_debbiechan_ (_debbiechan_) wrote in bleachness,

What Bleachness is, Kubo in Hospital, Authorial Intent

Update! Update! Update! Some general info and opinions following!

1) The following information is on the bleachness user page but maybe I should keep posting it as a monthly reminder as new people keep joining to address the perpetual misunderstanding that this space is a general LJ community like soul_society  or a general forum like Bleach Asylum meant to cater to the needs of all Bleach fans. It's my own personal fanblog; I pay for it; it began as a writing journal and a blabbity space for me and my friends, and it's as biased and colorful as hell (albeit moderated):

Anyone interested in joining this peculiar, lively community should read the RULES AND GUIDELINES first.

HERE and many found the following comment helpful in terms of defining the community's history and purpose: (...)this isn't a general Bleach community; this is a personal coterie discussing general Bleach things. There is a difference.

2) That clarifed, here's some personal stuffs! I'm going to be late updating my website with so many of the wonderful art gifts you have given me. One of my homeschooled kids who was supposed to enter public school this month is still in the process of being appraised and the bureaucracy of this state is ugh unbelievable. I'll also get around to re-uploading dead links for doujinshi and scanning new ones for bleachness  members eventually--promise!

3) Kubo-sensei was in the hospital yesterday! He's fine now though! Got some medicine for his stomach and is recovering well! I worry so much because I'm a Jewish Mother. Also, does any other crazy fan out there ever get the fear when Sensei travels that his plane will go down and we'll never find out how Bleach ends? XD

4) And now an opinion about authorial intent. (Never mind the complicated literary theory, for my main expository purposes, in a nutshell, authorial intent means the manga-ka has a plan. Some readers may see a cauliflower in one tiny doodle while others see a mushroom cloud but that doesn’t mean both viewpoints are equally valid; the manga-ka, unlike an abstract painter, intended one or the other or neither. Readers are free to see whatever they want, however. Now, the fact that the manga-ka has a plan doesn't mean that he has it at all times--many authors are nebulous about describing their creative process and how they are inspired. An author without any clear authorial intent would be, as many fanbois claim Kubo is doing weekly, performing mighty asspulls).

Some parts of fandom seem to be interpreting Kubo's recent tweets about how he isn't influenced by fans and will write his manga the way he wants as his confirmation of "Death of the Author" . Is Kubo's conceding that he has no authorial intent? Hmm, where this cognitive leap comes from I'm not sure. The popular consensus among modern readers is that everyone has a right to interpret literature whichever way he pleases, and Kubo seems to be among them--but he has also spoken clearly of his authorial intent before. In an interview with Morita in regards to the Memories in the Rain OVA, Kubo-sensei said: "There are bits in the manga where I draw scenes that wouldn’t get the reader’s attention too much. I always put all my effort into my manga but how each audience read my manga are different. So it’s really important to make sure they would end up all having a similar idea of my story, but then again, it’s really up to them how they read the manga, but then there are scenes where I want the audience to be touched, so it’s really hard." Sounds here to me that while Sensei is acknowledging everyone's right to interpret a scene as he wishes, it's important to Kubo as an author that most people GET his intentions and respond with the emotions he author desired to invoke.

A recent tweet from Kubo-sensei that is really being misinterpreted is this one, an exchange between him and animator Kudo:

飽きっぽい俺が未だに飽きずにやれてるのは、正解が無く、それを探す必要も無いところが理由の 一つです。 RT @1953tink: 芝居!絵!正解が一つならどんなに楽か!しかし正解が一つしかないとしたらなんとつまらないこ とか。

Kudo-san: Drama! Painting! If there's only one single interpretation it'll be easier, but then again it would also be boring
Kubo Tite: One of many reasons why the fickle me is able to continue going on is because I don't think right or wrong and I don't need to search for it.

Kudo-san's view is absolutely clear. He's saying that there is no one single interpretation in art. Kubo's answer, like his manga which so beautifully address moral ambiguities and more than the Black and White (haha) of humanity, is more playful. He admits to his fickleness. He doesn't say whether or not he has to search for it while writing, in his moral life or in his interpretation of art.

The "right or wrong" Kubo is addressing, in any event, is a grand abstraction--it's not the right or wrong I always speak of when I grade papers (and I do grade them for my husband's introductory logic classes occasionally and I'll be getting a job as an online teaching assistant--tedious grading--when the kids get more independent from homeschooling). What Kubo speaks of is not the right or wrong I speak of when I predict "hey I bet the Kenpachi who showed up this week is really a vision in Ichigo's inner world" and the next week proves me to be wrong. Or when I said "hey I bet Ulquiorra is gonna regenerate during his fight with Ichigo and he's going to have a beautiful demon release with wings" and those chapters proved me to be right. 

In other words, one can be right or wrong in Bleach. The author has an intent. Interpretations are all fine and good. A sword can represent a penis or it can represent a will to kill. But a sword isn't a tomato. End of story.

Tags: authorial intent, bleachness rules and guidelines, kubo tite, twitter
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