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NUM-INOUS COMICS PT. 2

This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Friday, December 4, 2015

THE DOMAIN GAME PT. 1

DOMAIN—“the territory over which dominion is exerted; hence, sphere of influence, hence, sphere of action, thought, influence, etc.”—secondary definition from Webster’s College Dictionary.
 In my father's house there are many mansions.—John 14.2, King James Version.

In this essay I specified my use of the term “domains” as my concrete approximation for such abstractions as my “three phenomenalities.” I may not have been clear in stating that the term could be equally efficacious for most, if not all, of the various dualities, trinities, and quaternities I’ve explored on this blog, which is part of the subject of this post.

Since I was focused only on the visual applications of the word, I didn’t give much thought as to its etymology. But the above definition indicates, even to a non-etymologist like myself, that the root-concept connoted not just places where people might live—not just “domain,” but also “domicile”—but also where certain persons, particularly the lord of the domain, can exert “dominion,” or even “dominance.” A close reading of certain of my blog-posts—particularly DOMINANCE, SUBMISSION and JUNG AND SOVEREIGNTY—should make clear that from the blog’s inception I’ve been engaged in sussing out, largely with relation to literature, what principles in literary works have “dominance” over other principles, whether those principles function *in posse * or *in esse. *

This dominance-identification does not serve the same purpose in the hands of a pluralist critic as in those of an elitist one. Though not all elitists venerate the same literary principles, they subscribe to the same agenda: to demonstrate that some set of principles are inherently “better” than any others. In each of their respective domains, there can only be one lord, one ruling set of principles, one mansion— and when they find some work that celebrates that lord, they use it to perform a “superiority dance” over their rivals, A recent example can be found in this idiotic JOURNAL essay, whose author's purpose is not just to extol the supposed virtues of Dan Clowes, but also Clowes' idea of:a “reality principle” that supersedes the “pleasure principle” of superhero fight-scenes.

This attitude stands in contrast to that of the pluralist, who dwells in a house of many mansions. In such a dwelling, every mansion has its own ruler, or ruling principle if one likes. Yet, perversely enough, the walls of the mansions are as permeable as the walls of living cells, so that influences from other mansions are continually “crossing over” to their own sphere of influence to others. That’s why, for instance, it’s not impossible to find valid aspects of “reality thinking” within works of a metaphenomenal nature—but that does not mean that the realistic content determines everything about the fantastic content.


More on these matters in Part 2.

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