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Screen StoriesEmotion and the Ethics of Engagement$
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Carl Plantinga

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190867133

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190867133.001.0001

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Caveats and Complications

Caveats and Complications

(p.75) 4 Caveats and Complications
Screen Stories

Carl Plantinga

Oxford University Press

In this chapter I answer possible objections to the theory developed in chapters 3 and 4. Here are the possible objections, stated as questions: 1. The theory seems to work best for the simple consumption of narratives; what about more complex appreciation? 2. Can the theory accommodate both transmission and ritual theories of communication? 3. Can the theory account for distanced narratives and art films, or does it apply only to mainstream screen stories that elicit strong, clear emotions? 4. The theory seems to assume that all screen stories are didactic. Don’t some screen stories avoid didacticism? 5. Does the fact that people have diverse responses to and interpretations of screen stories compromise their supposed rhetorical power? 6. How do extratextual social processes, such as social attunement, work into the rhetorical power of narrative? 7. Does talk of screen stories as persuasive and rhetorical compromise their status as works of art?

Keywords:   appreciation, transmission theory of communication, ritual theory of communication, interpretation, ambiguity, social attunement, art, the aesthetic

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