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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...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


In CENTRIC AND DIFFUSE WILL PT. 3 I compared my early use of terms like "dominant" and "subdominant" in the early history of this blog, and why those terms fell to the wayside:

The word "dominance" descends from the Latin dominus, meaning a lord or master,  and this imagery more or less accords with the thoughts I expressed in JUNG AND SOVEREIGNTY. And yet, though I don't reject any of these meditations, in recent years I've been drawn less to the image of a "master" lording it over lesser elements, and more drawn to the image of the circle. If a given narrative has elements characteristic of all four Fryean mythoi, one may see the centermost circle as being the myth-radical that most determines the total content of the narrative.  
I attempted, not very frequently, to work out a terminology for describing the way "lesser elements" give way to a "sovereign element," whether speaking of a given work's myth-radicals or of its distribution of spectacular and/or functional forms of violence, as seen in CENTRIC AND DIFFUSE WILL PT. 2. In fact, most of what I've theorized about the "centric/diffuse" word-pair concerned differing forms of dynamicity, as seen in THE NECESSITY OF SPECTACLE PT. 2:

When opposed megadynamic forces exist in a narrative but are not the main focus of the narrative, such a work is "subcombative" and the opposed forces are what I will term "diffuse forces" rather than "centric forces"-- on which I may write sometime later.

On this blog I've only occasionally mentioned  Northrop Frye's geometrically based distinction between "the centrifugal and the centripetal:"

"Frye uses the terms 'centripetal' and 'centrifugal' to describe his critical method. Criticism, Frye explains, is essentially centripetal when it moves inwardly, towards the structure of a text; it is centrifugal when it moves outwardly, away from the text and towards society and the outer world."-- Wikipedia, "Northrop Frye."

Despite not making reference to those precise terms, though, this section of Frye's ANATOMY was a great influence on me. I would imagine that when I wrote these words, I was thinking to some extent about the "diffuse forces" being like unto the so-called "centripetal" force, that tends outward from the center, while the "centric" were like unto "centrifugal force," tending toward the center.

The big problem, though, is that "centric" and "diffuse" aren't really viable opposites, though the former does have a more workable antonym: From Dictionary.com:

CENTRIC: "pertaining to or situated at the center."

ECCENTRIC: "not having the same center; not concentric."

Usually when I've introduced a new term in place of an old one, I've simply let the old blog-label remain unchanged and started new tracings for the new term. However, since as of today I only had six tracings for the labels "centric force" (or "will") and its original opposite, I've scrubbed away the old, mixed-up terms in the labels, but not in the essays themselves. From now on, I'll use only "centric will" for any element that assumes a central position in the narrative, and "eccentric will" for any element outside the center.

While most bloggers don't trouble to revise old essays, even in their labels, I do so whenever I come up with a formulation that better clarifies my position. I've revised these two forms of authorial will with the expectation of using them to further illustrate another theoretical concept. The concepts of both the "51 percent rule and of its corrollary of "active and passive shares," last referenced here, has become vital to my method of sussing out the importance of divergent elements within narratives. This terminological "house-cleaning" has thus come about in order to bring the two forms of authorial will in line with the general idea of how centricity is achieved, and what it means.


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