventure and therfore couldn't learn from it. It was another person. But in the adaption, it was ascribed to only one person.
Otherwise, one has to wonder, if the character is stupid or unable to learn or has to find a reason, why a solution to a problem, that has worked last time, wouldn't work that time - although there is no difference shown and not indented by the author and the solution was not even tried or mentioned as possibility by the character.