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Again, we are trying to fit our experiences into the words we have for
describing them.
 
Rich starts out thinking he's seen narratives and seen spectacles and
wants to talk about them, but immediately somebody tells him to define
"narrative" and define "spectacle" and pretty soon what he sees will have
to fit the definition.  The definition--need for it, structure of
it--isn't coming from the filmic world which, for Rich, *contained* the
narratives and the spectacles.
 
I know this is going to sound churlish--forgive me--but don't we all know
what a narrative is, and also what a spectacle is?  If not, then please
also tell me what "define" is so I'd know how to "define" a "narrative."
Why do so many contemporary academics insist on writing and speaking as
though they don't have English?  Or some other language?  What on earth
is the problem with writing plainly about what one sees, without having
first to define "plainly" and "sees" and "what" and "about"?
 
Amicably, in truth--
 
Murray Pomerance
Toronto
 
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